15 ways to cut your home budget during a downturn

Why not have some fun while you’re at it.

1. Home Mortgage: Negotiate with your mortgage lender, they will definitely be more willing to listen now if you have been paying on time. The key is to prepare in advance. Go to BankRate and look up the best possible rates for your size of loan now. Renegotiate your loan with no points, no closing costs and nothing added to your new loan.

2. Home Insurance. Talk to your broker. Since the value of your home has fallen about 30-40% (most likely), you can shop around for a lower rate.

3. Food: Reconsider your coffee in the morning at Starbucks and look at new ways to spice up your home made coffee.

4. Food: Brown bag your lunch and setup a meeting every day with another coworker and eat out in the sun.

5. Reduce watering your lawn (both # of days and amount of time) to save on your water bill.

6. Cut your cable bill: With YouTube offering full length CBS, Hulu doing the same for NBC and the Daily Show already online, you can effectively eliminate your Cable or Digital cable.

7. Carpool or take the muni – no brainer. If you must drive, use the cheapest gasoline – its not that much different, regadless of what the Oil and car companies tell you.

8. Cut your cell phone plan to the minimum and make most calls with friends on Skype.

9. Eliminate your land line phone and along with it, voice mail or other services that your phone company has been charging for but you never use.

10. Shop around for lowest plan on Internet. Its 14.99 at Sunnyvale for the cheapest plan. If you have a broadband connection that offers metered access, check your usage and tier down to the lowest plan.

11. Consider home-made gifts for toddlers and kids if you have to attend a lot of parties for other kids.

12. Go Bald – its less expensive on shampoo, uses less water during bathing and you save time.

13. Replace your old car with a new scooter or trade in your SUV for a bike.

14. Try vacationing at your backyard.

15. Drain your swimming pool of the water, and use it as a basketball or tennis court.