Living paycheck to paycheck is a reality for most Americans. However, you don’t have to settle for this. The seemingly small money choices you make daily add up. Making minor cuts in certain areas will save you a good deal of money overall — we’re talking in the thousands of dollars range.
Get ahead by taking advantage of these 5 household hacks that will save you thousands of dollars over time.
1. Conserve Energy, Preserve Cash
Want to know a quick way to throw away money? Leave your lights on. According to Nationwide, U.S. families spend an average of $2,060 per year on utility bills [source]. And electricity accounts for a large portion of your utility costs, specifically lighting.
Lower your electricity bill and make a habit of turning off the lights when you leave a room. If your family members struggle with this, invest in light timers or smart light systems. In addition, install energy-efficient lightbulbs throughout your home. Because they use up to 80% less energy, this simple switch can save you thousands over time.
Take Advantage of Lower Electricity Rates
Don’t stop at switching bulbs and using timers. You may be paying more than you should simply because you’ve stuck with the same provider. You can lower your electricity bill by switching providers. ElectricityRates.com makes it easy to compare rates for energy providers in your zip code. Their customers have saved up to 35% on their energy supply rates!
2. Manage Your Maintenance Costs
Real estate experts suggest you save 1% to 4% each year for home maintenance. That means if your home costs $200,000, you should save between $2,000 and $8,000 for maintenance costs. Rather than spending thousands on home maintenance every year, consider the following tips.
- Learn to DIY. One of the best ways to save money is to learn how to repair problems yourself. Make YouTube your best friend and try to fix problems before you contact a contractor.
- Create a maintenance schedule. Instead of waiting for maintenance problems to arise, get ahead of the issues with a maintenance schedule. You will save a significant amount of money by repairing minor issues before they become major issues. For example, change filters, clear gutters, seal cracks, check appliances, etc.
- Share tools. Curb appeal is directly related to how clean your home and lawn look, but it costs money to pay for landscaping or pressure washing. Likewise, it is expensive to purchase all the tools necessary for maintaining the look of your home. Instead, look for opportunities to share tools, such as sharing a pressure washer, lawnmower, or hedge trimmer.
- Know when to pay someone else. Sometimes it saves money to spend money. For example, if you run the costs and discover it’ll cost more to DIY, hire someone else. Bonus tip: Hire teenagers looking to make some extra money for these maintenance tasks to keep costs low.
3. Evaluate Your Entertainment Expenses
Did you know that the average U.S. consumer has 12 paid media and entertainment subscriptions [source]. “Millennials had an average of 17 paid media and entertainment subscriptions each. Gen Z and Gen X also had more subscriptions than the total average.”
That’s a lot of wasted money each month for subscription entertainment services.
Not only do most Americans subscribe to different streaming platforms, but many are also overpaying their TV, internet, and cell phone service providers. What many people don’t realize is that you can negotiate your way to lower bills.
Effortlessly Lower Your Bills Using Trim
Let’s be honest. Who wants to spend hours on the phone negotiating with Comcast or Verizon? Good news! You don’t have to! Bill-lowering experts at Trim do all the negotiating for you, so you can secure lower costs on your TV, internet, cell phone, and more. Plus, they can find unused entertainment subscriptions and cancel them for you.
Here’s more good news: If Trim cannot lower your bills, you pay nothing at all. But if Trim is able to lower your bills, you keep 66% of your savings the first year, and 100% of your savings every year after that.
Please note that Trim takes their payment immediately. For example, if Trim saves you $10/month, they will request their 33% fee ($40) right away. But you keep 100% of the savings after that.
Trim users save an average of $600 in the first year. Sign up for Trim now to save money on monthly bills.
“Help me stop being poor!”
The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.
We want to help you do both.
Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt.
What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:
- Hacks to lower your monthly bills
- Hacks to spend less on debt
- Hacks to start investing
- Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)
This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.
Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.
4. Inspect Your Insurance Rates
Accidents happen, which is why it is important to have home and auto insurance. Unfortunately, protecting yourself, your home, and your vehicle isn’t cheap. Most Americans spend thousands each year on insurance.
What if I told you that you were overspending on insurance simply because you aren’t searching for lower rates? Experts agree you should shop around for home and auto insurance each year. But, most people don’t want to make those calls with insurance companies for lower rates. Calling only a few insurance companies could take hours!
Let Gabi Do the Work for You
Gabi is an insurance tool that finds you low rates on home and auto insurance. When you sign up for Gabi, you will be presented with quotes from the top insurance companies for insurance that is comparable to your current coverage. Simply choose the policy that’s best for you, and boom! You lowered your home and auto insurance bills.
What’s more? You can buy your new insurance coverage directly through Gabi. Gabi will even cancel your old policy for you.
Gabi helps customers save an average of $961 per year, and all it takes is a matter of minutes. Did I mention it’s free? Time to stop overspending on insurance!
5. Reduce Costs of Routine Household Purchases
The little things we need to make our household run add up. Toilet paper, laundry detergent, pet food, coffee, and over-the-counter medications are examples of essentials for most American households.
Because you know you are going to purchase these types of products month-in and month-out, why not look for ways to save money when you do? Sure, you can clip coupons, but it is even better if you can find a way to automate savings.
Get Items Delivered Right to Your Door and Save Money at the Same Time
An easy way to reduce costs each time you make routine household purchases is to enroll in Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program. With Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program, you sign up for regular deliveries of items you need (like toilet paper, coffee, pet food, laundry detergent, and OTC medications). When you do, you will enjoy paying less for things you buy already. If you sign up to receive 5 or more products in one auto-delivery to one address, you’ll save 15%.
Amazon’s S&S lets you choose a delivery schedule that works for you, whether it is every other week, once a month, or every three months. And, you still receive 15% off no matter how far apart you schedule your deliveries. Prime Members save even more when using S&S (20%). Not only will you reduce costs, but you’ll also never run out of the essentials you need.
When shopping on Amazon, simply look for the “Subscribe & Save” button on routine purchases. If you select this option when purchasing, you are enrolled. It’s that easy.
Save more money! Read these next…
- Dave Ramsey’s Top 9 Tips for 2021
- Here’s 42 Ways to Live on Less Money and Thrive
- Learn These 7 Habits of Women Who Always Have Money
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Michelle Salater is a freelance finance writer with a passion for personal finance education. When she’s not in front of her computer, she’s reading biographies and exploring remote areas of the world. She also freelances for Wooster Media Group LLC.