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Money Saving Tips and Strategies

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

General

• Save your loose change. Putting aside 75 cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly $275 per year.

• Keep track of your spending. At least once a month, use credit card, checking and other records to review what you’ve purchased. Then, ask yourself if it makes sense to reallocate some of this spending to an emergency savings account.

• Curb impulse spending. Think over each expensive purchase for at least 24 hours.



Food

• Eat out one fewer time each month.

• Shop for food with a list and stick to it.

• To test how airtight your refrigerator is, close a dollar bill in the door. If it’s easy to slide out, consider getting a new, more energy efficient model or resealing the door.

Entertainment

• Research free or inexpensive entertainment in your community. Use local newspapers and websites to learn about free or low-cost parks, museums, film showings, sports events and other places which you and your family would enjoy. For a local calendar of events, visit fcbanking.com/community or check out our Facebook page.



Transportation

• Keep your car engine tuned and its tires inflated to their proper pressure. Doing both can save you up to $100 a year in gas.

• Shop around for gas.

• When driving, avoid fast start-ups and stops. Over time, you will save hundreds of dollars on lower gas and maintenance costs


Housing

• Choose home repair contractors wisely.

• Turn off lights when you leave a room and turn them off if you don’t need the extra light.

• Trade your standard candescent bulbs for compact florescent bulbs. They are more energy efficient, last for years instead of months, consume little power and generate little heat.

• Turn off the radio, computer and TV when not in use.

• Ask your local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home energy audit.

• Weatherproof your home. Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer.

• Replace the filters in your heating and air condition units often.


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Clothing

• Assess clothing in terms of quality as well as price. An inexpensive coat or shirt is a poor bargain if it wears out in less than a year.

• If your dryer has an automatic setting, use it instead of timed drying.


Family and Friends

• Plan gift-giving well in advance. That will give you time to decide on the most thoughtful gifts, which usually are not the most expensive ones.


Communication

• Be aware of your cell phone costs and how to reduce them. Make sure your calling plan matches the pattern of calls you typically make.

“9 Ways to Managing Your Money”

1. Know Where Your Money Goes

Be aware of how you are spending your money. A $5 cup of coffee five days a week costs you $100/month. Review items you spend your money on to find areas where cutting back can grow your savings account


2. Develop a Budget

Plan for your spending by developing a budget and live within your means based on your monthly income. Make adjustments to remain within your budget, and don’t use a credit card to cover a shortfall or unnecessary purchases.


3. Include Savings in Your Budget

Pay yourself first. Treat your savings account like any other monthly bill by making a monthly payment toward it.


4. Plan for Major Purchases

Adjust your budget accordingly to build savings for your next major purchase without using credit.


5. Save for Emergencies

A good plan is to have a minimum of six months salary available in your savings account. While this goal will take time to achieve, it is important to strive for it so you’re prepared for most unexpected emergencies.


6. Plan for Retirement

Take advantage of interest and market upturns by saving for retirement early. Often your employer will help you save for retirement with a 401(k) plan. You can also benefit from pre-tax contributions using this method of retirement savings.


7. Get Tax Advice

If you have circumstances that create tax dilemmas (i.e., self-employed, own and/or lease property, etc.), make sure to seek tax advice from a professional for the best outcome


8. Protect Your Credit

You have the right to pull a free credit report from each credit reporting agency once per year at AnnualCreditReport.com. Keep in mind that late payments will adversely impact your credit, as will a failure to pay. You should immediately report any credit issues or discrepancies to the credit reporting agency. Use your credit wisely and ensure your reports are accurate.


9. Keep Good Financial Records

Use online tools as well as paper copies of receipts to keep records of your pay stubs, banking information, taxes, insurance, and other documents important to your financial situation.



Saving Money on Your Every Day Activities


Conserve Energy to Save Money

Finding ways to conserve where you use the most energy will save you more money. The average household’s energy dollars go mainly to heating (35 percent) and cooling (20 percent), with water heating also a large portion of the monthly bill (20 percent).


Heating and Cooling Tips

• Set your thermostat on savings. Try 68 degrees in the winter, 78 in the summer.

• Don’t pay to heat/cool an empty home. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to regulate heat/air when you’re out.

• Change your clothes, not your thermostat. Wear extra layers in winter. Switch to thinner, loose fitting clothes in summer.

• Don’t lose energy: It costs money! Seal any leaks around doors and windows, and be sure to keep the fireplace damper closed when you don’t have a fire to keep heated air from escaping up the chimney. Add insulation around walls, floors, and ceilings.

• Buy smart. Purchase the most energy efficient system you can afford when you are in the market for a new heating or cooling system.

• Don’t use it if you don’t need to. Reduce or eliminate the use of gas logs, gas grills, or other non-essential gas appliances.


Do You Know . . . ?

A refrigerator/freezer uses up to 5 percent of the total energy in the average home? If you have two, you might want to consider consolidating the food into one and retiring the other. You’ll start saving right away.

What it costs to run a set of gas logs? Most logs range from 25,000 to 60,000 BTU (British thermal units). In our area, it costs from 53 cents to $1.26 an hour to burn gas logs, depending on the BTU.


Programmable Thermostats:

Comfort on Your Schedule

Do you like waking up—or coming home—to a warm, cozy house in the winter or a pleasantly cool home in the summer? A programmable thermostat lets you match your heating or cooling needs with your schedule. That way, you don’t spend money keeping an empty house comfortable. KUB recommends setting your thermostat to 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter. Each degree change (up in the summer and down in the winter) saves you 1 percent on your heating or cooling bill.



Water Heating Money Saving Tips

• Use cold water for laundry.

• Insulate water heater/pipes.

• Install low-flow showerheads and aerating faucets.

• Insulate hot water storage tank and piping (don’t block air vents) and save $8–$20/year.

• Drain a few gallons of water from the tank every six months to remove sludge and increase the efficiency and life of the heater.

• Use a water heater timer for electric units.

• Turn off the water heater when you’ll be away (unless there is the chance of freezing).

• Use less water to save on water heating and water and wastewater (which is billed on water use) bills.


Washer/Dryer Money Saving Tips

• Wash full loads, but don’t overload

• Use warm or cold water. Rinse in cold water.

• Match water level to load.

• Dry like-weight items together.

• Clean the lint filter after every load.

• Dry full loads, but don’t over-dry.

• Put the next load in before the dryer cools

• Keep outside vent clean.


Refrigerator/Freezer Money Saving Tips

• Keep the door shut as much as possible.

• Vacuum coils every three months.


• Cool foods to room temperature, then refrigerate.

• Place away from heat sources.

• Leave space around the refrigerator.

• Keep the freezer full (add containers of water).

• Check door gaskets regularly.

• Consider replacing units 10 years or older.

• Disconnect extra units, if possible. A refrigerator/ freezer uses up to 5 percent of a home’s total energy



 

Save Money With Compact Fluorescent

Light Bulbs A compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) can save $40 or more in electricity costs over its lifetime. CFLs use less energy than incandescent bulbs, produce the same light, and last up to 10 times longer. CFLs provide the greatest savings when they’re used in fixtures that are used more than 15 minutes at a time. They provide the least benefit if they’re used in closets, for example. The federal government’s Energy Star guidelines suggest using CFLs in open fixtures that allow airflow. Good examples are table and floor lamps, hanging lamps, wall sconces, and outdoor fixtures.


Dishwasher Money Saving Tips

• Wash full loads, but don’t overload • Air-dry to save up to 30 percent of energy • Choose short cycles to use less hot water and save up to 25 percent of water heating costs. • Low water usage dishwashers (since 1994) use seven to 10 gallons a cycle. Choose the lowest usage practical for your needs. • Set your water heater at 120 degrees if your dishwasher can heat water to 140 degrees • Keep filters and drains clean • Don’t rinse if you don’t have to: Most newer models say pre-rinsing is unnecessary.


Oven/Cooktop Money Saving Tips

• Preheat only when necessary (baked goods). Ten minutes should be enough.

• Use the oven: It’s more efficient than surface-units.

• Microwave to use less energy.

• Keep the oven door closed. If you open it, the oven temperature drops 25 to 50 degrees.

• Defrost food in the refrigerator so it cooks faster.

• Match pan size to burner.

• Keep lids on pots and pans while cooking



Lighting Money Saving Tips

• Turn off lights when you leave the room.

• Keep all lamps and fixtures clean.

• Use task lighting instead of lighting the room.

• Use floor lamps and hanging lamps near corners. The walls will reflect the light.

• Open drapes and blinds on sunny, cool days.

• Use one bulb to replace several. A 100W bulb is more efficient than two 50W bulbs.


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