Household habits that help you save money
When it comes to savings, many of us think we have no room in our budgets to put additional money away each month. However, there are dozens of simple, small ways to save money around the house! Following even just a few of these household habits can help save you money month after month.
In the kitchen
- Make a shopping list. This may seem obvious, but keeping an active shopping list can help prevent you from buying things you don’t need at the store. Likewise, store pick-up or delivery for goods and groceries can help you avoid in-store impulse purchases.
- Cook with what you have. Websites like Recipe Puppy [http://www.recipepuppy.com/] help you create meals with what you already have in your pantry.
- Grow your own herbs. Common kitchen herbs such as basil, parsley, and oregano are easy to grow; in addition to providing you with a constant supply of fresh herbs, these plants can double as edible kitchen décor.
Around the house
- Eliminate phantom electricity. Plugged in appliances continue to use electricity even when they are off. While it may not seem like much, the cost of phantom electricity can add up over time. Unplug appliances and electronics when they aren’t in use; lamps, laptops, chargers, printers, coffee makers, and more can all be easily plugged back in when they are needed.
- Adjust the thermostat. Adjusting the thermostat by even a few degrees can make a big difference in savings. In the winter, set the thermostat for 68 during the day and 62 at night; for every degree it is below 70, you can save 3% of your heating bill. In the summer, keep the temperature between 75 and 78. For every degree about 75 that you raise the temperature, you can save 5% on your energy bill. For additional savings – and control over the temperature in your home – invest in a programmable thermostat.
- Lower the water heater. Lower the hottest temperature on the water heater to 120 degrees. This still lets you enjoy hot showers and baths, but prevents unnecessary energy usage when the water heater is in use.
Bills, expenses, and savings
- Collect spare change. Instead of leaving change in the couch cushions, create a designated spare change jar. Regularly empty your pockets or purses into the jar; a few nickels may not seem like much, but a jar full of change can be used for fun, rainy day spending.
- Comparison shop services. Avoid getting too complacent with the services you use every day. Once a year, comparison shop services such as internet providers, gym memberships, and more; you may be able to find the same service at a better price – or negotiate a deal with your existing provider.
- Pay a double mortgage in December. Adding a second mortgage payment in the month of December can help you take advantage of the tax deduction for the interest paid on your home during the year. Homeowners who plan for this double payment can save several hundred dollars – and get their mortgages paid off sooner.