7 Household Expenses You Can (And Should) Cut

Looking to cut back on your spending, or just put more in savings? You might be leaking money without realizing it with some common household expenses.

Here are some tips from WiseBread that might be helpful if you’re looking to free up some cash.

1. Cable TV – it’s not as easy to cut the cord as it once was unless you live in a market with Aereo, since broadcasters have figured out what cord-cutters are up to and limited streaming access to their shows to cable subscribers. You can still save a substantial amount of money by ditching your cable provider.

2. Cleaning products and fancy toiletries – some things aren’t replaceable, but you can clean everything from a clogged drain to gross laundry to your hair with vinegar and/or baking soda.

3. Late fees. Automated payments can help with these…until the automated payments fail, of course. Set up calendar reminders on your phone (or on an old-fashioned paper calendar) so you avoid paying late fees on bills that you can afford to pay.

4. Landscaping services. Would you use the time you would normally spend doing yardwork doing something that earns more money than you pay someone else to mow your lawn? If not, don’t pay someone to do your yardwork unless you have physical limitations that prevent it.

5. Phone bills – It happens that the Wise Bread post that this list comes from was sponsored by Skype, but this is a good place to cut back. Don’t limit your cuts to long-distance–can you cut back on your texting plan by substituting a service like Google Voice to message people you text with frequently?

6. Subscriptions and memberships – Do you get any magazines you never read? Belong to professional organizations that aren’t helpful to you? Pay for a gym membership that you never use? Ditch them all.

7. Credit monitoring services - These don’t do much that you can’t do yourself by keeping a close eye on your credit reports yourself, and you can check each credit bureau’s report once a year.

7 Unnecessary Household Expenses You Can Cut Today [WiseBread]

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  1. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    i don’t trust automated payments after a few billing incidents, including a bellsouth autodraft from my account 16 months after i ended my service.
    the best thing i have done for myself in the last year was to not only make a folder for bookmarks of all the bills i have, but to rename the bookmark descriptions to include the usual due date.
    for example, my TWC internet bill bookmark is now name TWC D25 since their bill is always due on the 25th.

  2. MissPurdy says:

    I’ve been making my own cleaning products for a while now. There are plenty of websites that have a multitude of recipes for all kinds of cleaners & detergents. Also one of the best ways to cut down on a phone bill is to find a provider that does not make you sign a contract. I switched to Ting a couple of years ago, purchased my own phone and have a pay as you go plan. You only pay for what you use. I was able to cut my cell phone bill by about $75 a month.

  3. limbo says:

    Ah well. I was hoping to see something I could use that I wasn’t already doing.

    Oh, and be very careful with automatic payments. With some companies, if one fails (insufficient funds or whatever) then the service just stops, and you might think you’re paying your bills but you aren’t.

  4. webalias says:

    Cut back on landscaping services? I like mowing my own lawn, but landscaping involves more than cutting the grass. So I use a professional landscaping service, and anybody else who spends the money to hire one probably has a good reason. I don’t know how to design an outdoor space with the optimum mix of plants that will look good together and do well in the particular soil, lighting and weather conditions they’ll face in my yard — most people don’t, but my landscaper does. I don’t know the right time or technique for trimming shrubs and bushes so they’ll look great and won’t die. I haven’t a clue how or when to aerate my lawn. I do know that since I have hired a professional landscaping service, I’ve saved money by not having to replace plants that might otherwise have become overgrown or died. Of course one could spend the time acquiring the skills and equipment to do landscaping, or a lot of other tasks — I could also study auto mechanics in my spare time. Or I could save a few bucks by hiring a kid who lives down the street to do some of the work, even mow my lawn. But professionals carry liability insurance — if a neighborhood kid becomes seriously injured while performing services in my yard, I could be sued, and maybe lose my house. I’ll probably sell my house eventually, and when I do, the money I’ve spent on creating and maintaining an attractively landscaped yard should enable my house to sell quicker, at a higher price. (One reason I was able to buy it 12 years ago, with a lowball bid, was that it had sat on the market for nine months, in part because the yard was a neglected, overgrown mess.)

  5. evogel says:

    Would be helpful if you posted resources for each, like the vinger an backing soda, and point people to Credit Karma for free credit reports…