Do you know how much money you spend in a year? Moreover, do you know how to cut back? Managing your money properly is often more difficult than it sounds.
Many people struggle financially at all income brackets. They often spend as much as they earn or even more in some cases. For example, if you make more money, you may live in a nicer house and have a nicer car. Because of this, your budget may be just as tight as someone who makes less money than you. Learning how to save gas and how to make other spending cuts can help you to live more comfortably. First, however, you may want to analyze your spending habits in comparison to those of other Americans.
How Much Does the Average American Family Spend?
Before you explore ways to save on the cheapest flights ever or start planning cheap holidays to save money on vacations, it is important to discover the areas that you may want to focus your savings efforts on. You can easily compare the average family’s expenses in the U.S. against your own to determine areas where you may be spending more. However, keep in mind that there will be fluctuations based on where you live, your income level and more.
The average family income in the U.S. according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics is approximate $63,000 per year. Here is what the typical family spends.
- 16 percent on housing
- 14 percent on transportation
- 12 percent on taxes
- 11 percent on utilities and household costs
- 10 percent on food
- less than 10 percent on healthcare, savings, entertainment, clothes and more.
You can easily analyze your bank account to learn more about your spending habits. You can also determine how your percentages compare to the averages. By making this effort, you can better determine which areas of your budget you want to focus your spending cuts on.
How Much Do You Spend on Gas?
Your fuel expense for your car can vary based on the type of vehicle you drive, your commute length, your driving habits, how well-maintained your car is and more. Many drivers in the U.S. spend hundreds of dollars each month on fuel. Therefore, you may want to learn how to save gas if you want to know how to cut back on spending.
Upgrading to a more fuel efficient attitude is a top option to consider. Still, this can cost money and requires significant effort. When this option is not available, consider using gas gift cards and gas credit cards to save money at the pump. You can also download an app on your phone that tells you where the lowest fuel rates are close to you. Maintaining your car through tire rotations, transmission services and more may yield better overall fuel economy as well for financial savings.
How Much Does Your Energy Cost?
The average U.S. family spends approximately 11 percent of its income on utilities. Therefore, you may be interested in learning how to save energy around the house. When you want to know how to save energy and how to cut back, you will be pleased to learn that there are several options.
Here are some examples.
- change to more energy efficient light bulbs.
- adjust your programmable thermostat settings so the HVAC turns on less frequently.
- buy energy efficient appliances.
- take advantage of natural sunlight to illuminate the home.
- turn off appliances and lights that are not actively being used and more.
By adjusting your use of energy around the house, you can save a substantial amount of money.
How Much Do You Spend on Heating and How to Cut Back
Depending on where you live, home heating costs may be a considerable expense in your budget. Some homeowners spend $500 or more per month heating their homes in the winter months. When you want to save money on home heating, do this.
- consider sealing your doors and windows each year to lock in the heat that your HVAC system produces.
- replace outdated windows with more energy efficient models.
- add more insulation to the exterior walls of the home.
- use the dryer and range during the coldest times of the day to take advantage of the heat they produce.
These are exceptional tips that can result in considerable savings. Also, there may be tax deductions available for some of these home improvements.
How Much Does Your Car Insurance Cost?
The cost of car insurance varies dramatically based on your driving history, the type of vehicle you insure, the type and amount of coverage you select, your location and more. If you want to find the best car insurance available and if you want to know how to cut back, you can shop around to find more competitive rates.
Keep in mind that the best car insurance rates are available for drivers with a great driving record. Therefore, make an effort to drive defensively and avoid speeding. Take advantage of insurance discounts for additional savings. If you plan to move, consider that insurance costs vary by zip code. Ask your insurance agent for advice regarding the best zip code to live in for financial savings before you move. If you trade in your car for a more fuel-efficient vehicle, research cars that are more affordable to insure. Now you know how to cut back!
How Much Do You Pay for Airplane Tickets?
Airfare can cost a small fortune. As such, you understandably want to find the cheapest flights ever when you are planning a trip and know how to cut back. The difference in airfare for a single trip can be a few hundred dollars or more, so it definitely can pay off to shop around.
If you travel frequently, take advantage of frequent flyer discounts and benefits for savings. Also, consider flying during non-peak days and times, such as during the early morning or late evening during the week. Don’t travel during the day, on the weekends or on Friday afternoon. It may also be worthwhile to drive to a travel hub rather than to take a commuter plane to a major hub for a connecting flight. While this takes more time, it can yield tremendous savings on your next trip.
How Much Does Your Holiday Cost?
Many people strive to take cheap holidays each year, and some even want to take multiple holidays in a year. These are times to relax, enjoy life, and make memories with friends and family, so their importance should not be diminished. However, you must strategically plan your cheap holidays to save money. Consider traveling during the off-season to save money.
Find the cheapest flights ever, or plan to drive to save even more money. Use the Internet to find the best deals on hotels or rental houses during your trip. Also, compare excursions, tours and more to save money. If you stay in lodgings with your own kitchen, make plans to prepare your own meals while traveling to save money on food. It’s easy when you know how to cut back.
While you may want to focus your attention on some of these factors because they are easier to adjust for financial savings, it is also important to review your major expenses, such as transportation and housing. If you are serious about saving money, consider downsizing your home or vehicle. These can provide substantial savings for long-term financial gain. Now that you know more about how your budget stacks up to the national averages and how you can save money in each of these ways, you can make changes to improve your budget and spending habits.
Do you have any ideas on how to cut back? Share them in the comments below!