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Frugal Finances: 5 Ways to Save Money on Home Bills

Home expenses can creep up significantly, often without your realizing it’s happening. Price increases and the growing need for everyday services can eat into your income rapidly. But you can take control of your home expenses, if you carefully review how you are spending your money now, and make a few changes to live more frugally. Here are 5 ideas that can get you started on saving money:

Pare Down Your Electric Bill

Electric bills can skyrocket, particularly during the summer months when your air-conditioning system works overtime. A programmable thermostat can be set to allow temperatures to rise during the day, when you are away at work, and lower the temperature before you arrive home at the end of the day. In winter, the system can be programmed to do the reverse. You can also gradually change all the light bulbs in your home to energy-efficient bulbs. Turn off lights in rooms when not needed.

 

Monitor Your Water Use

Water has become more of a concern as prices rise and supplies diminish. You can reduce your water consumption by doing a number of things. Install a low-flow toilet, flow-efficient shower head and turn off the water while brushing your teeth or doing other grooming tasks. Try to take shorter showers to save water. You can also reduce the amount of water you use by installing rainwater collection barrels under your downspouts and using this free water for sprinkling your lawns, gardening and other outdoor uses. Unfortunately, some states like Colorado and Utah have laws against “Rainwater Harvesting” so be sure you know your states laws.

Small leaks in your plumbing and /or drainage system may seem like a minor inconvenience. But over time they provide a damp spot that can encourage termites which can actually destroy the wood inside your walls and floors without you even knowing it. Termites tend to eat the inside of damp wood and leave a thin outside layer so often you can’t even see that they have done any damage even once they have significantly weakened the structure. Companies like Rapid Rooter Plumbing can use miniature cameras to look inside your pipes to look for obstructions (especially tree roots in drains). Be sure fix any leaks you notice, before you have to replace damaged wood as well which could end up costing much more money over time.

Trim Your Grocery Bill

Avoid purchasing processed foods, which are more expensive and are generally higher in sugar, fat and salt. If you cook from scratch, you will be able to buy foods in their cheapest and also most healthy form. Become of a member of a warehouse club so you can save money by buying in large quantities.

Comparison Shop for Cellphone Service

Make a habit of researching the periodic special deals that are available. A number of different types of plans are available, to provide additional texts or data. Some plans will even pay your early termination fee to get out of your current contract.

Review Your Transportation Needs

According to a CBS News article on average it costs Americans almost $9,000 per year to own a car. Although there are ways to reduce that cost (like keeping it longer, buying used, buying a more fuel efficient model, etc). But, you may not need that extra car if a workable bus, train or subway system will get you to work or entertainments for a better price. In addition, transportation options like Uber, Lyft or Zipcar make it easier to get to your destination without taking on the monthly expense of a car payment or vehicle insurance premium.

If you look carefully, you can find a number of areas where you can trim your household expenses, without feeling deprived or inconvenienced. These 5 areas are only the first layer of expenses that can be cut. If you review your monthly expenses carefully, you will find a number of other costs you can easily reduce.

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About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+