Quick Tips and Tricks to Household Budgeting
Save your money and stretch that income!
Perhaps you want to save money so you can be financially secure enough to purchase a home or buy property? Potential property buyers everywhere always have to consider budgeting; unfortunately, it’s a necessity in order to determine what you can and can’t afford when buying real estate.
We understand the difficulties behind budgeting for your new home, so we wanted to provide several suggestions and a few words of advice for you to consider. You want to save more, but you probably don’t want to fundamentally change your way of living. Reducing household expenses takes a bit of dedication, so be sure to have the time to sit down and plan this out if you want to see results. Below are some ideas that can help you overcome financial hurdles and achieve your monetary goals so you can make buying a home a reality:
- Home-cooked Meals
Eating out and ordering in can be easy and delicious, but in the end, it can really hurt your bank account. If you have already budgeted for groceries and dining out, consider spending more on groceries; in the end, if you cook your own meals and eat less take-out food, you will save money and eat healthier. Also, a homemade meal can cost five times less than a dine-in or take-out meal!
- Weekly Menu
Going to the store without a list can spell trouble for most people. Before you know it, you’ve put too many things in your basket that you may or may not end up eating before it goes bad. By sitting down and planning out a detailed or general menu for the week, you give yourself a better structure to follow in the grocery store. You also give yourself a general idea of how much the total will be before you get to the register to pay.
- Home-grown Food
Some fruits and vegetables are very affordable at the grocery store, but if you want to save even more money, then consider planting a garden. Most likely, if you live in central Texas, you’ve got a space to grow plants in your backyard, but it is also possible to plant an indoor garden with the help of grow lights. It doesn’t take a lot financially to start a garden, so in the end, you will be saving money and likely eating healthier too!
- Save time or save money?
We’ve got busy lives and filled schedules, so while hiring someone to take care of your lawn, do your groceries, or run your errands make sense, it can also hurt your budget. You don’t have to completely write outsourcing off, but it may be wise to save money and do more things yourself for the time being.
- DIY Gifts
Just like making your own meals, making gifts can save you money. Baking a batch of brownies or cookies instead of purchasing a gift card or an expensive item can cut costs by quite a bit. If it is made with love by you, who wouldn’t accept a homemade gift? For inspiration, check out DIY blogs or Pinterest; there are so many inexpensive ideas out there!
- Paid Plans and Memberships
Just how many things do you pay for automatically each month? It’s so easy to forget to cancel subscriptions or end memberships when you no longer need a service, so be sure to check your bank statements to see just what you’re signed up for. In the same vein, check your cable, phone, and internet plan. Sometimes you can bundle services in order to save money. If you no longer watch TV or use cable, then cut it! There is no use paying for something that you do not utilize often.
- Household Necessities
It’s very easy to lose money on a thermostat set too high or too low. In the Texas heat, it makes sense to have your AC on, but be wary of the cost that can incur because of that. Similarly, be aware of the amount of hot water (and water in general) that you and the members of your household are using. Cutting down on water waste can greatly benefit your monthly utility costs as well. Consider replacing all of your light bulbs with LED lights, as they cost a little more than a dollar per year in electricity output.
- Insurance Switch
If you have just finished setting up a new home or auto insurance policy, then you don’t need to worry about this. However, for those who have not looked at their policies in a while, it may be best to take a look at what you’re paying and if there are any better offers out there. Collect quotes and compare them; remember, if you are able to raise your deductible, your premium should go down.
- Mortgage Payments
Refinancing your mortgage may also be an option for you; depending on what you pay now and the terms you originally set, you may be able to lessen the amount that you pay per month currently. The best course of action here is to discuss the possibility with several lenders and see if they have mortgage products that would save you money, and how long it would take to recoup the cost of refinancing.
- Home Warranties
For this option, there will be a start-up cost, but it can save you money if a large repair becomes necessary. Instead of having to pay out of pocket and on-the-spot for home repair emergencies, a home warranty may take care of it for you with a relatively small trip charge (usually under $100). Be sure to discuss options with your Realtor who is familiar with these companies and knows which ones do the best job in a given area.
- Debt Downsize
If possible, it would be best for you to pay out any small or easy debts in order to reduce your monthly payments. If you are not able to do that right now, then try to see if you can get a better interest rate instead.
- Budget Plan
In the tips above, we gave you simple ways to reduce any excessive or unnecessary spending; in order to help you visualize just how much you are spending or saving, it is highly essential to have a budget laid out. Consider finding out what your current spendings and income are in these categories in order to see if you can save money for your new home:
- Home maintenance
- Eating out
- Gas/Car payments
The Team at Schultz Texas Properties would be happy to help you as you take the first steps towards purchasing your Texas home or country property. We understand what it takes to make yourself financially stable, and if you are getting ready to buy a new house, we will be happy to give you contact information for lenders in Houston, Austin, and anywhere in between who all have differing mortgage products and rates you can choose from.
Schultz Texas Properties serves Lee, Fayette, Bastrop, and all surrounding counties, so if you are looking to buy or sell a home or country property in those areas, please visit us at our Lee County office in Giddings, our Fayette County office in La Grange, or our Bastrop County office in Smithville. We look forward to working with you!