Tips to Reduce Expenses
Many homeowners have successfully used these strategies to cut expenses when their finances are tight. Here are some strategies that may work for you:
Get better deals on your regular bills.
When it comes to services like cable, Internet, cell phone, auto insurance, and life insurance, as one counselor puts it: “You have a right to shop around!” Call your service provider today and ask for a cheaper plan. Look into bundling services (which often come with discounts) or temporarily shut off one service until your financial situation is improved.
Categorize your current expenses into “needs” and “wants.”
Identify expenses that are “wants” or luxury items you can do without for now. Rather than buying a “want” impulsively, make a commitment to yourself to save or wait for three months before buying it. You may realize you don’t need it!
Cancel subscriptions and services that you aren’t using,
or use infrequently, such as gym memberships and online music and video services with recurring charges like Hulu or Netflix. Check your bank statements to see if there are recurring charges you have forgotten about.
Save money on groceries:
Buy in bulk.
Look for sale items.
Avoid buying things that you don’t need.
Buying bottled beverages and drinks from coffee shops can add up. Consider making your own beverages at home.
Make some changes to lower your utility bills:
Only run the dishwasher and laundry with full loads.
Check to see if you qualify for an energy assistance program. Call 211 or visit www.otda.ny.gov/programs for more information.
Set your thermostat as high in the summer and as low in the winter as is comfortable. Setting your thermostat 2 degrees warmer in the summer, for example, can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Visit the U.S. Department of Energy's website for specific tips for your home that could save you hundreds of dollars: www.energy.gov.
Finally, beware of scammers who knock on your door offering a lower electricity rate. There are Energy Supply Companies that could provide you a lower rate, but many use deceptive advertising to hide high fees.
Talk with your family or other members of your household and agree to establish new habits to reduce spending.
Review the ideas on this page, brainstorm other ways to cut expenses, and create an action plan together.
Share this list with other members of your household!
Having a family conversation can help turn ideas into reality.
Your loved ones may have other creative ideas that aren't on this list.