As a stay-at-home dad, you begin noticing things that you missed when you were busy climbing the corporate ladder and making your mark in the world.
For one thing, you begin to take the idea behind the euphemism “domestic engineering” a little more seriously. You understand it on a realistic level, managing your home with the precision of an engineer. One example is seeing your finances in a new way.
Instead of merely paying the bills reflexively, you begin to pay them reflectively. In other words, you reflect on how to make bills more affordable. When you think about it, you can save on expenses like car insurance, car fuel, utilities, and grocery bills.
Let’s take a quick look at how you can pay less for the same quality of life:
1. How to Save on Car Insurance
You are most likely buying the insurance you do because you saw an advertisement. You took them at their word because it was more convenient than to do your own research.
However, you might be able to get an even better deal by shopping around.
If you plan to buy a new car, compare insurance costs on different types of vehicles before buying. And if you plan to stick with an older car, maybe it’s time to reduce coverage.
After you’ve found a better insurance provider, you can save still further by paying higher deductibles to secure lower premiums. You might also be eligible for discounts because you’ve maintained a good credit history and driving record. Since you might be traveling less, you could look into getting a low mileage discount.
2. How to Save on Fuel when Driving
While you have no control over how much you pay at the pump other than driving around to find cheaper gas stations, you do have a lot of control when it comes to your driving habits. Here’s the thing: by adopting specific driving habits you can save on how much fuel you need to use at the pump.
Here are three ways you can consume less gas when driving:
- · Slow down. If you drive at the posted driving speed, you’ll not only save on speeding tickets, but you’ll save on gas because the faster you drive, the greater the aerodynamic drag. If you drive at 62 mph rather than 75 mph your car will consume 15% less gas.
- · Prefer a more uniform speed. Drive at a steady speed, and use cruise control when traveling on long, open stretches. Constantly switching speeds consumes more gas.
- · Reduce how often you brake hard. If you’re slowing down and cruising, you have more control of your car, which means that you can anticipate the flow of traffic, accelerate slower and brake more gently. This pattern of driving might increase your fuel economy as much as 20 percent.
3. How to Save on Utilities
You may live in a state that gives consumers a choice when it comes to electricity providers. If you do, take advantage of the deregulatory scheme and shop around.
Other things you can do are change the way your house consumes energy and your own habits when it comes to energy savings. You can insulate your attic, water heater, outlets and switches. You can apply weather stripping to regulate internal temperatures. And you can install a programmable thermostat and a low-flow shower head.
In terms of habits, you can use a bowl or sink to rinse your razor when shaving instead of running faucet water, turn off the lights when you leave the room, and pack the dishwasher before running it.
4. How to Save on Grocery Bills
You’ve probably noticed that the price of groceries has been creeping up since the financial crisis in 2007. It’s not enough to make you want to picket your supermarket for more humane pricing, but you do pay more for less.
Here are some things you can do to slash your grocery bills:
- · Quit buying food whenever you run short. Instead make a plan, by preparing a weekly menu. Your kids will appreciate the predictability. This way, you will tend to run out of things at about the same time and you just need to shop once a week to replenish your fridge.
- · Cut back on things that you don’t really need to buy. We’re talking about snacks, treats, or new products that you want to try out.
- · Simplify your meal plan to three meals a day, or six small meals if you prefer. Don’t buy a surplus of food for snacking.
- · Once you’ve developed a food plan, just repeat it. Naturally, a little variation is fine, but you want to focus on identifying the best foods and sticking to those selected choices instead of trying to come up with something original each week.
- · By developing a food plan, you’ll get wise to the best places to buy, what generic products are as good as the leading brands, and what to stock up on.
Save More To Live Better
As consumers, we often equate cost with value. In many cases, this still holds true. But in others, you can get the same or even better value at a lower cost. By saving money on basic costs, you’ll have more available for living better.