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Budgeting your household expenses is a great idea to live within your financial means. However, it sometimes pays to review your budget and look for ways to trim expenses around the house. Here are a few ways you may be able to cut costs on your living expenses.
Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner
If your air conditioner is sluggish or working intermittently to cool off your home, you are probably paying more than you should for the electric it uses. Check the thermostat to see if the room temperature is being correctly assessed. If it feels like there is a discrepancy, call an residential air conditioning technician for a checkup. Even when the AC does not appear to have problems, have it checked annually for routine maintenance and to catch problems early while they are relatively small and more affordable.
Monitor Water Usage
Make sure the kids turn off the sink and tub faucets completely to avoid steady dripping that can rack up your water bill. Check laundry loads to ensure no individual items or small loads are being washed unless delicate items must be washed separately. Urge everyone to shower for five or ten minutes rather than twenty minutes. Use the economy water setting on the dishwasher. Set a timer when washing the car or watering the lawn to avoid overdoing it. Shortcuts like these can reduce your monthly water bill.
Leave Your Shoes at the Door
Removing the shoes that you wear in public when you get home can protect your floors from tracked-in mud, leaves, and other debris. Wearing house shoes or slippers will not only help to make your shoes last longer but also reduce the need for commercial carpet cleaning and floor refinishing. Taking off your shoes could also reduce the amount of bacteria or germs tracked into the house, which might protect your health and keep medical costs low.
Get Rid of Paid Subscriptions
Many people no longer pay for cable television service. They watch movies and programs on their computers, rent them for DVD use, or use a monthly streaming service like Hulu. Cancel magazine subscriptions and read your favorites through the library loan program. Entertainment options that you subscribe to for a monthly fee might be cheaper or free from other sources.
Look over your monthly budget to find ways of trimming expenses. You will be pleasantly surprised to notice ways that you can shave off a fair amount from your budget to put into savings or spend in other ways.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.
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