3 Simple Household Money-Savers
It’s simple math: To save money, you need to spend less than you bring in. Unfortunately, this simple math isn’t always easy to figure into your life. If you’re like most people, you are burdened with some level of debt. And financial woes can be very complex.
This article is all about easy, practical ways to save money. We’ll discuss a few common household items that people find to be real money-savers.
1. LED Light Bulbs
The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of today’s most energy-efficient lighting technologies. Quality LED light bulbs last longer and are more durable than other types of bulbs. This means you’ll spend much less over the long term. Granted, they’re typically more expensive upfront, but the savings on the back end can be significant.
LEDs are about 80% more energy efficient than other light bulbs – but they also generate far less heat than other bulb types. And that means you’ll save even more on electricity because you won’t be spending as much to keep your rooms cool.
How to: Don’t feel like you need to swap out all your old bulbs in one fell swoop. Instead, consider replacing your traditional bulbs with LEDs as they burn out. It’s unnecessary to throw away the functioning bulbs you already have – and besides, replacing them all at once would be a rather large expense.
2. Smart Plugs
Get this! The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is used while those products are turned off. Even if you’re religious about turning off lights when you leave the room and powering down your computer every night, your devices are still siphoning power. And that so-called phantom power runs up your electricity bill.
Smart plugs are a convenient solution to this phantom power for appliances that are always plugged in because they shut off the power to the outlet entirely. Like the outlet timers of old, you can program a schedule to cut the power to those appliances when you don’t need them running. But smart plugs are controlled wirelessly and electronically, so you can control your lights or other appliances remotely.
How to: These plugs require no wiring or electrical work – you simply plug them into your existing outlets. Add them to any outlet where you plug in an appliance you’d like to regulate, then program a schedule or just manually turn them on and off with an app on your phone. As a conduit, the on/off status dictates the on/off status of the attached appliance.
3. Rechargeable Batteries
Does it come with batteries?? It seems like everything runs on batteries these days. And while USB-powered devices are increasing in popularity, the good ole’ double-A Duracells aren’t going away any time soon. The problem is, one sleeve of those puppies costs a pretty penny – and they run out of juice pretty quickly. By shelling out just a bit more, you can buy a set of rechargeable batteries plus a recharging station that will allow you to reuse your batteries.
Rechargeable batteries save you money in the long run because they are also often better-performing and longer-lasting than traditional disposable batteries. So while you have to spend the money for the charger, think of it as an investment that will pay for itself over time. Plus, they are better for the environment because there’s less product waste.
How to: Like your lightbulbs, there’s no reason to toss your existing stash of batteries until they run out. But invest in a charging station and a handful of rechargeable batteries now to be prepared for the transition when your current pack of non-rechargeables dies. There is a wide variety of chargers, with different features at different price points from different manufacturers.
Remember, saving is a habit. Once you get into the rhythm, you’ll find it gets easier to build the practice of saving money into your daily life. This is only a very short list of money-savers – look around for others. And if you’d like more money-saving ideas, don’t hesitate to contact American Credit Foundation. Our friendly financial experts have oodles of tips and tricks up their sleeves, and they’ll help you find solutions that work with your lifestyle.