Given the current economic situation, you might be revaluating your finances and looking for ways to decrease costs. Although making major lifestyle changes when anxiety levels are already high may seem daunting, implementing small changes can be extremely beneficial in creating a financial safety net. Here are four simple ways you can decrease your household expenses immediately.
1. Consolidate your debt
If you notice that you’re carrying debt with a high interest rate, it may be a good idea to start consolidating through a balance transfer. Using a personal line of credit to pay off certain debts is a great way to help you save money due to its low interest rates. A personal line of credit allows you to borrow money as you need it at competitive rates, since you’ll only pay interest on the amount you borrow rather than the number of days you use it. It can also protect your accounts from overdraft fees, insufficient funds, and cover unexpected expenses in case of an emergency.
2. Reduce your energy bill
Becoming energy efficient is a great way to reduce your electricity and gas bills. During this current pandemic, you may find yourself using home appliances and electronics more than usual. A good way to save on costs is by unplugging items that aren’t in use, like coffee makers and game consoles. You should also keep tabs on your light and heat/air conditioning usage. Regulating your thermostats and turning on the lights only when needed can help dramatically reduce your electricity bill.
3. Limit shopping
Find yourself browsing online stores more than usual? Online shopping and ordering food deliveries are easy ways to rack up costs without noticing. Try limiting your purchases to essential items that are needed to keep your household running. You can also reduce grocery costs by using a price-matching app to help you find deals at your local grocery stores. Craving your favourite foods? Try making them at home! Preparing meals and cooking in bulk is a good way to plan for the week and limit the temptation of ordering takeout.
4. Cancel unnecessary memberships and subscriptions
If you’re one of the many nonessential workers who is practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve, you may be paying for expenses that aren’t currently in use. Make sure to put a hold on your gym memberships and cancel all unneeded subscriptions. Have an auto-renewed monthly transit pass? Consider cancelling it if you are not currently using public transit very often. Drive a car? Most auto insurance companies are offering some form of adjustments on premiums, since the average use of vehicles has significantly dropped.
By determining your essential and non-essential expenses and taking a hard look at your purchases, you’ll be able to cut down on costs without drastically impacting your daily life. Even though some expenses may seem low cost and insignificant on their own, together they can add up to put a significant amount back into your wallet when you need it most!