Usually when you read a post about saving money it involves making drastic, and sometimes difficult, changes to your spending habits in order to achieve your budgeting goals. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could make a few changes, save some money without missing it, and not have to suffer from a complete upheaval of your life?
I like my lifestyle and I’m personally not willing to go to huge extremes to save money and pay off debt. Of course, I still want to get more financially secure, but I’m not going to do things like sell my car and bike everywhere, or cut my own hair just to save a few more dollars. (My hair would be a disaster if I tried to DIY it.)
Instead, I look for ways to make small changes and save money without missing it. Here are a few ways you might be able to do that same.
Switch Off & Unplug Electronics
If you aren’t using it, turn it off. This applies not only to the lights and televisions in your home, but to the appliances as well. Some can still use electricity while shut off, so whenever it’s reasonable to do so, unplug it.
Unplugging alone can save between $1.00 and $1.50 per month. That may not sound like a lot, but that estimate is for each electronic device. Some homes contain as many as 30 to 40 different electronic devices, many of which are left plugged in at all times.
Saving on this idea is as simple as taking a quick tour of your home and unplugging what you can.
Lower Your Thermostat
It doesn’t have to be a huge change. In fact, if you pick up a programmable thermostat for around $50, you could use it to save at least $250 per year on your heating and cooling bills. Programming it to run a few degrees cooler in winter and a few degrees warmer in summer while you are sleeping or at work can make a big change in your bill. I made much better use of this tip before I started working from home. But even now, I try to make due with more fans in the summer and more clothes in the winter to lower my utility bills.
Use Cold Water
When you use cold water to wash your clothes you don’t sacrifice anything and you gain energy efficiency and money. Some estimates say you could save between $30 and $100 per year by washing your clothing in cold water instead of hot or warm. Of course, you may have to soak some items if they are heavily soiled, but it’s a small trade-off.
Buy the Right Way
In other words, don’t buy 6 jars of mayonnaise just because it’s on sale at the store and super cheap if it expires within the next six months and you won’t be able to use it all. A sale will only save you money if you need it and will use it. So, buy what you need in bulk, on sale, and with coupons but don’t buy what you won’t use.
Use an App
Just about everyone has a phone with apps these days, so add an app that saves you money. There are plenty of choices, but Digit is one I like because it analyzes what you spend and sets aside small amounts of money for you each week in a savings account. There are no minimums, fees, or limits on money transfers, and you can access your money within one business day. You can get the app through Google Play or the Apple App Store, and signing up is free.
As you can see, if figuring out how to save money without missing it is one of your goals, it can be done. Making a few simple changes that barely affect you can still help you save hundreds per year and meet your goals.
Have you found other small ways to save money without missing it or sacrificing your lifestyle?