The word “budget” is often a six-letter word. It seems like something we don’t want to have, but it’s actually necessary for our financial well-being.
The first step in having a successful budget is figuring out where your money goes every month.
You may find that you are spending more than you think on groceries or less than what you thought on utilities.
Once you know where and how much of your paycheck is spent each month, then it becomes easier to figure out the areas where you can cut back and save money without sacrificing too much happiness or convenience in life.
There are many ways to save money in your household, and I am here to share just 8 of them with you.
You might be surprised by how easy it can be to reduce your budget without all the sacrifices that come with it!
1. Replace all your light bulbs with LED lights for energy efficiency and lower electricity bills.
LEDs produce brighter light for less wattage.
This means that you will not only save money on electricity because they use fewer watts, but also reduce the amount of heat your home emits and have a reduced energy bill!
It is estimated that LED lights can pay for themselves within six months or so depending on how much it would cost to replace your current light bulbs.
Lighting is one of the top five household expenses so it makes sense to take advantage of what you are paying for!
– Replace all your incandescent and halogen lights with LEDs, from table lamps to ceiling fixtures.
– Check out LED bulb models like Philips or Cree that offer dimmable options. Dimmable lights are great to use when you want some mood lighting or just a little bit of light.
– Look for LEDs that have an omnidirectional beam pattern, these will give the most consistent and uniform illumination in your house without dark spots.
– LED lights last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs so there are no more frequent trips to the store for bulbs.
– LED lights in the kitchen will not only save you money on energy but they are also more effective than incandescent or halogen lighting.
Purchasing energy-efficient appliances can help you save money, but they will be pricier upfront than regular electronics, so do your research before buying them.
2. Buy in bulk when possible.
Buy toilet paper, paper towels, and other household goods in bulk so you don’t have to make as many trips to the store.
Shop at the grocery store with a list to make sure you are buying what you need and nothing more.
Look for items with a high-quality, low price point that will last. For example, quality sheets and towels made of Egyptian cotton are highly durable but still affordable.
Take advantage of the “buy one get one free” deals at your local store or other discounts like coupons to save money on your expenses.
3. Unplug electronics that are plugged into an outlet and are not being used.
Home owners can waste a lot of money by leaving their electronics plugged in when they are not being used, costing them an average of RM100 per year.
Unplug your electrical devices and television at night so you are not charged for things that you are not using.
Turn off lights when you are not using them, you can save about RM10 to RM50 per year. You will also reduce the risk of short circuits or fire.
The more you save, the less money will go to waste.
If there is any chance of a power outage in your area during a storm or other weather event then keep cash and some food on hand for emergencies.
It is always good to have a backup plan just in case something happens that leads to an unexpected expense like this one.
4. Wash your clothes with cold water instead of hot water for more savings on your electric bill.
Hot water is just for mattress sheets or blankets, not for clothes.
If you want a more thorough clean, then you’ll need to wash with hot water or use a detergent made for colder water temperatures.
Do not wash your clothes too often, like every day. Wait until your washing machine is full, then wash.
Washing clothes less frequently will save you money on your water bill.
If you need to use a dryer, then it is best that you buy one with the Energy Star label so that your appliances will be more energy-efficient and will not run up your electric bill too much.
5. Get rid of any clutter around the house, including old clothes, shoes and books.
If you have any clothes that are damaged and cannot be repaired then reuse or repurpose them instead of throwing them away.
Save your old shoes for another pair because they will still work even if they aren’t good enough to wear out in public!
If you have a lot of books, use them as decoration instead.
If you are not sure what to do with any items that are damaged or old and cannot be repaired then put them on your Carousell account for sale.
You will get more money than if you just threw the pieces away!
6. Cook at home more often - it will be cheaper than eating out all the time.
Try not to go to the restaurant when you’re hungry.
A good rule of thumb is that if you are going grocery shopping and it’s more than a week for supplies, then make yourself an awesome meal at home so that your grocery will last longer!
You could also get some ingredients from other stores or markets by walking instead of driving, which would make your grocery last even longer.
Be creative with what you have!
Bring home-cook food to work rather than eating out. Cooking at home will save you a lot of money in the long run, and will be healthier for your body as well.
Eat leftovers for lunch instead of buying fast food every day, if there is leftover food in your home that needs to be eaten then try turning them into a new dish!
Use up the products in your home before buying more. This will save you money and conserve resources as well.
For example, if there is an old can of food that’s about to expire but still edible, then make it into a meal with some other ingredients from your fridge!
There are also so many recipes online for things like soups, casseroles, and much more.
Cooking at home not only saves money but also gives you a sense of pride as an individual!
7. Buy used items.
Instead of buying new things all the time, consider buying used items.
Buying pre-loved goods are not only better for your wallet but also protects our earth and it’s cheaper with more varieties.
The quality of the product is just as good if not better than a new one.
There are many ways to find pre-loved items from the websites such as mudah.my or going out on your quest and finding your own treasure (bundle store)!
The best way to save money is by being mindful about what you’re buying and making sure it’s worth the money!
8. Buy generic brands for food items, toiletries, and other household goods
Go to the grocery store and look at what items are on sale today.
Buy those products instead of your usual shopping list, or go for cheaper alternatives from other brands.
For example: If you typically buy Dettol soap but it is not on a good discount then opt to get Antabax body wash which is more affordable!
There are many quality brands with cheaper options.
Generic brands are usually just as good but at a lower cost and sometimes even better because they do not have to spend so much money on marketing!
Some generic items that are worth looking into: toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, garbage bags.
It is important to remember when you want to buy something, it is not always best to go for the most expensive option.
With the tips and tricks listed above, you can start to learn how to save on your household expenses.
You will be able to get out of debt, have more money in your pocket–or at least feel better about yourself for not wasting so much money!
To make a budget work, it is important to know how much money you have coming in every month and where that money is going.
Once you have figured out your spending habits for the past few months (or years!), then it is time to figure out which expenses are affordable luxuries or necessities and weed those unnecessary expenditures out of your life.
You will be surprised at just how much more financially stable you can become with some simple changes!
Do any of these tips sound like something that could help manage your own monthly budget? Let me know what you think in the comments below!