After getting back from a vacation at Disneyworld I must tell you all that I don’t have alot of energy. It was a great family vacation, but exhausting. The tips below though, will not make you feel exhausted as you use them to try and save some money every month.
1. Cut cell phone service down to minimum. Talk to your current provider about reducing your monthly minutes, or eliminating features you just don’t use that often.
2. Consider dropping home telephone service. Just about the only people who call us these days are telemarketers. Most friends and family have cell phones and those that are “in network” can talk to us for free for an unlimited amount of time. Even if you don’t cancel your home telephone service, you can probably save some by cutting back on extras like call waiting, caller ID, etc. Since you are not using the land-line that much, you won’t miss the features.
3. Raise car insurance deductibles if emergency fund in place. If you have a solid emergency fund in place to easily cover deductibles, it might make sense to increase those deductibles on your auto insurance policy. Raising deductibles from $250 to $1,000 can save you a few hundred dollars on insurance–just be sure you can afford that $1,000 in the event something bad happens.
4. Reduce the temperature setting on your hot water heater. This one does require a little effort, especially if your water heater is in an out-of-the-way place. Set the temperature to around 120 degrees. You can count on about a 5 percent reduction on energy bills for each 10 degrees you drop the water. While you are at it, consider a thermal blanket to insulate your water heater, particularly if it is stored in an uninsulated location that gets cold in the winter (garage, utility room, etc.).
5. Monitor your water usage. A simple way to cut down on utility costs is to monitor your water usage by installing a flow meter.
6. Run your ceiling fans in the winter. I know, it sounds crazy. By changing the blade direction on your ceiling fan to create an updraft, you can help recycle heat throughout a drafty room. Most fan models have a switch on the base of the unit that allows you to change direction.
7. Use microwaves in the summer, and ovens in the winter. During the dog days of summer, cranking up an oven can put an air conditioning system into overdrive. However, in the winter the warmth of an oven can lessen the load of your heating system. Your monthly utility bill will thank you.
8. Divide credit card payments in half. If you are already paying $100 a month on your credit card, half the amount and schedule two payments with the first coming about half way through the billing cycle. Since interest is calculated using the card’s average daily balance, you’ll be reducing that balance earlier in the month by paying a little bit of the balance off, instead of waiting the full month to make a single payment.
9. Disconnect electronic devices when not in use.The easiest way to do this is to plug devices into a single power strip and then unplugging the power strip when the items are not in use. Electronic items continue to pull small amounts of power continuously even when powered down (this phenomenon is often referred to as “vampire power,” probably because it is sucking the life out of your finances!
10. Improve your car’s gas mileage by replacing the air filter. I know I said these would be effortless, but this one is so easy you can do it in less than five minutes. Stop by a parts store and ask for a new air filter. They will need to know your vehicle’s make, model, year and maybe the engine size (six-cylinder, eight-cylinder, etc.). All this information should be listed in your owner’s manual, or on the inside of your driver’s side door panel. Following the directions in your owner’s manual, which include locating the filter’s housing, removing a few screws, and swapping out filters, only take a few minutes of time.
11. Use a drying rack for heavy linens. If you aren’t up for hanging a clothesline (or your neighborhood frowns on their use), consider buying a simple drying rack to hang heavy towels and jeans over. When the clothes are nearly dry, toss them in the dryer for a couple minutes with a fabric softening pad to freshen them up a bit and remove most of the wrinkles.
Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore, and in most cases requires very little (if any) investment up front. Give a few of these ideas a try, and feel free to add a few of your own ideas in the comments below.saving money