These days looking for ways to save money is almost a second job in itself. Whether it’s reconsidering what we already own or looking for the best buys on new acquisitions, ways to save money are in the forefront of most of our minds. Follow these tips to find some cash you didn’t know you had in your pocket!
1. Unplug the Appliances and Plug Those Outlets
Whether you rent or own, there are plenty of ways to save money around the home. If you have appliances like a toaster oven, a printer, a phone charging cord, or even a power strip that your TV, DVD player, and stereo are plugged into, unplug them completely from the outlet when not in use. Even when they are not being used, these devices can be pulling incremental bits of power usage, which can cost you money for nothing. Likewise, run to your local hardware department and pick up some outlet insulator and plugs. The amount of hot air coming in during the summer, or cold air entering in the winter can make a difference to your energy bills.
2. Fill the Tires and Empty the Trunk
If your tires are low on pressure, it can raise your car's gas consumption. Likewise, the more weight your car has, the more pull it has…which isn’t good, unless you need the extra traction for bad weather driving. In good weather, consider getting those bowling balls out of the trunk and travel lighter on properly filled tires.
3. Pull out the Thread and Needle
Do you have any idea how much you spend on tailors in a year? $20+ for hemming a pair of pants, $15+ for a button or eye and hook, $25+ for a zipper fix? This is real money that should be staying in your pocket. Invest in a second hand sewing machine, or a handheld variety that costs about as much as a zipper. Read the directions, check it out online, and start sewing up the savings!
4. Cold Wash
Regardless of what the commercials say, detergents are meant to work in all temperatures of water. While the warnings about certain detergents working in certain temps may not be real, the savings when you wash your clothes on cold are. Your water heater is one of the major appliance players in your home. If you can leave it out of the washing mix, think of how much you can save on your energy bill, regardless of whether it’s a gas or electric heater. Now that’s a Good Surprise!
5. Call the Phone Company and Have a Chat
When you signed up for your cell phone, did they give you the best plan they have? When’s the last time you checked to make sure this is still the case? Go into your local retailer (if you don’t have one close by, you can always call your company on your phone!) and ask if the plan you have is still the right one for you, based on your plan usage over the past several months. They will look at how many minutes you used your phone, how much data you used, and how many texts your sent and received. Based on that, they will give you all of your best options. Perhaps one of the new plans will save you some dough—you never know until you ask!
6. Clean out the Storage Bin
A standard size storage bin can cost approximately $100 per month. Can you think of some places you could use $1200 per year? If so, revisit out what is in your bin, and what you no longer need. If there are things being stored in there you don’t need and have no sentimental value, sell them! You can use these funds to recoup some of the cost of having the bin in the first place. Consider if you have a space at home that could be cleaned out in order to move the remaining storage bin contents to your house. This could be a great way to save some major money every month. Not to mention, your possessions will be at your house instead of stored elsewhere. There’s a convenience component to this cash savings too!
7. Reverse the Fans
Do you have ceiling fans in your house? Did you know in the summer, the blades should be spinning counter-clockwise to move the heat away from the living space? And in the winter, they should be spinning---you guessed it—clockwise! This will bring the rising heat back down to warm the ones who are paying for it. Just flip a switch on the fan or remote to reverse the blades’ directions, and watch the savings rain down on you!
Saving money can be a creative and exciting process, especially when you start to see the results of your efforts filling your change jar more quickly! What is your favorite way to save money?