Are these expenses costing you a fortune?
- The average American spends thousands of dollars a month on household essentials.
- Sometimes it is possible to reduce these costs through careful planning.
Every budget is a little different, but we all spend a lot of money on common household expenses like housing and utilities. These things can eat up a large portion of our monthly income, leaving us unable to save much or spend on things we enjoy.
It’s not always possible to lower your household bills, but there are a few things you can try that might help. Below we look at some of the biggest regular household bills according to doxo and the steps you can take to save a little money.
1. Mortgage Payments
The average American homeowner with a mortgage spends about $1,368 a month just to have a roof over their heads. And there are homeowners who spend significantly more.
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If you haven’t bought a home yet, you can control costs somewhat by looking for homes that fit comfortably within your budget. You can also compare interest rates from multiple mortgage lenders to see which one is willing to offer you the best rate.
If you already have a mortgage, consider refinancing when interest rates are low. This could lower your monthly payments, although it’s possible you’ll be paying more interest overall. You will also have to pay the closing costs again. However, if lowering your monthly bills is your main goal, this might help.
2. Rent Payments
Rent payments lag behind mortgage payments, averaging $1,129 per month. Here, too, the actual costs vary considerably depending on the size of the house or apartment, its location and equipment.
Renters don’t have as many options to lower their payments other than to look for cheaper places to live once their lease expires. If you have space, you might also consider finding a roommate to share the cost with. But not everyone wants to share their living space.
3. Auto Loans
According to doxo, the average auto insurance payment in the US is $433 per month. But not all households have a car loan. Those who hold on to their older vehicles and those who live in walkable cities or cities with good public transportation can do without a car loan.
Again, when looking for a car loan, it’s important to shop around to find a good interest rate. Anything drivers can do to boost their credit score can help as well, as many lenders offer better interest rates to borrowers with good credit.
If you’re able to keep your car in good condition over time, consider keeping it rather than trading it in every few years. Once you’ve paid off your current car loan, you can set aside the money you save each month to help you buy a new car right away when you need one.
Utilities vary by location and usage, but the average American household pays $328 per month. This includes things like electricity, natural gas, and water usage.
You can reduce this cost simply by using less when you are able. Consider lowering the temperature of your thermostat a few degrees in the winter and raising it a few degrees in the summer. You should also make an effort to turn off lights and televisions when not in the room, and even unplug appliances when not in use.
Additionally, you could try setting up a payment plan with your utility so you pay the same amount every month instead of having sky-high bills in the winter.
5. Auto Insurance
Auto insurance premiums cost the average American household about $196 a month. However, fares vary significantly depending on the driver’s history, location, vehicle make and model, and what discounts they qualify for.
Compare offers from multiple suppliers to find a good price. Drivers should also contact their current insurance provider to inquire about discounts if they think they qualify for some. For example, most people see their rates drop by age 25 and when they get married, so it’s wise to look for new insurance when those milestones are reached.
Drivers might also consider enrolling in a usage-based auto insurance program. This monitors driving habits and bases driver ratings on how safe they are. Many companies that offer these programs also give participants an upfront discount just to try them out.
If there are any suggestions above that you haven’t considered, now might be a good time to try them. Even if you save just a few bucks each month, it will add up over time.
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