Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure does feel good to have a bit more of it in the bank. People often look at saving money as a mountain they have to climb before they can reach their financial goals or feel secure. The truth is that a few small tweaks to your daily or monthly habits can translate into big savings in the long run. Let’s take a look.
Air-Dry Your Laundry:
Hanging your laundry up to dry, either on an outdoor clothesline or on a drying rack in your home, saves you money in two ways. First, it reduces your energy costs because you are using your dryer less frequently. Second, it helps your clothes last longer, so you spend less money replacing them. The heat and tumbling action of the dryer speeds up wear and tear on your clothing, which shortens its lifespan.
Adjust Your Thermostat:
Investing in an adjustable thermostat can help you save money in the long run by reducing your energy costs. But, if you don’t want to spend the money on a new thermostat, there’s a cheaper way to cut down on your heating and cooling costs. Write “turn down thermostat” on a sticky note or index card in the winter and hang the note by your door; in the summer, write “turn up thermostat.” You’ll see the note each time you leave your home and will remember to adjust the thermostat before heading out.
Pay Your Mortgage Twice a Month:
Divide your monthly mortgage payment in half and make payments every two weeks, instead of one full payment once a month. How does paying biweekly instead of monthly save you money? You end up making one extra mortgage payment each year, so you spend less on interest over time. Just make sure your lender allows early payments. Most lenders do but it never hurts to double-check.
Stop Buying Name-Brand Items:
Buying generic or store-brand products, like peanut butter, toilet paper or medicines, will save you money without sacrificing quality. In many cases, the store brand or generic brand products are still made by the big name brands, but they are sold for a lot less.
If you can’t give up your Coca-Cola(R) or Skippy(R), one area where it always makes sense to go generic is medication. Generic drugs must have the same active ingredients, dosage, strength and usage directions as their name-brand counter-parts – and they need the same approval from the FDA. You get the same stuff and you save big bucks!
Stash Change for a Rainy Day:
Sometimes, the easiest way to save is not to think about saving. When you get home, pull out any coins in your pockets and put them in a jar. Once that jar gets full, bring it to the coin counter at your bank and have it deposited into your account. If you don’t frequently pay with cash, you can set up automatic transfers to your savings account on a bi-weekly basis or can use an app like Digit or Acorns to transfer your change to a savings account. You won’t miss the pennies and quarters you put aside, but over time, they’ll add up to a nice chunk of change.
Use these simple tips to save money on a regular basis and watch your rainy day fund flourish!