Liz has spent the last year on a journey of doing more with less.
It often feels like money gets spent faster than it can be made. There's always some bill or expense, and there's always another cashier standing with their hand out to take your hard-earned money. Here are four simple tips to help you keep more money in your own pockets.
1. Practice Safe Driving
Watching your speed can help you save money in several ways. Most obviously, drivers get better fuel economy at lower, consistent speeds. Cautious drivers also receive fewer speeding tickets and tend to get better auto insurance rates. Check if your insurance offers an app or device to plug into your car to monitor your driving to save big money!
As you approach a stop sign or light, rather than maintaining a faster speed and breaking closer to the stop, take your foot off the gas pedal to allow your car to naturally start to slow. This saves fuel as well as wear on your brake pads. Also, if the light turns green before your arrival, you may use less fuel in acceleration.
2. Practice Good Laundry Care
How often do you do laundry? Did you know doing laundry carefully and mindfully can help you save money over time?
One of the best ways to save money is to protect your clothes so that they last longer. If you happen to get a spot, whether from a spill, grass, or something like deodorant or sweat, try to pretreat it as soon as possible. This can be a simple rinsing the stain with water or maybe some handsoap if you are out in public or dish soap or liquid laundry detergent when you are at home. Save the more expensive laundry pretreaters for stains that are difficult to get out.
Unless you really enjoy certain scents, don’t waste your money on “scent boosters.” Stick to regular laundry detergent with some occasional fabric softener or dryer sheets to protect the fabric and avoid wrinkles and static. The scent boosters literally flush your money right down the drain. Instead, add a spritz of body spray or diluted essential oils to your drying laundry or use a scented sachet in your drawers.
Give Heavier Items a Head Start in the Dryer
If you wash loads that mix heavier, fabric items like towels, blankets, and jeans with lighter fabric items like t-shirts, start giving the heavier items a 5 to 10-minute head start in the dryer. This gives them some lead time without as much competition to tumble. This also prevents items that tend to dry faster from overdrying and potentially wearing out. This can also contribute to a slightly faster dry time overall, which can save you energy.
Add wool or nubby plastic dryer balls for a natural way to prevent wrinkles and improve your dry time. You can also remove items from the dryer early and hang them to finish drying to save energy.
3. Take Care of Your Home
Whether you rent or own, it is usually far cheaper to maintain something than it is to fix something or replace something once it is broken. Much like cars, there are things in and around your home that need regular checks or repairs. Basic things like cleaning can prevent huge issues like stains or mold and mildew down the road.
Have you ever been in a bathroom where the bathtub caulk has changed color or started to crack or recede? Have you seen a carpet that has changed color where people have commonly walked? Protect your investment, whether it is your rental deposit or the future need to renovate, by cleaning regularly.
If you notice something that isn’t quite right like buzzing or flickering light fixtures, fuses that keep blowing, or water spots from leaks, read up on how to fix these issues or call in a professional before problems get worse. Failure to do so can even lead to dangerous situations or costly repairs.
4. Be Resourceful
Find new uses for everyday items. While many stores encourage reusable bags, the accumulation of plastic and paper shopping bags continues. These can be used as garbage bags for smaller jobs and prevent spending on larger bags or specialty bags. Think about small bathroom garbage cans, baby diaper pails, and pet waste. Even paper bags can be useful for holding recycling or dismantled to use for crafts or children’s school book covers.
Shopping circulars and assorted junk mail come unbidden to fill our mailboxes. Make it work for you. Use these to line pet cages or shred them to use as packing material.
Food jars for things like jelly and preserves don’t automatically have to go into the recycling bin. After a good rinsing, they can find a new life as a pencil cup, container garden, or food storage device. Who needs Tupperware to take soup to work when you have a perfectly good jelly jar?
Don’t throw away extra restaurant condiments. Find uses for those ketchup, hot sauce, and soy sauce packets. Plan home meals that put them to use. An egg, some rice, a few peas and carrots, and some soy sauce combine for a simple homemade egg fried rice. Think outside the box.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2021 Liz Woodward