In these trying economic times, everyone is trying to figure out how to stretch their dollars further and downsize their budgets without sacrificing necessary services. Among the needed expenses of a household are utilities such as gas, electric, water, groceries, and other expenses such as cable TV and high speed internet.
So for those who are trying to reduce their household budgets – how can a household reduce the amount of money they have to spend on the necessities without sacrificing them.
One of the biggest monthly expenses for a home is the gas tank. With the average price of a gallon of gas pushing four dollars, families need to consider whether that extra trip out to the store is really affordable. Combining trips is a great way to reduce fuel costs without doing away with any of those errands that need to be done. The banking and grocery shopping can be done on the same trip, as can that stop at the post office.
Electricity is a relatively easy expense to cut back on. Are there lights being left on after you leave the house? Is it necessary to run the radio while you are taking a shower? Answers to questions like these can help you determine whether it’s possible to cut back on your energy costs.
Water is another monthly bill that can be simply reduced. Trimming those thirty minute showers to ten or fifteen can show a significant savings, as can turning off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth. Perhaps you are in the habit of running the dishwasher or washing machine half empty. Holding off until you have a full load in either appliance can help you realize greater savings.
Food and groceries are expensive. It is not uncommon for a family of four to see hundreds of dollars a week fly out the window just at the local grocery store. One way to reduce the financial impact of food expenses is to cut back on eating out. Is it really necessary to eat out three nights a week? Often meals can be prepared at home for significantly less money than they would be at McDonalds or Taco Bell. Another way to see significant savings when it comes to the family food expenses are to make the switch from major brand name foods to store brand. Might not look like much, but every penny adds up.
Gone are the days where internet access in the home was a luxury item. Given the amount of business conducted via email, online bill payments, and work communications – internet access has become a necessity. People are working from home more than ever before. To do so effectively, having access to the office network, business software, and email can make all the difference in landing that big account or staying on track for that promotion.
So if having high speed internet is so critical in an environment where you are trying to cut costs, how can you justify the expense? The answer is simple: you may need to change providers. Perhaps instead of that expensive “satellite bundle” what your household needs is simple, inexpensive, high speed internet service from a less expensive provider. Will you have as many channels? No, but it allows you to keep the necessities while lowering your costs.
In these times of cutting back household expenses, finding every dollar is important, but preserving the things your home needs is equally important. This is where a strong sense of organizational leadership can also come into play.