If you have a typical American family, like me, then there are some bad habits you may not even be aware of that are costing you serious money.
Here are 5 bad habits that you should break to recoup some of your household budget…
1. Returning library books late.
Library book fees can add up quickly, especially if you go on vacation or have a busy week and didn’t make a point to return your library books beforehand. Or, maybe you tend to forget about the books that you’ve checked out at the library (or even lose track of the library books altogether).
To stop this bad habit, you have to become very organized with your library books. Try keeping them in a basket on a shelf in a visible place.
Your other options are to either stop taking books from the library and reading them there instead, or start using a website that allows you to trade books like Book Mooch, Paperback Swap, Bookins, and Title Trader.
2. Leaving lights on.
Americans are notorious for leaving lights on when no one is in the room. This can burn a great deal of electricity.
To save money on your power bills, you can pay your smallest child a small fee and make it their chore to turn off lights when no one is in the room.
You can also install motion sensors on your light switches.
3. Forgetting to unload the washing machine.
Don’t you hate it when you put a load of clothes in the machine, and then forget about it for a whole day?
Re-washing loads to avoid mildew smells not only costs you about 50 cents every time for water and electricity, not including the fact that it also wastes water — which is in short supply in many areas.
4. Leaving electronics on overnight.
Do you run your computer, television, and printer overnight?
If you turn off all three of these items every night you can save about $12.00 a month!
5. Bad grocery shopping habits.
If you shop too often (for example, stopping to pick up dinner, milk, or bread every evening), then you are also tempted by many impulse items, which means you will be wasting money.
On the other hand, not shopping often enough is equally dangerous, as it means you will be tempted by restaurants and fast food when you get hungry and there is not enough food in the house.
The secret to starting good grocery shopping habits is twofold:
a) Buy in bulk; and
b) Change your grocery shopping habits so you will always have enough items on hand to get you through until the next time you stock up.
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.