How to Cut Household Expenses
It seems lately that household expenses last a lot longer than the money to pay for them does. This shortage of money and excess of expenses is the subject of a great deal of lively conversation these days
And, yes, the frightening cost of gasoline fuels the rise in cost of everything but just driving less isn’t enough for most households to rein in the spending well enough to weather this particular economic storm. Here are some other factors to consider when pondering how to cut household expenses.
In order to determine what to cut, you must know what you’re spending. The first step in determining how to cut household expenses in a way that is not only wise but functional is to record each and every single penny spent over a period of time, preferably three months or more.
Once you know where your money, all of it, goes, you can then make choices about how to cut household expenses in ways that will be easier to sustain over a longer period of time.
Gasoline conservation is certainly an excellent way to cut household expenses. Never leave home with just one destination in mind. Cram as many errands into one trip as is feasibly possible. Schedule appointments so that there is only one day each week of extensive car time and leave the car home during the rest of the week as much as possible.
Cooking more meals at home than dining out is a great exercise in how to cut household expenses. Yes, cooking is time consuming but it can be made less so. Devote one day to food preparation for the entire week. Cook up several chickens, a roast, a meatloaf, and steam plenty of vegetables all in one day. Package them according to portion size according to the size of your family. Freeze the portions that won’t be used until later in the week. Wash fresh salad greens and chop up other fresh veggies that will become snacks and salads as the week goes by. Each day, just pull the previously prepared components for the evening meal and package tomorrow’s lunches. Devoting one day each week to feeding a family isn’t that difficult or time consuming, especially when you know that one day’s devotion will bring a week’s worth of meals that include full meals, salads, sandwiches, and delicious soups.
Re-evaluate recreational activities when deciding how to cut household expenses. Does each child really need to be involved with several expensive activities at all times? Ask each child to pick one or two favorite teams or activities and put the others on hold for the moment. Devote one night each week to family games night. Make it a more social event by inviting friends over for a night of games or movies. Keep refreshments minimal. Consider serving lemonade and popcorn. The fun is in the togetherness and many families just don’t seem to schedule that very often anymore.
Other ideas on how to cut household expenses? Minimize manicures, pedicures, and hair-styling appointments. Groom the dogs yourself. Become more creative with the wardrobe you already own. Use common, inexpensive household products for cleaning supplies instead of expensive, brand-name products. Vinegar, bleach, salt, baking soda, and club soda can effectively clean whatever messes most households can produce. Take advantage of free events and tourist attractions in your area.
How to cut household expenses requires a group effort. Leaving the mission to just one person in the household will never work and is likely to cause a lot of frustration or resentment. Enlist the whole family in the effort and keep everyone’s special interests in mind.
Sure, you’ll probably spend more time with your family as you minimize expenses but that’s just one bonus of learning how to cut household expenses and it’s a bonus that can’t be measured in pennies saved.