Budgeting Finance Home Money last year Share Tweet Are you running out of money before you run out of month? Running a household can be expensive. With so many different expenses, it’s easy for the costs to get out of control unless you’re careful. You can certainly find more exciting ways to spend your money than paying too much to your car insurance company! You can even add to your savings account each month. Avoid spending more than necessary on your household expenses: Medication. Always ask if a generic version is available for your prescriptions. Generic medicines can cost as much as 85% less. There are also online services that will inform you of the best prices for your medications. Getprice.com.au is a well-known example. Entertainment. Find ways to spend less money entertaining your family. Matinee movies are typically half the price of later showings. The park is free. During much of the year, the weekends offer various festivals and fairs that can be both fun and inexpensive. Cable TV. How many of your 172 stations do you actually watch on Foxtel? With much less expensive options like Netflix, Stan, Brit Box and YouTube, you might find a satisfactory streaming service for less money. Mobile Phone Plan. One of the reasons most monthly mobile phone plans are so expensive is that the cost of the phone is included. You didn’t really think that fancy phone was free, did you? After your 2-year contract is up, you can continue using your phone and switch to a month-to-month plan that only costs about half as much. If you can do without a smart phone, there are options for as little as $15/month for basic phone and text message service. Food. Food is a significant and ongoing expense for all families. Eating out is especially expensive. Whether it’s morning coffee every morning on the way to work, going out for lunch every day, or taking the family out for dinner. The grocery store can also be an expensive place if you fail to keep the cost in mind. An average household of four can easily spend $800 a month on food. Food expense is an excellent category to minimise your expenses. Plant a garden. Not only can you grow a lot of your own food for practically free, but also there always seems to be more than you can eat. Take the excess to a local farmers’ market and make a profit. Put that income towards the food purchases your garden can’t satisfy. Refinance your home or car. Compare the interest rate of your loans to the current interest rate. You might be able to cut your monthly payment considerably. Be sure to factor in the cost of refinancing. Shop around for new life insurance quotes. When insurance renewal comes in it’s a good idea to check your insurance rates each year. Do some research and ensure that you’re paying the lowest rate for the coverage you require. Ask for a reduction on your monthly mortgage payment or credit card interest rate. Many banks and credit card companies will lower your interest rate if you just ask. This can be a huge saving. Banks and financial institutions would rather receive less interest than risk having you transfer your balance and cancel your current credit card or mortgage account. Buy second-hand clothing. It’s easy to find perfectly good, brand-name clothing for as little as $2 per item. Consider how many pieces of clothing you own that you barely wear. There’s a lot of used clothing out there that’s practically brand new. Check out our post How to save money on new clothing. It’s easy to believe that you’re already spending as little as possible on your household monthly expense. However, there are many ways to trim your expenses and get spending under control without dramatically altering your lifestyle. Spend your extra money on something more enjoyable or grow your savings for the future to achieve your financial goal.