Finding an Extra $75 per Month
Saying that an extra $75 per month applied to your mortgage principal will do wonders is easy. For many families, though, finding that additional $75 may seem impossible. With the children needing clothes and shoes, the expense of feeding a family, and the desire for just a little entertainment, all available funds seem to be spoken for. It’s possible that your household is stretched to the limit, and there simply is no way that you can afford to add to your mortgage payment. Spend a few moments, though, with the following tips, all designed to squeeze the maximum benefit from your household budget without significantly affecting your lifestyle.
Money Saving Household Tips
|Food: Buy larger (and less expensive) quantities. This will also save you gas money by not running to the store as frequently.|
|Food: Use less “convenience” items and spend a few minutes more on preparation. It may taste better too!|
|Groceries: Consider “store” brands or generics. Check and compare the ingredients and nutritional information with the more expensive name brands–they are often nearly identical.|
|Groceries: If you really do prefer the name brands, make certain that you are clipping and using coupons. Check out CoolSavings for lots of coupons, free samples and more.|
|Auto Insurance: Don’t just automatically pay your premium…compare. You can get a free auto insurance quote from Netquote.com.|
|Homeowners Insurance: Consider increasing your deductible to save on your premium. Make certain that you have the best policy for your situation. You can get quotes from multiple agents and brokers at InsureMe.com.|
|Utilities: Check alternate long distance phone plans. Every carrier seems to have a special plan…you may be overpaying with your current one.|
|Utilities: Monitor your thermostat. Adjust it at night and while you are away from the house. You may want to consider an automatic thermostat which will do the work for you.|
|Utilities: Change your furnace filter monthly. They are inexpensive and a clean filter can mean less work for the furnace and more efficient heating and cooling.|
|Utilities: If you are subscribing to extra-cost cable television channels and not watching them frequently, cancel them and save money.|
|Purchases: Comparison shop via the newspaper or the Internet, especially on big-ticket items (appliances, computers, etc.)|
|Entertainment: If you dine out frequently, eat at home one additional night per month. (If you rarely dine out, go out and enjoy yourself!)|
|Entertainment: Rent a video for $3.00 instead of spending the $25 to $40 it costs to take a family to the movie theater.|
|Miscellaneous: If you are a smoker, quit. Not preaching, just suggesting. A pack a day equals $60 to $100 or more a month. $75 goal? Done!|
|On your own: Spend a minute thinking about your personal situation and see if there isn’t an area where you can save a few dollars.|
Hopefully this information will get your discussion started and you will be able to find that elusive $75 per month (or maybe a bit more) that will allow you to put your mortgage on the “fast track” to more equity!
For a complete discussion on finances and a budget for your family, visit the Our Family Place “parent” web site.
The Budget Kit : The Common Cents Money Management Workbook