Most Americans know household expenses quickly add up, and they seek out ways to cut excessive expenses from their budget.
This can be hard to do sometimes, especially if you find yourself already cutting costs and feel fatigued at the thought of giving up the few purchases that bring you joy.
The good news is there are certain household expenses you can cut now that can save you a significant amount of money and largely go unnoticed from your daily radar. Cutting out these seven household expenses will save you $5,466 per year.
Savings Per Year: $600
From groceries to health and wellness items, brand-name products carry a lot of heft in households. Tanya Peterson, consumer finance expert and vice president at Achieve, recommends reconsidering purchasing brand-name products. Swap out generic names instead or inexpensive in-house brands.
“Store-brand groceries can cost at least 10% less than brand names,” Peterson said. “This means a family who spends $500 a month on brand-name groceries could save $50 every month.”
Savings Per Year: $600+
If you have a gym membership and don’t use it regularly, you can cancel it for extra savings each year.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic,” Peterson said, “many people found they like exercising outside — particularly as nicer weather is upon us — or at home with their own equipment and/or use of DVDs or online exercise programs.”
Unlimited Smartphone Data
Savings Per Year: $540
Your unlimited data plan may be costing you more money than you realize each month.
Money-saving expert Andrea Woroch recommends looking at your actual usage. Households could switch to lower-tiered plans for big savings. Or, they might move to an online-only carrier, like Mint Mobile, which charges $15 a month for talk, text and data if you buy 12 months of service in bulk. Households that make this change have the ability to save around $540 each year.
Video Streaming Services
Savings Per Year: $114
According to Woroch, the average household dishes out $114 on video streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and more) each month.
Cutting back on video streaming bills doesn’t mean you need to do without entertainment. Woroch said you might get free streaming service through your wireless provider (like Sprint or T-Mobile) or you can access free video through your local library’s digital platform.
Savings Per Year: $192+
While this is not necessarily a household expense, some banks charge a monthly fee if you don’t maintain a certain minimum balance.
Woroch recommends shopping around to see whether there are other banks with no minimum requirements at all.
“Open an account with an online bank which offers free checking accounts with no minimum balance necessary,” Woroch said.
Savings Per Year: $420
Want to reduce heating costs in your home? Peterson recommends hiring a reputable insulation company to spray appropriate insulation. You will need to pay for the insulation spray, but Peterson said the $420 represents potential annual savings if you insulate a 1,000-square-foot attic that was not previously insulated.
Savings Per Year: $3,000
Arguably one of the biggest household expenses, whether you have a family or are single, is takeout food. You can save big by not ordering in and cooking for yourself instead.
“It’s not hard for a family to spend $60 a week on takeout,” Peterson said. “Save that and you’ll save more than $3,000 in one year. Avoid spending just $20 a week amounts to more than $1,000 in just a year.”
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