You can save money by lowering your thermostat by one degree during heating season, around 2% off your monthly bill. Same thing in cooling season raise it by 1degree or more.
- Pay $5 extra on your electric, phone, water, cable, and gas bills. Doing this January through November, then you can relax in December to a lower monthly bill.
- If you have fans in your house use them to help circulate the cool or warm air. It will help save money by cutting down on your heating or cooling bills.
ENERGY & RESOURCES
Stop using your electric clothes dryer! Install 2 tension shower curtain rods above your tub, parallel to your current shower curtain rod, and hang all your lightweight clothes (using plastic hangers) on these rods.
- AC /furnace saver: Dry with a towel inside the tub after a bath or shower. Dripping on your bathroom rug will make your air conditioner or heater run longer because of the humidity. Throw rugs are thicker than the towels.
- Dishwasher drying: When the rinse cycle has stopped in the dishwasher, open the door. The steam humidifies the house and quickly dries the dishes. The heat from the hot water helps to heat the house and there is no use of electricity to dry the dishes.
- Energy bill: When washing clothes, especially jeans, give an extra spin cycle. This will make them drier and cut down on the time in the dryer. It will cut your bill and dryer use/hanging time significantly. If you hang them to dry, you will save even more.
- Electricity: Use a power strip, and make sure anything associated with that power strip is turned off when leaving for the day.
- Water savings: Take an empty half gallon milk jug and fill it with water and place it in the back of your toilet water tank. You will save over half your water bill. Your toilet flushing uses more water than most other items in your house.
- We can save our fresh water. One way is to flush with unpurified water. Or put in new low volume toilets. That’s complicated. But if you put a four pound brick in each toilet tank, you will save 1/2 gallon of water with each flush. Easy and very economical.
- Watering: While waiting for the water to get warm at the faucet, fill your watering can. You will save a lot of water and you can water your plants.
- Frozen wonders: I keep empty soda 2-liter bottles in my freezer, one to a shelf. If the electricity should go off; it helps save all your food. When the family goes on a trip or picnic, we place them into the cooler. No buying ice and everything stays cold.
- One tip for your freezer, if you keep containers of ice in it, it will work more efficiently. The fuller the freezer, the less it has to run.
If you carry a balance on your credit card, and you can only afford to pay the minimum monthly amount, pay weekly installments instead of one monthly payment.
For example, if you owe $100 per month, pay $25 per week. Because credit card companies accrue interest daily on your balance, paying only once a month is a huge detriment to your financial health.
- Not only that over a years time you will have paid an extra $100 toward that credit card bill, i.e. $25 X 52 = $1300 verses $100 X 12 = $1200.
Plus, look at all the interest you will have saved. This drives the companies crazy though, messes up their bookkeeping schedule. Who cares if it helps you save money?
It does not matter what amount your payment is, paying a little extra each month on the principle not only decreases the amount of years you pay on your mortgage; it also decreases the amount of interest you pay and will save money in the long run.
Let’s say your payment is $750.00 per month, can you afford to pay $800.00? Doesn’t sound like much, but you would be amazed at how fast your principle drops and will save money on your interest.
- Make sure your payment coupon has a space for Additional Principle; if it does not, it is perfectly legal to write it in.
- Don’t just assume your mortgage company will apply it to the principal for you. They really don’t want you to pay extra, because it decreases the money they are going to make from you.
Another tip for taxes purposes, if you can afford it. Send an extra payment each year in December; it will help your interest write off.
If you do not get free checks from your bank, order them through the mail instead of through your bank. My last order from a bank cost $14.50 for plain checks. I got a pretty design on them from a mail order company for around $5.00. You will probably see the ads for them in the weekly junk mail.
BALANCE YOUR CHECKBOOK
Do you have trouble balancing your checkbook each month?
There is a wonderful program called Microsoft Money. I keep it on my computer and each month as I pay the bills I simply enter all the data on this program and it adds and subtracts for me. Check it out; it sure keeps me up to date.
If you live where I do and the good ole post office keeps losing your mail, at least you can look back and say, I paid this bill on (whatever date). Most of your creditors will accept this and tell you not to worry about it until next month and not charge you the interest.
KEEPING A BUDGET OR AT LEAST A RECORD
You make a good salary and the money just doesn’t seem to make it. There are a couple of ways to figure this out.
Either set a budget and no one likes this, or keep track for about 6 months exactly where your money goes. Sound difficult, not really.
- Buy a ledger, or make one on your own, any lined paper will do. Label your categories, rent or house payment, utilities, (break these down to see what you are paying for elec., gas, etc.) See where you can come out much cheaper and save money.
- A very important category is ENTERTAINMENT, going out to dinner, movies or even a stop at the local fast food for a coke or burger. You would be amazed at what you spend.
- At the end of each month, total it up and you can see exactly where your money goes and where you can save money.
- You could save money by taking your lunch to work once or twice a week or by remembering to turn off lights in an empty room, etc.
Make sense, I hope so, Grandma