Many households across the country are wondering how to save money on utilities and other recurring fees they accumulate each month. It is easy to forget how to strike a balance between what individuals are earning and how much they are spending. This is especially true for unemployed workers who many not be sure how much income they can expect to collect from one week to a next. For these reasons, it is important that families learn various money saving tips to help ensure they are spending as little as possible during these times of uncertainty.
Whether households are burdened by staggering gas prices or they are looking to spend less on electricity each month, there are various strategies that individuals can employ to save. First, however, individuals should plan a monthly budget and estimate how much they expect to spend on necessities each month. Once individuals have this information, they can take an honest look at their habits and learn how to save money and reduce their spending from one week to the next.
How to Save Money on Car Payments and Auto Fees
From tackling general car maintenance fees or simply buying gas each week, personal automobiles can be a massive financial drain. While the freedom of having a car can be appealing, the long-term economic burden that often comes with these purchases may make them more expensive than they are worth. In major cities, families may consider reducing their costs by eliminating their vehicles altogether. Motorists should instead rely on public transport to get them across town and to and from work each day. Depending on the city, individuals may even be able to rely on rideshare services to carry them wherever they need to go. In any case, people who forgo having a car are also able to save because they no longer need to pay for car registration fees and associated licensure for their vehicles.
Even as the nation’s average monthly car payment continues to rise, drivers may believe they are unable to eliminate their cars from their lives. In these instances, motorists may consider finding friends or family members they can carpool with. Oftentimes, families, neighbors and coworkers can carpool to save on daily or weekly trips to:
- The grocery store.
- Sports practices.
- Community events.
How to Save on Your Electric Bill
Homeowners may also wonder how to reduce their electricity bill each month. First, families may consider simply unplugging any electronics they are not using. While individuals may think it is harmless to leave a phone charger plugged in the outlet while they step out for the day, this is actually costing consumers money. For additional savings, homeowners and even renters may consider upgrading their lighting features. Switching to a Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lightbulb instead of a standard incandescent one can help individuals trim a few additional dollars from their electricity bills.
Homeowners who want more serious savings and money saving tips on their utility bills may need to invest a little extra money upfront. However, depending on the selections they make, the savings these consumers pocket could be worth it over time. One way that homeowners can reduce their electricity bills is by updating their windows. Many houses throughout the country are likely to have windows that do not properly insulate their homes because they do not seal properly. This problem allows unwanted hot air to come in during the summer and too much cold air to enter the house in the winter.
As a result, a lack of window insulation can cause cooling and heating costs to rise during these more extreme seasons. However, families who install energy efficient windows in their homes can help reduce these costs once their homes are properly sealed from the elements. Once families make these changes, they may also be able to qualify for tax credits on the installation and purchasing fees they paid for these new windows.
How to Get Government Assistance for Utilities Each Month
There is also government assistance for utilities that families can apply for. However, this grant program is only available to households that do not earn much income. In any case, this program is referred to as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Families who are wondering how to save money on their electricity bills will need to qualify for these benefits. However, those who are eligible are able to receive funds to help them:
- Improve their homes to make the structures more energy efficient, which can same families more money in the long term.
- Pay general energy-related bills.
- Funds for various energy crises.
Furthermore, families should know that they may already be eligible to save money through this program if they already qualify for certain public benefits. For example, families who are enrolled in the following programs may be able to receive LIHEAP:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Certain veterans benefits
Money Saving Tips to Reduce Your Entertainment Fees
Consumers may also be able to reduce the monthly service fee they pay for different entertainment-based products and subscriptions. Sometimes, it can be difficult for individuals to reduce these payments because these services are often enjoyable. However, entertainment subscriptions usually are not essential, which means they can be cut with little to no repercussions.
First, families should consider examining their cell phone plans. Frequently, households with family plans are enrolled in benefits they may not even use on a regular basis, such as international calling plans, unlimited data and complicated texting allotments. If individuals find that their phone bills are too high, they should consider calling their providers to see if they could reduce some of these services. In many situations, families can also make the same types of reductions by finding cheap cable and internet packages that can serve their families.
Additionally, individuals may also cancel their gym membership if they are looking to save extra money each month. In many cities and suburban areas, people can walk or run for free on public trails or sidewalks. This alternative helps to keep people healthy while saving some of their paychecks each month, as well.