Everyone is trying to save money, and you have probably read all kinds of articles on what not to buy, spend, don't spend, get rid of credit cards, keep credit cards, it can make you dizzy.
But you are saying to yourself " I have already cut corners and tightened my belt, what else can I do without living like a hermit?" There are a few things you can do, and this will tweak your bills, and if you can shave off even a small percentage from your monthly bills then this will help all the way around and put money back in your pocket.
Remember, your job is to keep as much of your money for you. Then you can decide where to spend it. This will give you more control over your money and savings.
Change when you use your hydro.
We all are so used to just switching this on or starting the washing machine, or dishwasher or jumping into the shower whenever we want. How many of you have even run all three things at the same time? Other than your hot water possibly running out, these can become habit forming. We probably don't think twice before using our appliances. Especially when were first get up or when we get home from work. These are peak usage times.
So, why not stagger some of your chores and save money at the same time? Hydro charges you more to use your hydro during peak hours, which is usually during the day up until approximately 9 pm. You can even phone your local hydro supplier and ask them what they consider peak hours. But where I am, up until 9 pm is considered peak.
So, load your dishwasher after dinner, but don't turn it on yet. If you have a timer, you can delay it until after 9 pm when it will be cheaper to run. Use your microwave more often rather than your stove. Do a load of laundry later in the evening. Have a drying rack and put them on there or put them outside overnight if the weather is going to be clear, they will be ready when you get home from work the next day! Things like that can make a huge difference.
Replace old appliances
Yes! to save money you get to go shopping! Any appliance from before 1992 is sucking you dry for energy, especially if you have stuffed your older fridge in the basement or the garage for "just in case". Many people firmly believe in that old fridge, but it is sucking you dry for hydro. The newer models are "energy star rated" and use way less electricity.
Power down at night
Power down your computers at night. That is phantom power being sucked through that power bar. So, even in sleep mode your computer is using hydro. Shut it down for the night. A local computer repair guy told me, it does not hurt to turn off your computer for the night, as leaving your computer constantly on can build up static and slow it down. So, put it to bed like the rest of the family!
Have you ever really taken a good long look at your property tax bill? There can be all kinds of mistakes that you may not have noticed, and are being charged for. If yours looks like Greek, then head to the town offices, and make sure they have the right house. Don't laugh here. I lived in a small town and for 14 years I paid my property taxes faithfully. It had the right address, and the right legal description of the lot, but only after talking to a neighbor, did I start to wonder why ours was so high.
I headed to the town to find out why mine was $500 dollars more per year than my neighbor in a similar house. It turns out when she brought up the description. She described a bigger house with a full basement. NOT US!
After further investigation it turns out there was another address similar in another part of town, and they had our houses mixed up. So the other house was getting a deal! We got a refund (bought some new energy star appliances with it!) and the others got a bill. So, to save money, really take a look at your bills, and make sure they are right. Just because they are computer generated, does not make them right.
This is a great way to save money. Get yourself to the bank and have them automatically pay bills and a savings account. If you have bills that are the same each month, such as phone, cable etc, then get them to pay automatically, that way you don't risk missing the due date and getting hit with late payment fees, which can erode anyone's savings plan.
At the same time, treat yourself as a "bill" and have a set amount plopped into a savings account each month, and then forget about it. The savings have already been dealt with and what you have left is what you use. No more worrying or fussing about getting to the bank and trying to save money, it will be done right away from your pay.
These have become more popular since many people are trying to save money, and a vacation can get very expensive. So, this is where you let loose a bit in your own area. Check out the tourist center in your own town, and go to local attractions, order a pizza and have movie nights at home. You can still have a lot of fun, but without spending on hotels and rental cars and airfare you can let loose with some extras around home.
Buy in bulk
You have probably heard this lots of time before, but you will save money. Meat is another big one that saves you in bulk. If you like chicken breasts, get a bulk size package and as soon as you get home, separate them out into zip lock baggies and label and plop in the freezer, that way you don't have to thaw out the whole tray or try to chip off one chicken breast just for you!
Paper towels and toilet paper are great in bulk, and will save you a lot. Anything you need all the time, can usually be found in bulk. So find a place in your house to store larger bulk items and save money.
Hopefully the above 8 things have helped inspire you to stop the bleeding of cash from your wallet. It doesn't take much, a bit of extra hydro, some late fees on forgotten bills, not getting money into the savings account, and not be careful with groceries. It can be amazing just how much you save. The biggest saver for me was the hydro bill. I couldn't believe the change when I switched around laundry day, and using the dishwasher. If you have a few people in your household, this can be huge savings.
Consider changing the light bulbs to energy efficient too.
You can save money, if you look at all corners of your life, and shave a bit here and there, it won't effect your lifestyle, just a few tweaks and you will get to keep more of your money.