Keeping on top of your finances: Five ways to save money and reduce household spending

Need to keep on top of your finances? Here are five ways to save money and reduce household spending.

Running a home takes a lot of time, effort, and skill. Not only do you have to organize the children and household chores, but it’s also important to keep an eye on household spending.

Saving for holidays and other incidental expenses that can crop up from time to time is yet another thing we need to be mindful of. Reducing your household bills and keeping on top of your spending will provide you with more disposable income which should hopefully result in additional savings.

Here are five ways to save money and reduce household spending. 

1) Reduce your grocery spend by meal planning

If you rarely know what you are having for dinner and tend to rush around preparing meals on a day to day basis, you might be surprised at just how much you could save by meal planning.

On a nominated day each week, plan your meals for the next seven days. Some people do this with lunch as well as dinner, but it might be useful just to focus on evening meals until you get into a routine.

Once you have decided what you will be having, go through your refrigerator and cabinets and make a note of anything you need to buy for that week.

This will stop you from buying too much food and will also reduce the risk of you being tempted to put unnecessary items in your shopping cart when visiting the store. 

2) Are you paying hefty bank charges?

Have you checked your bank statements recently? If not, you could be paying way more than you need in terms of bank charges, so it’s worth finding out what you are paying and how frequently.

For example, Chase Bank has a lot of fees payable with a number of their accounts, which will, over time, add up. If you bank with them or any other institution where monthly fees are payable or regular charges are made for certain transactions, establish if there are ways to have them reduced or even waived. Over a year, the savings you make could mount up to a hefty sum.

3) Consider re-mortgaging

Your mortgage is probably one of your biggest household expenses, so reducing your monthly premiums or paying off your mortgage early could make a huge difference.

The rate that lenders offer will depend on your loan to value ratios. The lower the loan to value ratio, the better the rate that may be available to you. You can either apply to re-mortgage directly with your current lender or find out what rates other financial institutions have to offer. 

It is worth noting that if the term of your current mortgage product has not yet ended, an early redemption penalty may be payable, so find this out first. If you are on a variable rate with no tie-in, you should be able to re-mortgage without penalty.  

4) Reduce your energy bills

If your monthly energy bills are excessive, there are several things you can do to bring them down and save yourself some cash.

Making sure that lights and sockets are switched off when not in use can make a big difference to your energy consumption, so get the whole family on board and implement a switch-off policy. Your fridge and freezer need to be left on at all times, but most other appliances can be switched off rather than be left on standby.

When shopping for new appliances, check their energy efficiency rating. The higher the rating, the more economical they will be, which will not only benefit your wallet but will be much better for the planet too.

If your boiler is extremely old, it could save you lots of money by having a new one installed. The less efficient it is, the more energy it takes to generate heat, so although buying it may involve a hefty outlay, you should recoup this over time via a reduction in your energy bills.

5) Upcycle instead of buying new

Another great way to save money is to upcycle. If you are desperately in need of a new coffee table, for example, or your kitchen cabinets have seen better days, why not give them a new lease of life by painting them instead of replacing them?

Upcycling can not only save you lots of cash, but it can also be extremely therapeutic. Using what you already have is also great for the environment, so it’s well worth giving it a go.