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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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            Last Updated on August 20, 2019

            How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

            How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

            Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

            In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

            5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

            Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

            1. Be Clear About the Objectives

            Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

            It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

            Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

            2. Keep Them Realistic

            It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

            It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

            3. Account for Inflation

            Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

            Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

            For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

            4. Short Term vs Long Term

            Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

            As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

            More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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            5. To Each to His Own

            The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

            It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

            By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

            11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

            Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

            • Ensuring healthy savings
            • Making smart investments

            You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

            Ensuring Healthy Savings

            Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

            This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

            1. Track Expenses

            The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

            Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

            2. Pay Yourself First

            Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

            Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

            The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

            Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

            3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

            Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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            Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

            At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

            Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

            You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

            4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

            Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

            If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

            Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

            All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

            5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

            In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

            Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

            Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

            If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

            If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

            So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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            6. Talk About It

            Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

            Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

            7. Maintain a Journal

            For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

            So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

            Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

            When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

            At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

            Making Smart Investments

            Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

            8. Consult a Financial Advisor

            Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

            Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

            9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

            Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

            Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

            Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

            It is here where that classification will help.

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            So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

            10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

            Einstein once remarked about compounding,

            Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

            So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

            Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

            11. Measure, Measure, Measure

            All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

            If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

            If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

            Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

            The Bottom Line

            This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

            As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

            More About Personal Finance Management

            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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