Changing Your Lifestyle to Lower Living Expenses

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Changing Your Lifestyle to Lower Living Expenses

Staff Writer · May 21, 2010

Many people live a lifestyle that is above and beyond their means. Knowing where your money is going is the first step in lowering your living expenses. If you are at the point in your life where you need to reevaluate your expenses, sit down and face the truth about where your money is going. Analyzing how much you are spending in different categories will help you decide the best way to attack lowering your living expenses. Your lifestyle will need to change to make an impact on your living expenses but it doesn’t necessarily mean drastic changes.

Start with Your Home

The cost of your mortgage or rent is usually the biggest expense in the average budget. If you have a big mortgage, consider what you can do about it. Do you really need the home you are living in now or is downsizing to something smaller an option? Refinancing a mortgage to lower payments may be an option or finding an apartment or home with lower rent.

Do Something About Those Car Payments

The second largest item in the monthly budget is usually the car payments. As with the mortgage, consider if you really need the car your are driving now or if you can possibly downgrade to something cheaper. Refinancing car payments if you can get a lower interest rate is always an option as well.

Cutting the Grocery Budget

The next highest expense in the average household budget is usually the grocery budget. This is one part of the budget that can usually be drastically reduced if you learn a few tricks to shopping. Remember not to shop when you are hungry and are likely to purchase items not needed. Instead, try to shop using a list. Shop at stores that offer double coupons and start using coupons the correct way. To use coupons correctly check the sales each week for items you normally buy and then check for coupons. Buy as many as you can of the item when it is on sale and when you have a coupon for it in order to stockpile so that you will not need to purchase that specific item again until the next time it is on sale and you have coupons for it. Shopping this way can cut your grocery budget in half and there are many resources available online that can help you check weekly sales and coupons to know what to buy.

Utilities Around the Home

Try to get everyone in the house on board and more conscience of saving energy and water. Using a thermostat that is digital and can be set for different temperatures for different times of day can help prevent using energy to heat or cool the home when no one is home. Also setting the thermostat only a few degrees different can save a lot of money each month. Remind everyone to save water by running the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full. Purchase shower heads that will reduce the amount of water used in the showers.

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