/ Finance 101

Easy ways to curb your household spending

Cutting your household budget may sound stressful, but there’s no reason why it has to be. In fact, a few easy steps could save you a lot of money every month.

Budgeting. Cutting your spending. Neither of these terms make you feel warm and fuzzy. They may even make you feel a sense of dread or panic.

But curbing your household spending doesn’t have to be a painful process. It can actually be a great way to set your priorities and help you achieve your financial goals.

Here are some easy ways to curb your household spending.

Re-think your cable

No, you don’t have to completely eliminate cable from your life, but perhaps you don’t need every single sports channel, all of the movie networks and Netflix. It also never hurts to call your cable provider and see if they’re having any promotions that you could take advantage of, to help reduce your monthly bill.

Cut coupons

Well, maybe not literally. But there are a wide variety of apps (Flipp, Reebee) that can help you to find the best deals on items like clothes, groceries or even larger purchases. A lot of apps will also allow you to make a shopping list, and then cross-reference flyers to help you find the best deals for the items you need and save yourself money.

Be conscious of peak hours

For many utilities you could be charged as much as two times more money if you use them during peak hours. While some things may be unavoidable (you need to turn lights on in the evening), others can wait. Try running your dishwasher overnight for example, or running the air conditioning in the evening instead of during the day, particularly if no one is home.

Cook at home

Eating out can be very pricey, especially when you’re feeding a whole family. Instead of eating out, cook at home more often. This will save you money, and can often help you and your family to eat a healthier diet. You can find more tips for family meal planning here.

Create a budget (and actually follow it)

A lot of people hate creating a budget because they see it as too restrictive. But creating a budget doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you love. Instead, think of a budget as a way to prioritize your expenses. If something really matters to you, find a way to make it happen within your budget, even if it might mean giving up smaller expenses that aren’t as important. For example, you could start bringing a coffee from home every day instead of buying it. That extra few dollars will build up over time, and then can go toward the new phone you want.

Don’t know where to start? There are a wide variety of apps  that can help you create and maintain a budget.

Buy secondhand

While there are some items you’ll want to buy new, there are a lot of things you can find secondhand in good (or even excellent) condition. Items like kid’s clothes that are likely to be grown out of quickly are a great secondhand purchase - you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck. Look into local Facebook marketplace groups in your area, shop garage sales or even try Kijiji to find secondhand options near you.

Whether it’s for a short period of time while you get back on your feet, or a more permanent long-term change, curbing your household spending doesn’t have to be something you dread. As these tips show, with some smart maneuvering and prioritizing there’s no reason why you can’t curb your household spending and still enjoy the things you love.