Finding practical ways to save money over the long haul can be something that escapes our attention. It’s easy to look for the best price on an item when shopping, or add money to your savings account every week, but thinking long-term is an intentional action that takes thought and planning.
Here are 20 easy-to-implement ways to save money long term — that you can start today.
1. Turn off hot water rinses and heated dry settings on your dishwasher.
2. Mix your laundry soap with water, Borax, and washing soda to make it last twice as long.
3. Measure your laundry soap according to your washing machine manufacturer’s recommendations. Many people use more soap than is necessary, especially in newer washers.
4. Turn your air conditioning and heat up/down by five degrees. Also, don’t be afraid to shut off your heating/cooling on nice days and open up the windows.
5. Install a faucet water filter instead of buying bottled water.
6. Use your vehicle brakes less often and learn how to drive in ways that will improve your gas mileage.
7. Remove unnecessary items from your car to reduce the weight you haul around regularly.
8. Install a high performance air filter (like K&N) to improve your car’s performance without using more gas.
9. Unplug electronics (especially computers) when not in use to reduce electric consumption.
10. Keep your socks longer by rolling them together, instead of folding the cuffs together, to save the elastic.
11. Use septic tank treatments regularly to reduce the need to have your tank pumped. A few dollars a month is preferable to a large sewage bill.
12. Reduce your cat’s hair balls without medication by giving her a tablespoon of tuna in oil every week.
13. Eliminate chemical-laden household cleaners (and the expense) by learning to mix your own cleaners using baking soda, vinegar, peroxide, lemon juice, ammonia, and other “natural” cleaning ingredients.
14. Examine your reoccurring bills for hidden charges, like added charges on your Internet for dedicated IP addresses, “privacy protection” options, and other charges that may have snuck into your monthly budget.
15. Turn a small yard into a vegetable garden. You’ll harvest veggies for the supper table and save money by eliminating mowing costs.
16. Clean out your storage areas to find items to sell for cash and reduce clutter in your life.
17. Purchase discounted fruits, and turn them into smoothies or jams.
18. Grow your own lettuce year-round in a cold frame. Home–grown lettuce is nearly maintenance free and can help reduce your grocery bills every month, especially during the winter when the price of produce increases.
19. Cancel your Netflix subscription and visit your local library to borrow movies instead.
20. Replace one night of entertainment a month with supper at home and a free entertainment option in your community. Put the money you would’ve spent into a savings account — and keep track of your savings over time.
What long term money-saving tips do you have to share?