For most of us, our home is the biggest expense we have. Sure, it’s also an investment for the long-term but as long as we’re actually living in it we need to spend a pretty big chunk of our monthly paycheck to keep things running smoothly.
Still, what you spend on your monthly stack of bills and living expenses isn’t a fixed game in fact, there are plenty of ways to cut back on expenses without compromising your quality of life. Here are six things you can do right now to stop wasting money:
Switch To Solar Energy
Especially in the winter and summer months with extreme temperatures, your energy bill is probably the biggest expense as a homeowner, other than maybe your monthly mortgage payments. Normally, we get our energy from one of two suppliers – the local electric company or the local gas company. Either way, it means that you’re paying for your energy based on how much you use. But what if how much you used didn’t matter since you’re getting your energy directly from the sun that shines down on your home every day? By having solar panels installed on your roof, that dream can become a reality!
Many solar energy companies offer attractive plans for fitting your home to go solar – the plan comes with a flat payment rate which means that once you completed the payment for your installation you won’t ever need to pay for solar energy ever again. Check if you qualify and get your own personalized quote!
Make an Appointment with a Home Energy Consultant
Aside from switching to solar, another way to spend less money on your energy bill is to get advice from a home energy consultant. A home energy consultant can inspect the nitty-gritty corners of your house and find ways to cut expenses by improving things like insulation, air leakage, heat loss, and air sealing. It may seem like not much, but one-time upgrades to the infrastructure of your home can mean that you can save money without compromising at all on the amount of control you have on the temperature of your home.
Use The Coupons and Discounts Provided by Your Credit Card Company to Save Money
We have a tendency to throw out those fat folders of coupons we get along with our monthly credit card statement, but sometimes the offer is something you actually want. Here’s the trick – getting a discount on something that you we’re going to buy anyway isn’t real savings because you would have saved even more by avoiding shopping altogether. But if you see coupons for things that are part of your regular shopping routine (like bread, milk, fruits and veggies) or, even better, a cash-back program at the local supermarket where you actually shop anyway, taking advantage of that can actually help slack your shopping expenses,
Use Cash for Certain Expenses
You can’t normally pay the bills or make your mortgage payments with cash, but that doesn’t mean you should be swiping away for every single expense. It’s a good idea to limit your spending by taking out a certain pre-determined amount of cash before going on shopping trips to the mall with the kids or before doing your holiday shopping. This way, you won’t be tempted to spend more than you’d intended – just walk into the store with your wad of cash and spend no more than that.
Shop Online in Incognito Mode or Using a VPN
One of the ways that we are tempted to spend money on things we don’t really need are by targeted ads that use our browser history to learn our tastes and interests. To avoid being hounded with target ads that try to get you to more than what you need, do your online shopping in incognito mode or with a VPN that doesn’t allow sellers to tempt you to buy products that you already have enough of. I recommend Private Internet Access or ProtonVPN.
Use Online Marketplaces to Buy and Sell Pre-Owned Goods to Save Money
Certain things need to be bought new, especially if it’s particularly important to have the original manufacturer or distributor warranty. But plenty of your household items are just fine years after you bought them, which means that there’s likely someone out there who will be happy to take it off your hands for the right price.
Kitchen items, kids’ video games and gadgets, and even cleaning appliances like vacuum cleaners can be much cheaper when you buy them second-hand rather than retail, so next time you have the urge to spend $1499 on the latest household contraption see if you can get a “like-new” one for at little as a couple of hundred bucks.
Achieving financial independence is a multi-faceted process; unless you win the lottery or get lucky in the stock market, no one move alone will give you the peace of mind that you’re really looking for. One step you can take right now to start cutting your monthly expenses is to find out more about switching your home to solar energy.