Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ditch the Ramen: Saving Money by Replacing What You Use

It's the end of the month, you look in the cupboard for something to eat, and Ramen noodles sit staring you in the face. It's back to school time for your kids and you're shopping the thrift stores instead of the mall. What has gone so horribly wrong? Obviously something needs to give. If you're bank account is a deeper shade of red at the end of the month, you have changes to make. Here are just a few items in your home that you can replace to start saving money:

1.Central Air

No one wants to live in a sweat box during the summer. If you are looking to make a change, you may want to consider alternative ways to cool your home. Central air conditioning is an expense that you can do away with quite easily. It does take some getting used to, but turning off your whole-house cooling system can save you a great deal of money each month.

Plant trees outside of the windows that get the most sun during the mid-afternoon. Install light-blocking shades and curtains on these same windows. Put window fans in your windows and run them at night to cool off your home. Install an attic fan to draw up the hot air in your home during the day. Keep your windows closed during the hottest hours of the day and open them wide in the evening.

2.Utility Bills

Can you replace your utility bills? Not necessarily. What you can do, however, is sign up for budget payment plans, effectively replacing your high energy bills. Most utility companies allow their customers to sign up for a budget payment plan based on the customer's monthly consumption.

Paying in this way makes it easier to pay your bills when they are higher in the winter by spreading out your payments into equal monthly installments. For example, what may be $150 bill in the heart of the cold weather season could be an $80 bill on the budget plan. 

3.Premium Cable

It's hard to cut the cable cord, especially for people in rural areas who can't get an over-the-air signal to save their lives. Instead of cutting the cable completely, get rid of what you can. Keep in mind that you can only watch one channel on one television at a time. Also keep in mind that you can watch many of your favorite shows on the Internet, and that a Netflix subscription costs less than $10 per month. What kind of cable are you paying for? If you're like the average cable television subscriber, you are paying over $100 per month for the privilege of watching television. Get rid of your premium channels and sports packages. Whittle your package down to basic and you could save over $50 each month. If you are screaming "But what about my DVR?!" at your computer screen right now, think of it this way: Your DVR will have you eating salty, dried noodles at the end of the month. Wouldn't you rather have a dinner designed for adults?


4.Your Car

Egads! Get rid of your car? That's right. While it's not feasible for everyone, it is feasible for more people than you may think. If you have more than one car in your family, dump the others. If you have access to public transportation, ditch every car that you own. If you simply can't fathom life without a car, you are wrong. Think about how much money you could save if you got rid of your car. No more insurance payments, and no more need for gas. Don't worry if your car is financed; you can easily find someone to buy it for what you still owe. It takes minor adjustments when you don't have a vehicle, but you can still get things done. A subscription to Amazon prime costs under $90 per year. Amazon prime gets you free shipping. This means that you can do your grocery shopping, pet food shopping and clothes shopping online. If you want to go on a vacation, you can rent a car. If you have a medical emergency, you can call an ambulance. Give it some thought.

Will all of these options work for everyone? Of course not. But at least one of these options might work for you. There's no reason to live paycheck to paycheck when you can make changes in your life that will keep your bank account in the black. Talk to family and friends and visit www.securitysystems.net/frontpoint-vs-adt.php for more money-saving ideas.

Chelsea McCary is an avid finance blogger. If you want to learn more about ways to save money without scrimping, you can follow her at @ChelseaMcCary.

1 comment:

  1. Another way to save money through your car is by giving it up and leasing, this is what I do and not only do I always have a pretty new car but its always covered by warranty too because its a new car. This means I don't need to worry about paying for MOT's and the services are covered by a service plan which although seems like a lot of money at first saved me a fortune over the time I have the car. On top of that I don't have to pay if anything does go terribly wrong as the car is not my responsibility. I know some people like to own their car and be able to say it is their asset but I made the mistake of buying a new car about 4 and a half years ago and lost about 6 grand when i came to sell it after 3 years. just isn't worth the loss to me, I use a company called Frontier Car Leasing and at the moment have myself a super pretty white Audi A3.


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