Quick ways for families to cut costs

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When the going gets tough, the tough cut costs. Here are some straightforward and easy to implement ways for families to cut costs quickly.

Starting cooking at home

Limit eating out in restaurants to special occasions and try to cook at home as much as possible. If both parents are working, this will be a difficult routine to adapt to, but start by cooking at home once a week and then slowly increase the frequency.

Cook bigger portions at a go, and you’ll have some food to take to work as well. If you’re unwilling to miss out on lunches with your favourite colleagues, just bring in packed lunches 2-3 times a week.

Pay your bills on time

It seems easy enough, but sometimes these things just slip our minds. Unfortunately, paying bills late means having to pay a late fee as well. If possible, try to automate each payment to make things easier.

Keep an organised record of what bills need to be paid a month and divide the bill payment responsibilities between your spouse and yourself so that it becomes an easier task.

Disconnect landline if possible

If all of your family members carry mobile phones, disconnecting your landline could be a viable option to cut costs. More and more families are choosing to rely on their mobile phones as their main mode of communication.

However, if you have elderly parents or a domestic helper who doesn’t own a mobile phone, it’s best to keep your landline connected in case they need to make emergency calls.

Buy second hand schoolbooks

Instead of buying brand new school books for your child every school year, suggest that your child’s school hold a second-hand book sale at the end of every year, if there isn’t one already.

Make a list before grocery shopping

Instead of just “winging it” in the supermarket, make a list of the household necessities to ensure that you don’t overspend or buy something that you already have.

Before you go shopping, look out for great deals and coupons on non-perishable items so that you can buy them in bulk and save money in the long run.

Depending on your budget and family size, you can have a limited number of “luxury items” on your list, like a bottle of wine for you and your spouse, or some sweet treats for your children.

Make sure that every family member is aware of how many “luxury items” are allowed for each shopping trip, and be firm on this number to prevent impulse buys.

Also, try to buy store brands or generic brands wherever possible, as they are often cheaper and of reasonable quality as well.

Pay off debt whenever you have extra funds

Instead of blowing off your year-end bonus on expensive Christmas gifts or a luxurious holiday, put the bulk of the money to paying off any debt. This lowers interest rates and eases the load of the next payment.

Paying interest is akin to throwing away your hard earned money, so try to pay off debts are quickly as possible.