Our first installment of money-saving life hacks was so well received we decided to follow it up with a second post. Here are nine more money-saving life hacks that can help you save thousands of dollars every year.
Comparison Shop Electricity Rates
Comparison shopping can help you save money on plane tickets, electronics and just about everything else, including your electricity. Around the world, many people live in energy deregulated areas where there are multiple electricity providers competing for business.
There are a number of locally based websites that provide side-by-side comparisons of all the latest electricity offers. It’s an easy way to find the provider with the lowest price per kilowatt-hour. You can read more about comparing and saving on electricity here.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
While you’re focused on electricity use, turn your undivided attention to the HVAC controls. If you haven’t yet invested in a programmable thermostat now is the time to do so. You can get one for as little as $20 and save yourself around $180 annually. A few guidelines include:
- · In the summer, keep the temperature at 78 degrees when you’re at home.
- · Bump the temperature up to 83-85 degrees during the summer when you aren’t at home.
- · Set the temperature to 68 degrees in the winter.
- · Knock the temperature down to 58-60 degrees in the winter when you’re sleeping or not at home.
Re-examine Your Cell Phone Bill
Depending on when you signed up for your wireless plan, you could be paying twice as much as needed. One of the biggest reasons people hang on to their old plan is a grandfathered limitless data clause. Even though we’re consuming more media on our phones than ever before, few of us actually need limitless data. If you have Wi-Fi at home, you can use that and save a lot of data usage.
Take a look at your current phone bill to determine how much data a month you use on average. That is going to be the determining factor for the cost of a new plan since many of them now come with unlimited talk and text.
Use a Reusable Filtered Water Bottle
Bottle water sales are at an all-time high. The financial experts at Bankrate recently noted that people in the U.S. buy 167 bottles of water a year. Most bottles cost $1.45 on average. You can get a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter for less than $13. Each bottle provides 40-48 gallons of purified water. Even if you buy four replacement cartridges for $8 each you’ll save about $200 a year on bottled water. And you’ll be helping the environment.
Do Meatless Mondays
Forgoing meat for plant-based protein once a week isn’t just healthy for your body, it’s good for your financial well-being as well. Most people can save anywhere from $20-40 a month by taking a break from meat 4-5 days.
Improve Your Credit Score
Anything that requires lending, including credit cards, comes with an interest rate. That interest rate can add up over time. How high or low the interest rate is largely depends on your credit score. Check your FICO scores for free once a year at each of the credit bureaus to see where you can make improvements.
Get Your Media From the Library
Most city libraries have way more than books in their catalogs. You can rent movies and games as well as magazines. Instead of paying for each one, you’ll enjoy them for free (as long as they’re turned in on time).
Replace Incandescent Bulbs With CFLs
Investing a few dollars more upfront for a compact fluorescent light (CFL) will save you in the long run. They use about 75% less electricity and they last up to 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb.
Use a Grocery List When You Go Shopping
There are a lot of things to love about grocery lists. They help you remember everything you need to get, keep you focused, save you time and they can help you save money. Because you’re focused on the essentials you’re less likely to impulse buy.
With a little time, you can incorporate all nine of these money-saving hacks into your daily life. Don’t forget to keep an updated monthly budget to gauge how much you’re saving each month.
*This article was contributed.