If you’re finding it tough to make ends meet these days, you’re not alone. Inflation is sky-high and even the most financially stable Americans are struggling. In an ideal world, it would be easy to find extra sources of income, but with a recession possibly looming, making more money might not be a viable option.
As such, you may want to try finding money in your monthly budget that can be saved. Here are 6 home budgeting tips to get through these financially-tight times.
1. Find cheaper insurance
Homeowners have a number of fixed payments that cannot be compromised. Homeowners insurance is one of them. But if you are overpaying for your insurance, getting a more affordable home insurance quote can save you some money.
It’s not just homeowners insurance you need to consider. If you own a car, you may be eligible for discounts. This is especially true if you are not driving most days. You may also be able to get benefits for good driving from your insurer.
2. Transfer high-interest credit to a new credit card
Many Americans have a lot of credit card debt. That debt can eat into your monthly budget, as credit cards generally come with high interest rates. Paying the balance would be ideal, but you wouldn’t need to save money if you had the funds to do so. The alternative is to get a balance transfer credit card.
These are credit cards which come with an opening offer of a year free of interest if you transfer your credit balance to them. After that time, you will start paying interest again as usual, but by then you may have paid some of your credit back and be in a better position to make monthly payments.
3. Shop at cheaper stores
We all have grocery stores which we love and know to provide the best quality. We also know that these stores are more expensive than others. But most people do not do the math to find out just how much more expensive they are.
If you are shopping at an expensive grocery store, you can save a significant amount of money simply by switching to a cheaper option. There’s no need to pretend that their goods are the same quality – you’re probably getting the best fruit and veg from your favorite store. But this does not have to be a permanent switch.
That said, you might find that some products are actually the same everywhere.
Buying cheap also sometimes means going with sustainable options. By replacing your light bulbs with energy saving bulbs, for example, you more than make up for your outlay.
4. Use a budgeting app
Budgeting can save you money, but it is tough to keep track every month of exactly where your money went. You could go through your bank statements and type numbers into a spreadsheet, or you could simply use a budgeting app.
The best budgeting apps connect to your accounts and use AI to group different transactions. They create categories for monthly payments, groceries, entertainment, and more. If they put an item in the wrong category, you can easily switch it to a new category and the app will learn. You can also create categories yourself.
5. Learn to cook five easy meals
One of the big categories many people spend their money on is going to restaurants or getting takeout. This is because it is difficult to cook after a long day at work, especially if you don’t have much experience. To remedy this, take a weekend to learn to cook five very simple meals. These won’t take you much time and you won’t have to stress about figuring out what to make.
6. Buy groceries when you need them
This depends on your proximity to a store. If you have to drive a few miles to get groceries, the price of gas makes it better to do the minimum amount of trips. However, if you’re close by, consider only buying groceries when you need them. I don’t think anyone in the world buys the right amount of veg for their fridge. Decide what you’re eating and get those things on the day instead.
These tips can help you create some good long-term habits. Some of them, however, are temporary measures to get through these tough months.