Stretching the Household Budget

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When your paycheck seems to shrink just as your bills are getting bigger, it is time to take a look at where you can quickly and easily work some breathing room into the household budget. Most people don't realize how many areas they can reduce the amount of money going out without making tough sacrifices. Here are several areas that the average homeowner can make simple changes to increase the money they keep each month.

Fuel Costs

If you find yourself running out of the house frequently, it is time to make wiser choices about your shopping habits. Keep a list with you at all times, and make it a habit to note what you're getting low on around the house. When you are out, check your list and get everything done in one trip. Try to arrange your errands so that you aren't backtracking. Combining your errands saves a lot of money on gas every month, and fewer trips to the store usually means fewer impulse buys.

Home Appliances

The average home appliance should last between ten and twenty years. Repairing appliances that break down can extend the life of some appliances by five to fifteen years. Making these repairs instead of purchasing new appliances every time one breaks can save the average homeowner thousands of dollars over the years. Many repairs are easier to make than you might think. When the refrigerator, dishwasher or stove has problems, do a little research and decide what repairs you can do yourself. When a professional is required, shop for the best price. Get three quotes on every major home repair, just as you would for your car repairs.

When the repairs are outside of the family budget, many people are tempted to buy a new appliance because they can pay for it with a credit card. Instead of putting the family in more debt than is necessary, consider Mobiloans to cover the repair. This can save you thousands of dollars in interest by the time you pay off the new appliance.

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Utility Bills

Take a look around your house and see just how much power and water is actually being wasted. Unplug adapters and chargers that aren't in use. These devices actually use a small amount of power even when nothing is plugged in. If you have trouble getting the rest of the family on board with your savings plans, offer them incentives. For instance, if the family agrees to shut off lights and electronics when not in use and can cut the energy bill by $20, the whole family gets a special surprise. These incentives don't have to be costly, a family picnic or movie night in the living room works just as well.

 image by McNail via Flickr

Saving energy helps the environment as well as the household budget.