You work hard every day, doing everything you can to bring more bacon home, and trim the fat from your spending.
But it still isn’t enough.
If you’re still wondering what you can do, consider looking behind the walls of your own home for the biggest leaks in your bottom line.
When totaled, there are literally hundreds of dollars per year in potential savings locked inside your home, waiting to be freed. If you know how to take care of these hidden money wasters, you can stuff more cash in your pocket today.
Let’s start from the bottom:
If you have a basement, you could literally be leaking money through the walls. Basements are often drafty and damp, letting just as much air out as in. This culprit is guilty of making your furnace or air conditioner work harder than it needs to.
Make sure that your walls are well insulated and spend the initial investment to moisture proof it as well.
If appliances such as your water heater are located in your basement, they might be bleeding your bank balance. Water heaters expend tremendous energy heating the water inside, and far more if done inside a drafty basement.
Spend $20 and wrap your water heater in a thermal blanket to trap the generated heat, and keep it from overworking.
You’d be surprised at the amount of wasted money in bathrooms. A study ran last year discovered that Americans spend an average of $577 on grooming products per year. Total unused toiletry and cosmetics, then combine that with inefficient shower heads and toilet tank to make a massive gain in savings.
Cut down on the amount of toiletries and cosmetics you use. How many different kinds of shampoo do you really need? Strip your collection to the essentials and only buy what you must have. Replace old shower heads with new, more efficient ones that aerate the water. For $20 per head, you can save up to $60 per year. And that old toilet tank that takes for-ev-er to fill, chuck it and invest in a new one that flushes and refills with less water.
Buy generic medicines instead of name brand to top off your savings off at a healthy 25%,if not more.
Your kitchen can be a saving queen or a wasteful peasant. An efficient kitchen can increase your savings triple fold, yet the kitchen is a wallet’s worst nightmare for many families.
Skip junk food. Processed foods hold, literally, zero nutritional value and don’t give the body a value bang for your buck. Empty calories leave you consuming more than you should, which means you are buying more than you need to.
Cook at home. Use your kitchen to make weekly planned meals and you can save an average of $900 per year.
Use what you have. Before shopping, always check the pantry to make sure you don’t already have the items you’re planning to buy. In addition, organize your meals around what you do have. Shop the perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll find the quality foods that are nutritionally packed and will help you get more for your money.
Make homemade freezer foods. Rather than buying more expensive, factory made freezer meals, prepare your own. They taste better, cost less, and be more nutritionally sound.
The Den/Family Room
Americans spend an average of $775 per year on TV, much of it wasted on channels not watched. TV is important to some, but is it a necessity? And with the dawn of Netflix and Blockbuster, it’s fair to ask yourself if TV is even worth it anymore.
Call your cable company. See if you can make a deal. If you’re really considering leaving the TV or their service altogether, they will often offer some amazing discounts. Check into the online services, if your laptop has HDMI or you run your internet via wireless router, you could sign up for a movie service and cut the extra channels you don’t need.
Studies have shown that standby power on items like TVs, laptops, lamps, etc drain money even if your units are turned off – up to 5%. Compounded, that’s not a small amount.
Rather than having to unplug everything that’s not in use, only to plug it in again when you’re ready, plug your units into switched power strips that sever the flow of electricity when not in use.
If you’re not taking care of the money “leaks” in your home, you’re throwing away hundreds of dollars each year.
What leaks can you patch today?