Editorials

11 Painless Ways to Put Money Back in Your Pocket

For most people, money is always tight. What comes in always seems to flow back out, and then some! While saving money is easier to do than earning money, consider strategies that allow you to do both, without a painful change in your lifestyle. Forming new, healthy financial habits will put more money in your pocket, so you can continue to save it or spend it on things you really want.

  1. File Your Taxes Online. Filing online is easier, more efficient, and will likely get you your refund more quickly. When you file online you are eliminating postage, gas to get to the post office, paper printouts, ink, and your carbon footprint is smaller, too.
  2. Clean Out Your Car. The heavier your car is, the more fuel you use for each trip. Take stock of what you’ve got in the trunk and back seat, and store those items elsewhere until you actually need them. Items like shovels, kitty litter, sand, and other items you might need for the winter, won’t have to be lugged around in the summer.
  3. Take Shorter, Cooler Showers.  Did you know that cooler showers are actually more invigorating? While that might be a losing argument on a cold winter morning, it’s something to think about if you are proactively working to save money. A shorter shower will use less water and you’ll have a few extra minutes for your morning coffee!
  4. Review Your Insurance. It’s probably been a while since you’ve examined the details of your car insurance. Chances are good there are savings coming your way; it’s worth the time to do some comparison shopping by gathering car insurance quotes online. While you’re at it, be sure and ask your agent if you are eligible for any discounts.
  5. Stop Using Water Bottles. Everybody likes to make their lives easier, and water bottles are a huge convenience, especially when you’re headed out the door. However, even if you purchase the nominally priced store brand water bottles, you’re still spending too much. Get a reusable bottle and use filtered water. It will save you money and again, you will have a much smaller carbon footprint.
  6. Use Rechargeable Batteries. Americans throw away tens of billions of batteries every year. These batteries end up in landfills where they leak and corrode, wreaking extra havoc on the environment. That’s one reason to go rechargeable, and the other, of course, is because it will save you money if you recharge them, instead of replace.
  7. Reset the Thermostat. If you normally set your thermostat at 69 degrees in the winter, consider setting it to 68 or 67 instead. At night, when everyone is sleeping, it is even easier to slide the temperature down a couple of degrees. It may take a small adjustment period, but your body will acclimate. As you save energy you’ll also be saving money. A win for the environment and a win for you!
  8. Eat More Meals at Home. Do you patronize restaurants a few times a week? You may be surprised at how much money you’re spending. Consider eating more meals at home. Make it fun by recreating your favorite dishes. If you must eat out, cut back on the soft drinks and other beverages, as those items tend to be inflated in price. Order water instead.
  9. Cancel Cable. Streaming services are where it’s at now. If you find yourself watching less and less cable, why keep the expense? It’s been a mainstay of the American home for so long, it may be difficult to cut that cord, but once you dive into the more customized world of streaming services, you’ll be glad you did.
  10. Change Cell Phone Providers. The big players in the cell phone provider arena charge double or even triple what the smaller players charge. Read the reviews; check to be sure they offer coverage in your area and get on board with a smaller provider that will cut your cell phone bill in half or even more.
  11.  Increase Insurance Deductibles. The higher the deductible, the lower the premiums. If you can afford the higher deductible in the event you need to make a claim, consider doing so. You’ll see the savings every month, and that’s more money in your pocket.

Many of these strategies are in line with making your carbon footprint smaller, and helping the environment. When you put yourself into the mindset to save money, think about the small things like energy savings in the home and car; unplugging appliances when they aren’t being used, and being sure tires are properly inflated to optimize fuel efficiency. The more you do to save money, the easier it will get!

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