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In a survey of the top ten biggest expenses of the American family, it was found that housing, social security and pensions, utilities and services, food, and transportation, were the areas where most Americans are spending their money. All of these are an essential part of day to day life and therefore it is not possible to simply give them up. In fact, many people may feel that there is little that can be done to lower their expenses in these areas. However, there are a number of ways in which you can be more economically minded in order to cut down on your household finances.

Housing

A huge cost to the average American household comes from buying and selling property. It is important to remember that when you move you are not just spending money on the house itself, there are a great deal of moving costs. You will have to pay for real estate commission, legal fees, property transfer tax, and moving fees. Instead, why not consider renovating? This way all your money is being invested in your home. If you make clever decisions you will make your money back because the value of your property will rise.

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Transport

Instead of buying a brand-new car, have you ever consider purchasing a used car? This can be a great way to make the most of your money. However, just because you are saving money doesn’t mean you are compromising on the quality of your vehicle. For instance, a great example of a used car is the Toyota Corolla Quest as it is fantastic value for money. It comes with color-coded accents and power operated windows and exterior mirrors, so you get more bang for your buck.

Utilities and services

Use comparison sites for your household utilities and services. Don’t get into the habit of using the same providers, shop around! Make sure that your current providers know you are doing so, as they are likely to offer you more competitive rates if they think there is a chance of them losing your business.

Food

If you are struggling with a busy schedule, it may be tempting to shove whatever you can get your hands on into the shopping cart and rush out of the store. However, a more strategic approach can have a significant impact on your finances. Make sure that you write a clear list of your household essentials. Rather than look at your food items individually, think of them as potential meals. If an item doesn’t fit into the meals planned for that week, it does not need to be bought. You could also try buying in bulk so that you can make bigger meals and freeze the left overs.

Social security and pensions

It is vital to invest in your social security and pensions. Although there are probably many alternate areas that you could imagine spending your money on right now, it is important to consider the bigger picture. Investing now will definitely pay off further down the line. If possible, you may even want to consider continuing to work into your sixties as this will help to further raise your retirement benefits. It is also important to consider exactly when you will start claiming your pension, especially in relation to when your spouse starts claiming theirs, as this will affect the amount of money you’re entitled to.

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