How much cash do you have in the bank?
Could you and your spouse survive a financial crisis?
Many couples recognize the importance of building a savings account but can’t put money aside because of their financial obligations.
There is no escaping personal obligations, as bills are a part of life. However, there are ways to lower how much you pay in household bills.
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If you can reduce your expenses by as little as 10% a month, this frees up cash for increasing your nest egg.
Here are five ways to stop spending so much and increase your savings.
Re-Evaluate Your Housing
What percentage of your income do you currently spend on housing? Thirty-percent? Fifty-percent?
Housing is a big expense, however financial experts recommend keeping house payments at 30 percent of your income or less. Calculate your housing ratio by dividing your monthly house payment by your gross monthly income.
For example, if you gross $4,000 a month and you pay $1,200 in mortgage or rent, your monthly housing ratio is 30%.
How Much Do You Pay for T.V. Services?
Ordering the best cable package increases your T.V. and movie options, but it doesn’t benefit your pocket.
Lower your cable package – or get rid of the service altogether – and you can put money in savings each month. Not only will you save money, but you’ll waste less time.
This is perfect for spending quality time with your family or discovering a hobby.
Reduce Energy Use
Maybe your electricity bill is your next biggest expense. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce energy consumption and lower your monthly bills.
Getting cheaper rates on utilities from Direct Energy can save you money each month. Additionally, working with your family to use less electricity helps. For example, teach kids to turn off lights and electronics when they leave a room.
You might use LED lighting, or choose energy-efficient appliances for your home. These efforts combined with other energy savings techniques can noticeably decrease your bills.
Ask for a Lower Interest Rate
If you have a balance on your credit cards, and you’re paying more than 11% or 12% in interest, get on the phone and ask your credit card companies to lower your rate. This approach only works if you maintain a good payment history and credit history. Creditors aren’t obligated to lower your rate.
But if you can get your rates reduce, your creditors will charge less interest, thus making it possible for you to pay down balances faster.
Be Smart with Groceries
Reduce your grocery bill by half and put the extra cash in your savings account. Plan meals that require the same ingredients, thus reducing how much you have to purchase.
Secondly, clip coupons and shop on double coupon days to maximize your savings.
Maybe you haven’t had much success with saving in the past – but this can change. Modify your spending, look for ways to cut back, and you can build the cushion necessary to weather financial storms.