Times are tough, and it’s easy to look at your monthly spending with disdain. Where did all your money go? Anything that you can’t physically see can feel like a waste, like insurance, even if it isn’t. That’s hard to understand when you can’t afford the things you need.
If you are having trouble making ends meet, there are a few things you can do to lower the spending on your monthly bills. Read on for all the details.
1. Save Energy
The climate crisis isn’t just about saving Mother Earth, although that is a big priority, but the win-win situation is that if we all lower our energy usage, we will also lower our monthly utility bills.
There are all the usual tips to consider here around the home: turn off all your switches and unplug your appliances, turn off lights when you leave a room, etc.
However, there are a lot of smart tech gadgets hitting the market that are designed to keep your utility bills down – and they aren’t as expensive as you’d expect. A lot of homes already have a few smart tech gadgets, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Ring doorbells, so it’s not so much something you’d only expect to see on a Real Housewives episode. In fact, there is now such a thing as smart apartments, which are already fitted and wired with these gadgets and ready for the public to move in.
For example, these apartments are fitted with motion detection lighting, which will turn off after a few moments of inactivity. Boilers are now coming equipped with smart thermometers, which are around 30% more efficient and will keep your temperature steady. If you don’t feel like replacing your boiler, which can be pricy, you can buy a thermostat alone. And if you can’t be bothered going around turning off plugs, you can get smart plugs that will turn off automatically at certain times. However, if you’re looking for a new boiler that will help you save energy, you can read more on what combi boiler is best, as they are affordable and energy-efficient.
All of these can be controlled via your phone, which is the main selling point of smart tech, meaning that you can turn everything on and off remotely. So, if you don’t want to go home to a cold house you can turn on the heating during your commute or turn off the light you left on in the bathroom.
2. Pay More Debt
As counterproductive as that sounds, it will pay off. Your debt will be hanging over your head, blocking you from big money spends, eating up your monthly income. Wouldn’t it be better if it was just gone?
If you, for whatever reason, have a decent chunk of money hidden away via assets, investments, profits, etc. it would be in your best interest to pay off your debt. Wiping it completely will remove a lot of obstacles to things like buying a house or getting approved for a loan, and of course, will make monthly repayments vastly easier.
If you can’t wipe it out completely, try to pay more than the minimum payments required. The faster you get it cleared, the better, as the interest won’t have time to build. To help with the payments, you can take out a balance transfer card or refinance an auto loan.
3. Boost Your Mortgage
Granted, this needs to be read before you take out a mortgage, but if you are thinking about giving up on the renting life, you might want to take a look at our tips. With these strategies you can ask for more money from your lender, gaining you a bigger loan for a more valuable house, or saving you money on your monthly repayments.
As we have already pointed out, clearing your debt is in your best interest, not only to keep it from hanging over your head, draining your monthly income but also to assure your lender that you can afford your mortgage. The first thing they are going to look at is your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which is the minimum amount you are putting aside to handle your debt every month. Some lenders are willing to go higher than 36% but that is rare. If you have more than that you will have trouble getting approved.
To keep the monthly repayments lower, pay as much as you can upfront. Aim for more than 20% on your down payment. You will be offered Private Mortgage Insurance when you apply and it is mandatory if you pay less than 20% on your down payment. PMI is designed to cover your bank if you stop paying your mortgage and will be absorbed into your monthly bill, but if you pay more than 20% you can forgo the insurance, lowering your monthly payments. Plus, the more you pay now, the less you will pay down the line, and the faster you will pay off your mortgage, avoiding more interest.