Owning a home is a great goal to have. However, once you have ownership — there are some easy-to-miss expenses that you no longer want to afford. These are fees that may be costing you more than you think. Here are 30 household expenses you can cut.
Cable or satellite TV subscriptions
The whole world is watching everything through subscriptions, but consider canceling your cable or satellite TV subscription and switching to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Many families don’t use their streaming services enough to justify their monthly purchases on them. If you aren’t using your streaming services, consider canceling.
Landline phone service
Many individuals have moved completely to using their cell phones but have never gotten around to getting rid of their landlines. If you only use your cell phone, consider canceling your landline service to save money on phone bills.
Premium cable channels
Some may use their cable TV enough to justify their purchase of it, but sometimes people don’t realize that they are paying for premium cable channels that they simply never use or rarely use. If you have a cable or satellite TV subscription, consider downgrading to a basic package and eliminating premium channels that you don’t watch regularly.
Magazine and newspaper subscriptions
Consider canceling physical magazine and newspaper subscriptions and switching to online versions or reading them at your local library instead. This shouldn’t take long and can save you some cash in the long run.
Gym memberships may seem cheap, but they can easily add up with time, and you may not see how much you’re spending on a membership. If you still want to stay in shape, consider cardio outdoors, like a walk, jogging, or going for a hike. You can also consider some of the many at-home workout videos that can help you focus on your specific fitness goals. Additionally, you could consider buying a cheap set of weights or a treadmill. While this may be a large purchase at the beginning, as you use it with time, it will pay itself off.
Home security systems
If you have a home security system, consider canceling it or shopping around for a cheaper provider. You can also consider alternative security measures, such as installing motion-sensor lights or using security cameras. This will vary from person to person, although looking for cheaper options for security can save you big bucks long term.
Home cleaning services
Paying for professional cleaning services is very convenient, but it obviously comes at the cost of losing a few dollars. If you’re looking to save money, consider doing the cleaning yourself or calling upon the help of your family. If you have kids, consider creating a habit of having the whole family clean the house every weekend. You can also consider how you can help your kids and family build daily cleaning habits to save yourself some time on the weekend.
Lawn care services
If you have a lawn, consider cutting your own grass or hiring a local teenager to do it for you. You can also consider xeriscaping, or landscaping with drought-resistant plants, to reduce the amount of time and money spent on lawn care. This way, you can save money and still have a beautiful front yard.
Pest control services
If you have a pest control service, consider canceling it or finding a cheaper provider. You can also take preventive measures, such as sealing up cracks and crevices and keeping food stored in airtight containers, to reduce the need for pest control services.
Credit card fees
If you have credit cards with annual fees or high-interest rates, consider switching to a card with no annual fee or a lower interest rate. Read more on Due.com about how you can avoid or reduce credit card processing fees.
Shop around for car insurance and consider switching to a provider with lower premiums. You can also raise your deductible or drop certain coverage options to save money on car insurance. If you’re a safe driver and you know you don’t need all the coverage options, you should seriously consider this option.
If you have life insurance, consider shopping around for a policy with lower premiums. You can also consider term life insurance, which is usually cheaper than whole life insurance.
If you own a home, consider appealing your property taxes if you think they are too high. You can also look into tax breaks and exemptions that may be available to you. If property taxes are getting too high, you can even consider a new state with lower property taxes or no property taxes. Many people make a plan to move to low-tax states for retirement.
Consider using energy-efficient appliances and turning off lights and electronics when they’re not in use to reduce your energy bills. You can also shop around for a cheaper energy provider or consider using renewable energy sources. Additionally, you can look to install solar panels or other clean energy sources that can reduce your energy bills.
Install low-flow showerheads and toilets and fix any leaks to reduce your water usage and lower your water bills. You can also consider collecting rainwater to use for irrigation or other household tasks. Even building small habits like turning off the water when it’s heating up can save you some long-term cash.
Heating and cooling costs
Consider sealing up drafts and adding insulation to your home to reduce heating and cooling costs. You can also invest in a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on your schedule. You can also consider bundling up more in the winter or spending more time outside of the house and at the pool over the summer to cool off.
Gas and transportation costs
Gas is getting pricey, so consider carpooling, taking public transportation, or walking or biking instead of driving to save money on gas. You can also shop around for a more fuel-efficient car or consider car sharing or using a car rental service when you need a car.
Eating out and takeout food
Preparing meals at home is usually cheaper than eating out or ordering takeout. Consider meal planning and cooking at home to save money on food expenses. Meal planning can help you save money and eat healthier, so you can hit your financial and fitness goals.
Grocery store loyalty programs
While loyalty programs can sometimes offer discounts and rewards, they can also lead to overspending. Consider whether the benefits of these programs outweigh the costs, and consider opting out if you’re not getting a good return on your investment. Take a look at how much you’re spending at the grocery store and think if you really need all that you’re buying.
Going along with grocery store programs, switching to generic or store-brand products can save you some cash as you get into this habit. Typically, these generic brands are just as good as their brand-name counterparts but at a lower price.
Consider cutting back on expensive hobbies, such as golf, skiing, or horseback riding, and finding cheaper alternatives, such as hiking, bike riding, or playing a sport.
If you have subscriptions to streaming services or other entertainment platforms that you’re not using regularly, consider canceling them or switching to a cheaper plan.
Credit card interest
If you have credit card debt, consider transferring your balance to a card with a lower interest rate or consolidating your debt into a personal loan with a lower interest rate.
Avoid using ATMs that charge fees and opt for ones that are part of your bank’s network or offer free transactions. You can also consider using a credit card or debit card for transactions instead of withdrawing cash.
Professional development courses
If you’re considering taking a professional development course, consider whether it’s worth the cost and whether you can find a cheaper alternative, such as taking a free online course or attending a local workshop.
If you’re paying for subscription boxes that you’re not using regularly, consider canceling them or finding a cheaper alternative.
Home maintenance services
If you’re paying for home maintenance services, such as cleaning gutters or changing air filters, consider doing the tasks yourself or enlisting the help of family and friends.
Personal grooming services
If you’re paying for expensive personal grooming services, such as haircuts or manicures, consider doing the tasks yourself or finding a cheaper alternative.
If you’re paying monthly fees for a checking or savings account, consider switching to a bank that offers free accounts or negotiating with your current bank to waive the fees. You can also consider using an online-only bank, which may offer lower fees and higher interest rates.
If you’re planning a vacation or trip, consider finding ways to save money on travel costs, such as flying during off-peak times, staying in a budget hotel or Airbnb, or taking a road trip instead of flying. You can also consider alternative modes of transportation, such as taking the bus or train, which may be cheaper than flying or driving.