78% of U.S. workers say they are living paycheck to paycheck. When you're a homeowner, it can be especially challenging to stock away savings when you have a mortgage and utility bills to pay.
There are many ways to reduce monthly expenses if you're willing to make some minor sacrifices or do a little detective work to find deals before you make a purchase. Keep reading to learn the top five ways to help decrease your monthly expenses.
1. Reduce Your Cable Channels—Or Cut The Cord Completely
When it comes to the types of bills that frustrate U.S. consumers the most, those from cable providers top the list. Cable TV prices are slated to rise this year.
You can cut your monthly cable bill by choosing a reduced channel line-up. Or go the streaming route and cut cable out of your life completely. The availability of original series plus low subscription rates has made streaming video services the better option for many households.
2. Refinance Your Mortgage or Automobile Loan
With interest rates low, now is a great time to refinance a mortgage or automobile loan and lock in a lower rate. If you've improved your credit score since you first purchased your vehicle or home, this can mean a lower mortgage payment, less stress, and more cash flow.
3. Cook Your Own Meals
Dining in restaurants or ordering take out may be convenient, but it can also be pricey. If you've made a habit out of relying on restaurants for lunch and dinner, try preparing more meals at home to help save money.
Freeze leftovers or make enough of a recipe so that you'll have some extra food you can bring to the office instead of making a run to the cafeteria.
While you're at it, cut back on your daily cup of coffee if you purchase it at a coffee shop. A $5 cup of coffee purchased five days a week adds up to $100 per month. Brew your own at home and take it to work in a thermos, or try the office coffee for a change.
4. Make Energy Efficient Changes
There are quite a few changes that homeowners can make to slash their energy bills. One tip is to unplug all appliances when you're not using them. They suck up "phantom" energy that can crank up your bill.
Turn down your thermostat or hot water heater by a couple of degrees, and switch to CFL or LED lightbulbs, which use less energy over time compared to incandescent bulbs. Use power strips and timers to turn devices off when not in use.
5. Bundle Your Homeowners and Auto Insurance
Many insurance companies offer their customers discounts when they buy their homeowners and auto insurance together. If you're using two different insurance companies for this coverage, ask what kind of deal you can get by buying them from the same company. Shop around and obtain quotes to see if you can get a lower rate elsewhere.
Reduce Monthly Expenses With These Tips
These are just a few of the many ways homeowners can reduce monthly expenses. With a little imagination, you can come up with many other tactics.
Read our other blog posts for more tips on how you can save money as a homeowner.