The year 2009 witnessed one of the worst financial plunges in the history of the United States. With the collapse of the big Wall Street players and massive layoffs to staggering oil prices and rising costs of food items, it has been a rough ride. An average American has been having a tough time making both ends meet. This experience has made us wiser to the unpredictability of the economy and the importance of saving.
The two major areas of monthly expenditure for most households are cars and groceries, and controlling spending on these can significantly improve the household financial situation.
Saving on car expenses
Most of us can’t do without our cars – it is an integral part of our daily lives. With oil prices peaking again, it isn’t surprising that many people have traded their big cars and SUVs for smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles.
There are some easy ways to save money on car expenses. You can start with the fundamental rule of not changing your car frequently. New car prices have been increasing and the cars’ residual values diminish fast. So, if you change your car often, you will end up wasting money unnecessarily. I would suggest that you keep your car for at least five to seven years. If you are looking in the market for a new car, then keep an eye out for car loans that have the shortest possible term. Do some home homework on car insurance and buy the one with the lower premium rates. Also consider smaller, fuel efficient cars so that your running costs are substantially reduced.
To save on car expenses, maintain your car well. Change the oil and air filter at regular intervals. Check the fluid levels as well as the tire pressure. Pay special attention to things that can increase your car’s fuel efficiency.
Saving on groceries
An average American is an impulsive buyer and grocery bills often inflate because of this reason. So, the next time you decide to go to your local store, ensure that you have planned your grocery budget and stick to it.
Try to buy items in bulk whenever there are discounts. Collect coupons, as they are great ways of saving on your grocery bills. Visit different stores in your area and see which one gives you better deals and discounts. Don’t take your kids along when you go grocery shopping; they will invariably add items to your bill. These small thoughtful things can go a long way in regulating your grocery spending.