With 2016 in the rearview, it’s a good time to sit down and determine your financial goals for the new year. Whether you want to save for a large purchase, invest more aggressively in your retirement portfolio or just want to have a bigger safety net, you’ll need to cut costs to pave the way. Here are a few ways you can start budgeting and cut spending on everyday items around your home.
Buy in Bulk
While you don’t have to go out and purchase a wholesale club membership, buying certain items in bulk is certainly worth the initial investment. Online retailers like Jet.com, Boxed and Amazon allow you to buy at wholesale prices without a hefty subscription fee and some allow your prices to drop further the more you buy.
Just don’t go overboard. Stick to non-perishable items that you use every day like laundry detergent, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc.
Cancel Unused Subscriptions
Is a delivered daily newspaper or monthly magazine worth the cost if you end up scrolling through headlines on your phone most of the time anyway?
Negotiate Your Cable Bill
Just like many things, cable gets more expensive by the year even if you originally signed on with a low price contract. If nixing cable altogether is out of the question, call your cable company for ways to reach a lower price. If you’re receiving enticing start-up offers that include similar programming from your cable provider's competitors, they may be willing to match that price to keep you.
This option has a two-way benefit: chemical-free cleaning and savings. With baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide and more you can create a clean and green home with pennies on the dollar of store-bought products. See POPSUGAR’s list of DIY natural cleaners.
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Start a Garden
It’s no secret that fresh produce racks up quickly on your weekly grocery bill. If you have even the tiniest bit of a green thumb and a little time on your hands, consider starting your own garden this spring. Click here for some of the easiest vegetables to grow in your home garden.
Not on board with an entire garden to tend to? An indoor herb garden requires little maintenance and little space in your home.
Shop Around for Insurance
You shop around for the best deals on groceries, clothing and household necessities, why wouldn’t you do the same for something you’re required to have? Whether it’s auto insurance or homeowners insurance, insurers are competitive and you may be surprised how vastly quotes vary.
Whether it’s a home cleaning service, lawn care company or snow removal, it’s important to determine what is important and/or necessary to you versus the cost. If you cancel or cut back and insource, you could save hundreds of dollars a month.
Turn Down the Water Heater
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lowering the temperature of your water heater can save you 4-22% in energy annually. They suggest setting your water heater at 120 degrees for optimal efficiency and energy savings.
Shrink Your Mortgage Payment
According to the White House, the average homeowner could save $3,000 annually by refinancing their mortgage. Although mortgage rates have risen in the last few months from historical lows, if you’re still holding on to a high mortgage rate, there is no time like the present to consult with your mortgage banker on your options with your home financing.
To learn more about what it takes to refinance your mortgage, download our free Refinance Guide.