*4 Ways Working Parents can Save Big on Home Bills is a guest post. If you are interested in writing for A Modern Mom’s Life, please visit my Guest Posting page.*
It’s an understatement to say that being a parent is hard – you have to juggle your career, household work, bills, and your family, all with equal time, fervor, and focus. All the while, managing your bills and saving up is not an easy feat, especially with everything else that is happening.
So, how can working parents save big on home bills without sacrificing the needs of the family? Listed below are four small (and relatively simple) tips you can follow that can have big effects in the long run.
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Mind your Shopping
No, we don’t mean leisure shopping, but rather your grocery shopping. Being mindful of grocery shopping tricks and tips can help in saving more money.
For one thing, it’s good to keep track of the sale cycle at your local grocery store and stock up on supplies when there are sales. Aside from using grocery coupons, sale discounts are beneficial in buying a second set of the product that doesn’t cost full-price.
Another thing to be mindful about when shopping is sticking to your list. Although sales are a great opportunity to get a great price, it’s pretty easy to get sidetracked and purchase products that you don’t actually need. This common challenge can actually lead to you spending more money than you saved.
Before checking out, check your cart to see if you got everything on the list. Try removing three to five products on your cart that aren’t on the list or are not that necessary or could be bought for another time. You’ll find that this will save you from impulse and unnecessary spending.
Check your Home Expenses
Memberships and Subscriptions
If you find yourself subscribed to a magazine subscription that you don’t even read or cable TV that you don’t even watch, why not disconnect them? Times are changing and virtually everything can be accessed on the internet nowadays. Instead of getting billed $110 per month on cable you don’t even use, subscribe to alternatives that are only about $10 a month.
And, while you’re at it, make use of your free time by reviewing your monthly expenses, taking note of recurring fees that show up every month. You might realize that some of your monthly income goes to an unused gym membership, a hardly-read daily newspaper, or other unused subscriptions.
Make a list of your monthly expenditures, even the smallest purchases. This can help you evaluate if the things you’re spending on are worth keeping or not. Start small in cutting back on your subscriptions until you’re comfortable cutting other expenditures out of your monthly budget.
Switch Off and Unplug
Although this practice is not new, switching off and unplugging electronics and appliances is a commonly overlooked strategy to saving money each month. Did you know that an average household spends around $2,000 per year on energy costs?
Unplugging selected appliances and electronics in your home can ease how much money you spend. According to USA Today, you can save an estimate of $100 per year on your energy bill, just through this one simple action.
Unplugging your electronics, like TV and computers, can also teach your children to be more productive and spend less time on gadgets; it’s killing two birds with one stone.
DIY Home Improvement and Maintenance
Make Cleaning a Family Thing
It’s understandable if you feel like you don’t have the time to keep the house clean while juggling the needs of your family and career. Who says you have to shoulder everything when it comes to house cleaning? Try making cleaning a family activity — create a cleaning schedule for your home, and assign chores to your children.
Chores help to give children responsibility, all the while letting them contribute to the success of the household.
Save on Home Maintenance and Improvements
When your home is in need of some minor repairs and a little TLC, there’s no need to call for a repairman or handyman, when often times you can do it on your own. Spend less of your money and more quality time with your family.
Like cleaning your home, doing minor house repairs and improvements can be made into a fun activity with your children. Home improvements not only raise the value of your home, but they make it more enjoyable to live in every day. Try making it into a family experience on the weekends that even your kids can enjoy.
There are a lot of blog sites to learn simple repair work from and Pinterest is always there to provide a plethora of woodworking ideas.
When you have a family of your own, saving up can be an overwhelming feat. However, you don’t have to step into it all at once. These four simple areas of focus are perfect steps that you can start working on today.
Allen Michael is the founder and editor of HomeViable.com, a website focused on helping others keep a clean home as efficiently as possible. Allen stumbled onto stick vacuums while trying to help his family keep their home clean with less work, and has since become an expert on saving money and time in your home.
As a family we still struggle with all of these tasks. We do try to do chores and household maintenance together as a family. It’s the best way to learn life skills, I think!
How do you cut back on you save big on home bills? I did cancel a subscription to a magazine I had 2 years of back issues to – most of them still in their wrap! I read through them all, but obviously that was something I didn’t need to be spending money on! Share your tips (or recent wins with your budget) in the comments. Maybe you’ll inspire me to try something else!