3 Ways to Save Money on Your Family’s Monthly Budget
When you’re managing your household, you know how essential it is to keep the monthly budget under control. This task seems to be more difficult every day in the post-Recession economy, with a tough job market and rising food costs. However, with a little planning and a solid financial strategy, you can make sure your family’s financial situation is as stable and comfortable as possible. Here are three ways to save money on your family’s budget.
1. Re-evaluate Your Entertainment Expenses
With all the different options available now for TV and video services, it’s worthwhile to look at all the options and decide which ones are best for your family. By carefully choosing the services that will meet your needs for the lowest cost, you can significantly cut your entertainment expenses without reducing your quality of life. There are even some companies that have formed partnerships to offer discounts on multiple services.
For example, some wireless carriers offer discounted rates with some streaming services.
Cable TV is a great place to start looking for other options. There are countless choices for streaming services that vary greatly in cost (some are even free), and by choosing the right combination it’s possible to get access to all the channels you want for a lower price than your monthly cable bill. Most people only watch a fraction of the channels that are included in cable TV service, so it often makes much more sense to find other options that let you access only the channels you want to watch.
2. Make a Realistic Meal Plan
One of the most common pieces of advice for cutting the budget is to stop buying takeout and convenience foods and cook from scratch instead. While this is good advice in many cases, there are some things that are exceptions. This is especially true for items that require specialized ingredients. Take the time to decide if the homemade version is worth the time and cost of special ingredients, or if it makes more sense for you to buy it instead.
It’s also unrealistic for most people to entirely stop eating at a restaurant or getting takeout. Making such a strict rule usually backfires. Instead, consider setting part of the budget aside for restaurants or delivery. If setting a dollar amount doesn’t work well for your family, you could also choose a specific day of the week. For example, set aside Friday night for pizza or Chinese delivery. When you schedule take out into your budget and meal planning, it’s easier to stick to a set amount.
3. Look for Local Providers
Another place to look for savings is in your monthly insurance costs. Sometimes switching to a new provider or bundling your car and homeowners insurance with the same provider can save you a significant amount every month. It’s also worth calling a local insurance agent. Working with an agent who lives in your area means better customer service, and sometimes lower rates as well. For example, when you are looking for auto insurance in Jackson, MS, try calling a local agent first for a quote. You may save some money, and you can feel good about supporting a local business.
Keeping the monthly budget under control can be a challenge. However, there are several ways to save money if you spend the time to study the options and make a plan that will work for your family’s lifestyle.