Not only in times of high inflation, it is important to keep a close eye on household costs so that they do not outgrow your income. Overheads typically make up around 60% of total expenditure, so this is where it is easiest to find areas where savings can be made in the long term. At the end of the article, we will also look at tips on how to manage your family entertainment or household development expenses.
What are the household costs and how to save on them?
We can traditionally divide costs by the area where we spend them, i.e. transport, education, food, etc. Or we can look at their composition according to the nature of their expenditure.
- Household overheads (ideally 60% of the total budget)
- Long-term plans and household development (20%)
- Pleasure and enjoyment (10%)
- Savings (10%)
Running costs include everything that is paid regularly and without which the household would not function, from rent, utilities, insurance and food. Long-term plans and household development include things like renovations, buying or replacing major appliances. Pleasure and enjoyment is sometimes needed for each member of the household to relax, this may include dinner at a favorite restaurant or a movie. And savings is money that is not normally touched, to be used in case of unexpected events.
How to save on overheads
As running costs make up the majority of your overall household expenses, be sure to think about the mix of costs and consider where you can save. Keeping a record of all your expenses, even for small amounts, will definitely help. Alternatively, you can use online banking for this purpose, some banks can show you the exact mix of expenses.
Energy and insurance
Most of these costs are paid automatically by direct debit or standing order, so it’s easy to forget to check them for convenience. You should follow these steps:
- Use online comparison sites to choose a supplier.
- Make a note on your phone when your contract ends and when it automatically renews.
- Six months before the automatic renewal, compare all offers again and change supplier if necessary.
Don’t stay with the same supplier just because you’ve always been with them or because you don’t know when your contract ends
Loans and mortgages are among the regular expenses that need to be factored into the family budget. And even here it’s worth thinking about paying them off to save money. Find out which loans have the highest interest rates and pay them off as a priority. If possible, look for loan consolidation options, which means you’ll only owe money to one lender and often get better terms.
Plan your family budget in such a way that you don’t fall into any more debt after you pay them all off, but can instead invest the money.
We all buy food. But many housewives have the urge to buy as many discounted items as possible without actually needing them. It can then happen that this food goes bad and adds unnecessarily to a fussy budget.
Simple advice: Most stores have catalogues with sale prices, which are usually online, and you can think about which promotion you will take advantage of at home before visiting the store. This way, you won’t be shopping unnecessarily for things that you see are on sale, but you can take advantage of all the bargains at the same time.
Make a shopping list and try to stick to it.
You don’t have to give up quality food. Just remember that instead of two slices of wheat bread at a time, you only need one slice of rye bread. This is all about nutrition and nutritional value.
💡 Tip: If, in addition to adjusting your household budget, you still want to eat healthy, check out quick healthy dinners for inspiration on meals that won’t shake your wallet but still benefit your health.
Although clothing is not usually a monthly purchase, it is an important item. One way to save money on clothes is to shop at second-hand stores. Not only can you find clothes cheaper there than in regular stores, but you’ll often find more interesting pieces. So you can keep your original style for less money. However, stick to your budget, because even here you may end up going over your original plan.
Also consider the quality of the clothes you buy. Although some pieces may be more expensive when you purchase it, this can reflect nicely on their quality. This is especially true for items like a winter jacket or coat that you buy once in a while, but it’s worth investing in quality.
If you commute to work or school, the cost of transport can take a big toll on your family budget, especially with the ever-increasing price of gas. Owning a car is expensive these days, and if you live in a city, it can be quite unnecessary. Think about taking public transportation more often or carpooling. For example, you could ride to work with a colleague.
💡 Tip: Recently, more and more people are moving away from car ownership. Read 7 reasons why it’s better to live without a car.
The sad fact is that as humans we all have weaknesses that manifest themselves in the form of Vices. And these can often take a toll on the family budget. Whether it’s smoking, drinking too much alcohol or having a sweet tooth, in neither case do you benefit your wallet or your health. It’s time to take an honest look at your life and look for ways to get rid of these vices.
Other habits can be just as harmful, although it is not immediately apparent at first glance. Do you go to bed late and then wake up tired in the morning? Then you may have much less energy all day to make the right decisions. You over-buy unhealthy things you don’t need at the grocery store, and you don’t have the energy to make better plans for the future. So think about these aspects of your life and whether they might be contributing to your situation.
💡 Tip: Falling asleep can be difficult, especially in times of distress, read here how to fall asleep under stress or how to use breathing exercises to help you sleep better.
How to save on other expenses?
Although the following expenses are not classified as overheads, i.e. expenses for the day-to-day running of the household, they need to be taken into account once in a while. These are household development costs or expenses for the enjoyment and recreation of family members.
Have you decided to buy a new household appliance or electronics? Or do you want to buy new clothes or gifts? Here are some useful tips on how to shop well and not go broke. In all cases, it’s worth looking at comparison sites. Find out where it will be the best deal for you to buy a given product. Whether it’s in a brick-and-mortar store or online.
For online sales, make sure it is a reliable and verified e-shop. Also, what price it asks for shipping. Also focus on the quality. Good quality electrical appliances and electronics tend to consume less. Thus, they can effectively reduce overheads and also last longer and won’t need to be replaced after just a few years of use.
How to enjoy your holiday for less money?
After all that thinking about how to save money, you definitely deserve to relax. For those who want to experience a bit of that adventure, how about going camping? There are plenty of campsites everywhere these days. But you’ll have to transport yourself to your destination at your own expense.
Use the internet and search for holidays on discount portals. You’ll also save money on off-peak season stays. It’s definitely worth planning your holiday in advance.
💡 Tip: Whether it’s birthday presents or Christmas presents, they can mess with the family budget. Learn to shop for them throughout the year, whenever you see something on sale that would make the other person happy. At home, you can collect Christmas gifts in one place and just wrap them when the time comes. Not only will this avoid stress, but more importantly, it will ensure a balanced household budget in December.
So, how much time and what are you willing to sacrifice to really save? After all, even saving costs something, and that is your time spent looking for the cheapest option.