Ten tips for keeping money in your pocket
By Kathi Paradis
Electricity and heating costs are going to hurt this winter. With kerosene at $7 a gallon, and the costs of groceries and gasoline still high, who couldn’t use some ideas on how to save money?
Here are five easy tips and another five that will require some investment. All will help keep money in your wallet.
- Unplug what you don’t use. Unless you work from home, you probably don’t need table lamps, toasters, computers, and televisions plugged in all day. These items draw electricity even when they aren’t turned on.
- Review your streaming services and cable channels. Do you need HBO Max just to watch one show? I have basic cable for the living room television only and use free streaming when watching TV upstairs.
- Put away window air conditioning units and lock your windows to keep warm air from escaping and cold air from sneaking in.
- Keep drapes closed at night and open during the day, especially on sunny days. Take advantage of the sun streaming in the windows to warm your home and fill it with natural light. At night, closed drapes block the cold windows.
- Review your bank statements and see where your money actually goes. Many of us forget to review expenses periodically. Well-run businesses look for ways to cut costs, so think of your home as a business. After reviewing my home and auto insurance spending, I moved to another company, saved $200, and got better coverage.
Tips that may cost but will save
- Make sure your furnace is cleaned regularly. A clean furnace runs efficiently. Also, the technician can identify issues that need addressing. Having a furnace stop working during January’s sub-zero temperatures is inconvenient and costly.
- Invest in insulated drapes. They can block the cold in winter and heat in summer.
- Buy window and door draft dodgers. These block cold air from coming in around windowsills and door bottoms.
- If you don’t have insulated windows, buy plastic covering kits to prevent leaks.
- If you plan to bake for the holidays, get together with like-minded friends and buy baking supplies in bulk. You probably don’t need a 20-pound bag of flour, but if you split it with three friends, you’ll all save money.
These are just a few ideas. There are many more on the internet. Some are far-fetched, but others do work. Remember: Those extra bucks you save are better in your wallet than in someone else’s.
Kathi Paradis is the NH Community Loan Fund's Director of Single-Family Housing.