If you’re looking for some easy ways to cut back on your monthly household expenses —whether you want to save more money, start an emergency fund, or use the savings to pay off outstanding credit card debt —we’ve got some super simple ideas for you.
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1. Refinance Your Mortgage
Interest rates are still really low, so this option could potentially help you save quite a bit of money — if you refinance your mortgage correctly, that is.
2. Consider Cutting the Cord
High prices are one reason cable TV, along with others in the pay TV industry, are starting to see a small but steady stream of defectors — people are opting to stream their TV shows over the Internet rather than pay a monthly fee to a cable or satellite provider. You’d have to research plans in your area and crunch the numbers to see if you would come out ahead, but streaming your viewing options is something to consider as you look to save on that average $99-per-month cable bill.
Does someone mow your lawn for you? Clean your home? Deliver your groceries? These are all things you can opt to do yourself and pocket the savings. Another area where you can save by doing it yourself is using free credit monitoring tools instead of paying to do so. Credit.com has a handy guide on how to use free credit monitoring tools.
4. Wash Laundry in Cold Water
A recent estimate from Consumer Reports suggests that using a cold-water detergent and washing on the cold setting can save at least $60 annually in utilities.
5. Pay Your Bills On Time
Late payment fees can really add up over time, and some late payments can impact your credit scores (payment history makes up roughly 35% of your total credit score), which can end up costing you more in interest rates on everything from credit cards to mortgage loans. It’s a good idea to set up automatic payments on monthly bills, especially if you’re forgetful. You can also use calendar reminders if you don’t have the cashflow to comfortably automate your payments.
You can see how your payment history is affecting your credit by viewing two of your free credit scores, updated monthly, on Credit.com.
To see more about how to slash common household bills, head over to Credit.com.
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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.
Constance is an editor and writer at Credit.com. Prior to joining us, she worked as an editor for MSN.com, senior digital producer for CNBC, and digital producer for NBC Nightly News. She also is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York, has worked for chefs such as April Bloomfield and Jean Georges Vongerichten, and is the founder of Crave Personal Chef Services in Austin, Texas. More by Constance Brinkley-Badgett