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After I Read This, I Have Saved Thousands On My Household

After I Read This, I Have Saved Thousands On My Household

These days being frugal is rather trendy. You probably already know how to save money on online shopping, cut down business costs, and get education for free, however it is the monthly utility bill that sucks up a pretty penny out of your paycheck. Start following these simple household money saving tips today and save at least an extra thousand dollar this year!

1. Fix your pipes and install low-flow water faucets

Did you know that 7 billion gallons of drinking water a day are wasted in the US? That’s enough to fill over 11,000 swimming pools! Make sure you conduct timely inspections of your pipes (at least once a year) and fix all the leaks. A dripping faucet adds extra 10% to your water bill.  Moreover, consider installing low-flow faucets which cost around 10-20$ per item. Ask yourself: do you really need a fire hydrant flow to wash your dishes or would you prefer to drastically reduce your bills?

Money saved: up to 60% on water.

2. Keep the electronics unplugged at night

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    How many electric appliances do you have at home? Think TV, microwaves, all your cell phone gadgets, laptops etc. What you may not realize is that all of them still use electricity even when they are powered off. An average US household has around 40 electronic devices powered up at any given time of the day, sucking over 100$ a year without owners even realizing it! The solution is surprisingly simple: keep all your appliances plugged into a power strip and disconnect them by the end of the day.

    Money saved: up to 5% on electricity.

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    3. Invest into Energy-star equipment

    If you work from home at least once a week or even run a home office, investing into Energy-star devices will save you a few hundred dollars per year as they consume at least 50% less electricity compared to standard equipment. For example, merely switching to energy star-labeled laptops and computers will cut down your energy consumption twice. The same goes with printers, fax machines, VoIP phones and other equipment you need to keep your small business running smooth and efficient.

    Also, think about installing access floors in your home office room to hide all the cables and wires, thus protecting them from mechanical damages (think riding with your chair over your laptop cord). Cables working at half-power drastically increase energy consumption and definitely will not help your equipment to last longer. Besides, you can use the extra space to store large items and avoid clutter. A clutter-free office looks better and makes you work harder.

    Money saved: up to 65% on electricity.

    4. Insulate your hot water heater

    By adding an extra layer of protection to your hot water heater and water pipes, you’ll save an extra 40% of heat from being wasted during cold months. There are numerous options available – from buying a 10-20$ insulating blanket (up to 40% of heat loss reduced) to spray foam insulation that typically cost around 400-500$, but will save you much more in the long run.

    Money saved: up to 9% on utilities.

    5. Seal the windows and doors properly

    Did you know that your household probably loses one-third of the heat due to drafty windows and doors? It’s the same with the cooling during warm seasons. Instead of paying extra, you can easily fix the issue by:

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    • Using insulated blinds and drapes on glass doors and large windows to regulate the heat. Also, cover up windows facing west, east and south on hot days and leave the shades up on sunny cold days, but do not forget to close them at night.
    • Replace single-pane windows with storm windows for cold seasons. That will reduce heat loss by 50%.
    • Use “low-e” transparent film to seal the drafty window for winter. It costs pennies, yet reduces the losses up to 20%.
    • Fill up all the window, floor and door cracks with caulk.

    Money saved: up to 40% on heating.

    6. Switch to fluorescent light bulbs

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      Only 6% out of all consumed electricity is turned into light by old traditional bulbs. Everything else goes into waste heat you obviously don’t need. Fluorescent bulbs cost a bit more, however they last up to 25 times longer, plus transform more energy into actual light. For example, replacing 15 bulbs could save you up to 600$ over the life of the bulbs.

      Money saved: up to 75% on electricity.

      7. Stop spending on bottled water

      Let’s do some simple arithmetic. Approximately, you pay 6$ for a standard case of water that is 0.40$ per bottle. An average family of four consumes up to 2 gallons per day which is 5.3 bottles per person a day and 2.13$. Multiplied by four and then by 365 we have over 3.000$ spent on plain water! The most basic model of a water filtration system will cost you roughly 20$ + a new filter required for every 40 gallons.

      Money saved: 2.900$ per year

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      8. Get a programmable thermostat

      If you work endlessly long hours, often go on business trips or have a lot of time to travel, getting a programmable thermostat should be your priority. It will automatically adjust heat/cooling settings according to the schedule you’ve set, thus reducing electricity and heat wastes. That’s extra 180$ saved per year.

      Money saved: up to 15% per year on electricity

      9. Use the right-sized cookware

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        Not only makes it your food cook faster and taste better, but using appropriately sized pans and pots can significantly reduce energy consumption. A 6″ pot placed on 8″ burner wastes 40% of heat. Depending whether you use an electricity or a gas cooker, you can save up to 36$ and 18$ respectively per year.

        Money saved: up to 9% annually on electricity

        10. Use the microwave to boil water

        On average, it takes four minutes less to boil a cup of water in the microwave comparing to the same action done on the stove. Besides, the appliance consumes 60% less energy. Imagine that each time you spend 3 cents less on your bill. Multiply the number by 365 and get a pretty decent amount of savings to spend on a weekend trip.

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        Money saved: 6-10% on electricity.

        11. Clean your dryer lint trap

        It seems pretty obvious, yet you probably forget cleaning the lint trap anyway. However, you should realize that this simple action will make your appliance work at least 75% more effective (less energy consumed) and increase its overall lifespan. Also, consider cleaning the dryer vent completely once in a while and occasionally washing your lint filter to reduce the bills even more and let your appliance serve you well for decades.

        Money saved: 4-8% on electricity.

        12. Take shorter showers

        Soaking in a warm bath requires 70 gallons of water on average, plus extra heating costs. While having a quick refreshing shower uses just around 10-25 gallons. It’s a no brainier that taking a shower is cheaper. But how much? Say, you like taking a 12 minute shower on average and your shower head pours around 2 gallons/per min. By opting for a 5 min shower instead, you’ll save nearly 3000 gallons per year. That’s from 10$ to 100$ saved annually depending on your current water rates.

        Money saved: 25-40% on water.

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        Last Updated on June 6, 2019

        The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

        The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

        Are you on track for retirement?

        If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

        Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

        But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

        If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

        What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

        Saving for retirement is tricky.

        Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

        Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

        Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

        Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

        20’s – $16,000

        During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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        Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

        30’s – $45,000

        At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

        Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

        40’s – $63,000

        This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

        50’s – $115,000

        During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

        60’s – $172,000

        By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

        Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

        The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

        Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

        First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

        Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

        Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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        How to Save Money Each Month

        By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

        But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

        Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

        Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

        Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

        Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

        Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

        To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

        How?

        By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

        Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

        If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

        Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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        Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

        Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

        When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

        Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

        Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

        If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

        Why?

        You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

        Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

        Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

        Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

        After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

        You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

        By starting a side-business.

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        This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

        The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

        So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

        Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

        Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

        What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

        My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

        Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

        For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

        If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

        Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

        Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

        Reference

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