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10 Easy But Effective Ways To Save Water

10 Easy But Effective Ways To Save Water

The recent popularity of the ice bucket challenge has spurned a lot of people to be more aware of water. Water from the challenges will evaporate back up in the atmosphere and be returned to the water table in the form of rain eventually and water we use at home is recycled eventually. However, it still costs us a lot of money. Here are some effective ways to save water.

1. Turn off your water when brushing your teeth

People don’t often associate wasting water with brushing your teeth but truthfully you can waste quite a bit of water this way. If you want to know how much, simply put a pot in the sink while you brush your teeth and see how much gets filled. Then multiply that by however many times a day you brush your teeth (usually two to three times). Then add in everyone else in your household. When it’s all added up you realize that you’re wasting a lot of water and that water costs you money. By turning off the faucet when you brush, you can save quite a bit.

2. Take a shower instead of a bath if you’re keeping it short

save water

    A bath typically uses around 40 to 50 gallons of water while a 10 minute shower usually breaks about 25. To get those kind of water savings, you’ll need a low flow shower head and to shorten your showers to about 10 minutes but the savings are palpable. You can also put your watering can in the shower while you wait for the water to warm up and use the excess water to water your plants or lawn thus lowering the amount of water you waste.

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    Part two of this is something you don’t hear very often. If you actually plan on washing yourself for an hour, take a bath. There comes a point where you shower for so long that you go from saving water to wasting water. How long that is depends on how large your tub is, how much water you use in baths, and how much water comes out of your shower head. However, after about 30-45 minutes, there’s really no set up out there where taking a shower is still more efficient. If you’re going to be in there for an hour, take a bath. You’ll actually save water that way.

    3. Fix any and all water leaks in your home

    A leaky faucet or pipe is literally dripping money all over the place. You can usually see a faucet leaking because it’s right there above the sink or tub. A leaky pipe may be a bit harder to spot and you may have to go rooting around underneath your toilet, bathroom sink, kitchen, sink, etc to make sure they’re not leaking water. A little drip doesn’t seem so bad but when it drips three times a minute, that’s 20 times an hour or 480 times a day. That’s 175,200 drips per year. It adds up quickly doesn’t it?

    4. Shower with your partner

    save water

      If you and your partner shower every day then the two of you shower 60 times a month or 720 times a year total. You can cut that number literally in half by showering together. Given that we know that a 10 minute shower takes 25 gallons of water, you can do the math and it comes out to about 9000 gallons that you save every year. Realistically you’ll probably take a bit longer if you’re sharing but any savings is good savings!

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      5. Turn your toilet into a low flow toilet

      A fun DIY hack for this is to fill up a decent sized water bottle with water and rocks and then drop it into the back of your toilet. It will displace water meaning your toilet requires less water to fill. It’s a cheap thing to do, it doesn’t affect the usefulness of your toilet, and you can get a drastic amount of water savings that way.

      6. Don’t flush anything down the toilet that didn’t come from a human body

      save water

        People will do things like blow their nose and toss the tissue into the toilet and flush it away. That’s insanely wasteful. There are also things you shouldn’t be flushing down the toilet anyway like q-tips and tampons. Unless it’s #1, #2, or something used to clean up after #1 or #2, use the trash can to throw it away. You’ll save 1-2 gallons of water for each time you don’t flush.

        7. Figure out a new use for that leftover pasta water

        Whenever you have to boil something (eggs, pasta, etc) keep a large container around. When you drain the pasta into the colander (strainer) put the container underneath to catch the water. Use that to water your plants or your yard. This not only gives you a use for the excess water you’d otherwise waste, but also saves you water from your backyard garden hose. That’s a win-win.

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        8. Wash only full loads of things

        save water

          You can save a bunch of water by only doing full loads of laundry or full loads in the dishwasher. This is especially true for the dishwasher which uses the same amount of water no matter how many dishes are in it. You can adjust the washer based on load size but chances are that it uses too much water even on smaller loads so you’re probably better off waiting until there is a full load.

          9. Put water in the fridge

          This actually serves two purposes. The first being that you always have cold water to drink whenever you need it. The second is that you don’t have to turn on the sink faucet and wait for the water to get cold to fill up your glass. A lot of people use gallon jugs leftover from milk or juice (cleaned out of course). You can go all out and get one of those water filter containers like Brita and filter the water as well as store it. It doesn’t have as much water savings as these other things but every little bit helps!

          10. Invest in low flow and water efficient alternatives

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          save water

            Things break down which means you’ll eventually need to replace almost everything you own. Next time you get a washer find a water efficient washer that uses less water. You can always get a low-flow shower head because they’re relatively inexpensive anyway. There are also low flow toilets, water efficient dishwashers, and you can even replace your faucets to more water efficient options. Some of it is expensive so we don’t blame you if you want to wait until your appliances break before buying new ones but if you invest and get water efficient things then you’ll start saving water instantly without changing any of your other habits.

             

            At the end of the day, saving water is all about paying attention. Don’t leave water on when it doesn’t need to be on. Don’t flush things that don’t need flushing. By saving water, you’re lowering your impact on the local water table and you’re saving yourself money on your water bill every month!

            Featured photo credit: Philly.com via philly.com

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            Joseph Hindy

            A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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            Published on May 7, 2019

            How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

            How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

            When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

            Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

            Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

            You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

            Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

            1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

            Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

            But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

            • Will you spend more time with your family?
            • What does retirement mean to you?
            • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

            Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

            Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

            2. Figure out When to Invest

            “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

            It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

            The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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            A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

            Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

            3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

            Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

            Why?

            Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

            Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

            Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

            Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

            4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

            Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

            If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

            You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

            1. Vanguard
            2. TD Ameritrade
            3. Charles Schwab

            5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

            Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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            Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

            That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

            Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

            A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

            6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

            The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

            Robo Advisors

            Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

            Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

            Bonds

            Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

            Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

            Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

            1. Treasury bonds
            2. Government bonds
            3. Corporate bonds
            4. Foreign bonds
            5. Mortgage-backed bonds
            6. Municipal bonds

            Mutual Funds

            Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

            One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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            Real Estate

            Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

            Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

            This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

            But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

            Savings Accounts

            Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

            7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

            Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

            So how can you master delayed gratification?

            By building your discipline.

            Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

            Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

            8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

            I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

            It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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            More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

            But, how can you invest yourself?

            Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

            Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

            But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

            Retire Happy with Excess Money

            The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

            It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

            I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

            Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

            One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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            Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

            Reference

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