Next to getting a good freebie, cost cutting happens to be enjoyable to me. What many people may not know, however, is that doing so doesn’t have to be laborious. There are actually tweaks you can make one time that will allow you to cut back repeatedly.
Here are 7 ways you can save a grand
1. Calculate savings on water
Meet EPA criteria while keeping money in your pocket. If you’re in the market for a faucet, showerhead or even a toilet, calculating potential savings is a click away. The EPA has a tool to calculate your savings on their site.
Input the number of people that live in your house. Then choose the product you want to install to anticipate your annual savings. A family of four replacing a showerhead heated by natural gas can save $55 annually. Once the showerhead is purchased, installation is a matter of taking off the old one and putting on the new one. It’s that easy.
It’s also smart to see what rebates your water company offers for installing more water efficient fixtures. Many will pay for the full cost of a new toilet that could also save you big bucks every year!
Read more: Why you should stop drinking bottled water
2. Reap major savings by the push of a button.
While makes, models, the cost of water and electricity may vary, your dishwasher can hold your ticket to savings. According to the book, Suddenly Frugal, using the air-dry setting on the dishwasher can total up to a whopping $624 a year in savings. Who knew!?
3. Reclaim money while you sleep.
According to EnergyStar.gov, a programmable thermostat can put your energy savings on autopilot. It can save you up to $150 a year with proper usage. Be sure to lock into a setting that guarantees that you’ll save. Think of it as a savings default plan like the cruise control feature on a car. You can “set it and forget it” even while you sleep to reap the benefits and perhaps, dream about a vacation you can go on with the future savings. When you’re out of the house, you can use less energy and have it come back to a comfortable temperature before you get home.
Bonus: Your electric company might even subsidize or pay the whole cost of your thermostat upgrade. Make sure to inquire.
4. Limit your usage
If you are wondering where your extra money went, your cell phone might be the culprit.
According to Forbes, costly overage charges on your cell phone can range from $15 to $51.60 per Gb.Try to stay within your cell phone’s data limits to cut costs. If you’re diligent enough to switch to wifi when available, you can avoid overage charges in seconds. If your plan happens to charge $15 per Gb, that’s a $75 savings over a 5-month span just for turning the data off and it only takes a few seconds to do so.
Even better – switch over to a low-cost cellphone company.
Read more: Smartphone and cell plan guide for 2015
5. Be a cut above other savers
According to US News, men spend $28 on average for a haircut while a woman spends $44 on average. If you cut your hair roughly every 5 weeks, that would be 11 times a year. If you switch your appointments to every 6 weeks that would only be 10 haircuts. Just eliminating one appointment for each person with a quick phone call would save a couple $92.
6. Give your fridge the dollar bill test
According to Energy.gov, if the seal on your refrigerator isn’t tight, you can have a money leak on your hands. Check to see how snug it is by performing the DIY dollar bill test. Take a dollar bill and shut the refrigerator door on it. If it falls, think about replacing the seal. This way you keep the cold air in and money in your pocket.
7. Don’t drink away your money.
While getting a few drinks at a sports bar is fun, most beverages come with a hefty price tag. The markup on beer can be between 300-400%. It’s costly and sometimes too noisy just to catch a game. Consider inviting people over for drastic savings and game time fun. One of my friends likes to hook up his TV outside. We could still enjoy the weather and entertain the kids while watching a baseball game outdoors. Whether you supply the drinks or make it a BYOB gathering, you’ll get more bang for your buck.
If you used a combination of all of these tips and skipped one $4 beverage that you ordinarily would order, you too could save over a thousand dollars a year faster than you could say ‘latte.’ Cost cutting doesn’t have to be an arduous task. A few strategic changes can help you switch things quicker than you think and reap the money-saving benefits over and over.