1. Mortgage-Compare your current interest rates with your current rate. Check into refinancing if possible.
2. Utilities-Consider swapping often-used light bulbs with compact flourescents (CFLs) and switching off appliances (such as computers and TVs) when not in use. Install low-flow shower heads. Wash clothes at a lower (or cold) water temperature. Lower the temperature setting on your water heater by a few degrees. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to keep your home warmer in summer and cooler in winter when no one is home.
3. Lawn car/yard services-Stretch the time between mowing intervals to save on gasoline and/or yard-service fees. If you use a service, look for a local teen who will cut your lawn for less. Determine what other services-fertilizing, leaf raking, spring/fall cleanup, etc. you (or a local teen) can take over to lower costs.
4. Cleaning costs-If you have a house cleaning service, consider stretching the interval between visits. Ask if your babysitter or a local teen would add housekeeping tasks to their services for a fee less than you pay now. When cleaning your own home, switch from expensive, pre-formulated cleaning solutions to homemade ones using inexpensive ingredients such as baking soda, ammonia and vinegar.
5. Cable/Internet service-Discontinue unused channels, especially movies, and switch to a mail-order service for movie rentals or borrow from your local library's DVD collection. Check what speed your cable/broadband internet service provides and consider moving down one speed level to cut costs.
6. Phone service-Investigate Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service to replace traditional land-line phone service. Assess cell phone usage and consider changing to a less-expensive plan. Investigate cost-savings from package deals for Internet, TV, land-line and cell service.
These are just a few suggestions to consider to help lower/reduce our home spending in these difficult times. There are many more. Do a little research and you may find other things you can do to help reduce your spending and ease the strain/stress for now. Hope you enjoyed these suggestions. Thanks.