Most people know that in order to save a little they need to spend a lot less. This immediately invokes thoughts of strict budgets and austere living habits, so it might come as a surprise to learn that you can spend less and save more without these grand gestures. Small changes to your daily habits and thought patterns can go a long way to improving your financial health. There’s no precise formula to follow in order to become the fiscally savvy person you want to be, but the following list can help you get there.
Use Your Appliances Properly
An inefficient fridge, furnace, or air conditioner can do a lot more harm to your finances than your weekly night out at the movies. Speak with your electric company to see if they offer free energy audits, and you’ll see where you waste the most amount of electricity. Power-hungry appliances can be put into check in a number ways. First and foremost, make sure they are clean and set to the appropriate temperature, as you won’t want these machines working any harder than they have to. Secondly, get to know when the peak hours are for electricity use. Make sure you use your appliances outside of these hours.
Insulate Your Home
In the same vein as the previous tip, making sure your home is properly insulated against the elements can help reduce energy consumption and therefore save you cash on your utility bill. A leaky window lets warm and cool air out in the winter and summer respectively, making your furnace and A/C work harder to maintain internal temperatures. Ensure the weather stripping around doors and windows are intact without cracks, using caulking to fill in any holes you find. If it’s still drafty, you can install insulating plastic along single paned windows to trap a pocket of warm air between your rooms and the glass. You can also make a draft stopper by sewing rice into a small strip of fabric measured to fit leaky doors and windowsills.
Take out a Loan
Yes, it seems strange to mention loans in order to save money, but they can be an essential financial tool when used correctly. Everyone encounters weeks or months that seem bent on destroying their budgets. Necessary household purchases (like caulking and draft stoppers) and essential repairs (to your fridge and furnace) tend to cluster around the calendar, which can drain savings and leave you without a means to pay for other crucial things. You need to know where to go in order to find financial assistance that won’t jeopardize your cost-efficient ways in the long run.
A licensed CAB (or Credit Access Business) is the best online installment loan lender for people in your situation. They facilitate small dollar loans on your behalf with third-party lenders, so you can have fast-access to cash when you need it. More importantly, their installment loans come with more forgiving repayment terms, and these products are paid back in small portions over several pay periods.
Say No to Cable
In the age of Netflix, there’s no need to pay for a streaming subscription and your monthly cable services, especially when they can cost the average American over $100 each month. Compare this to $8 for Netflix or $11 for Amazon Prime, and you can understand why 20% of households have said goodbye to cable.
Spending less can be difficult, regardless of your financial situation, but there’s always a creative solution waiting to be utilized. See if you can take advantage of any of the above tips to help you save more and brainstorm some of your own. Before you know it, you can be putting more towards your savings without feeling the pressure of a strict budget.