/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */ The Path to Wealth: Four Ways To Save Money

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Four Ways To Save Money

With a worldwide economic recession in our laps, many of us are looking for ways to save money. You may be surprised to know that there are some cuts you can make around the house that don’t require a whole lot of effort. Here are four easy tips that will save you a little money each month.

Renegotiate Subscriptions

If you are paying each month for subscription services such as alarm systems, phone service, Satellite TV, or Cable, then you can probably save some significant cash by renegotiating your service. Most of these types of services have a high profit margin and the companies would rather make less than lose you. Just tell them that you’re not sure you can afford to pay the monthly payment and are thinking of canceling and watch them slash prices.

Disconnect Electric Devices When Not in Use

You have probably heard that Electronic devices continue to suck energy after you’ve turned them off, if they are plugged in. You can save a lot of money by unplugging your electronic devices when you are not using them. This does require some effort, but the easiest way to do this is to use power strips, so you can unplug multiple devices with one plug. It might sound like a hassle, but doing it will cut down your power bill substantially. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that standby power accounts for 3-4 percent of residential electricity use. The average American household uses 920 kwh per month. That means the average American household could shave off nearly 40 kwh per month by disconnecting devices when not in use.

Saving money doesn’t always require large sacrifices; you can save a substantial amount by implementing a few of these simple ideas.

Get Generic Prescriptions and Food

If you haven’t started using generic drugs, you need to start right away. You’ll get the exact same drug for a fraction of the cost. According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, in 2006 the average retail price of a generic prescription drug purchase was $32.23, while brand-name drugs went for an average of $111.02. The same idea can be applied to food. Don’t be afraid to buy the off-brand item in your local grocery store. Much of the time, they are produced and packaged at the same site and just receive different labels. Because off-brand companies typically do not advertise, their costs of production are cheaper.

Reduce Temperature Setting on Your Hot Water Heater

Most of us have our water heaters dialed in at a scalding temperature, and we have to turn up the cold water to keep from burning ourselves. You may not have realized it before, but you are paying to keep that water heated 24 hours a day to a temperature that is hotter than you need. Turn it down and save yourself the money. Expect a 5% drop in energy consumption for your water heater for each 10 degrees you drop it. A lot of people have their water heaters set at 150 degrees or higher. Try it at 120. It won’t affect your shower, but it will affect your wallet.

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