Friday, November 21, 2008

My new series 6 ways to save money Part 1

Ok all your frugal fans, I know you have been waiting on pins and needles for the latest installment of the witty and masterfully written frugal blog. Today I would like to focus on ways to save money. During these tough economic times we all need to save money and pray that the end of this mess is near. So without further ado here are 3 suggestions in no certain order on ways to save money.

1. Home Energy Savings

There are so many ways you can save money around your house. Here is a list of some of the things I have had done around my home. For starters my Dad went around to every electrical sockets in my house and installed a foam insulation gasket. They are cheap pieces of foam that fit around your electrical sockets and they block air from getting into your house. You can find them at your local neighborhood hardware store or Lowes, Home Depot, etc. Another great idea is to install an insulation blanket around your water heater. This not only saves you energy, but also gives you more hot water, something we all crave especially in the cold winter months ahead. The US Dept of Energy’s, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division says: “Unless your water heater's storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation (at least R-24), adding insulation to it can reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45%. This will save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs.” So you can see that just a few upgrades around the house can save you much needed money during these tough economic times.

2. Your Car

Paying off your car and keeping it for an additional 3-5 years is the next big savings tip. I have read that most of the self made millionaires in the world live by this example. Most of them never buy a new car; they buy something used and drive it till the wheels fall off as the saying goes. Yours truly, believes this, and will do this with his SUV.

Take me for example; I am no where near a millionaire, YET. But I am working on it; I bought my vehicle in 2000 and still have it today. I keep the oil changed and try and do regular maintenance on it. As a result I will keep it for another couple of years and save thousands of dollars that would have gone to another car purchase. I know that I use Dave Ramsey examples a lot in my posts but he has a bunch of useful information on these topics. He said in his book “The Total Money Makeover” that the average American will have a $378/month car payment for their entire lives. The average American only keeps their vehicle for 5 years. But, if you kept the car for an additional 3 years, you could save roughly $13,608! Just think what you could do with that extra money.

3. Digital Cable and Satellite TV

I can hear the grumbles now, why drop cable, what’s next my internet? NO I would never advise you to lose the internet, I mean how else could you read my awesome Blog if you dropped your internet. Ok back to the expensive cable. Who really needs the expensive cable or satellite package anyways? You have hundreds of channels of nothing with a few good channels sprinkled in between. The top tier cable and satellite packages cost well over $120 a month. Just think of the savings you can get from going down to a cheaper package. There are some cable packages that start around $45 a month and satellite packages that are even cheaper they start around $30. Of course with these cheaper lineups you don’t get 1000 channels like you would with the top tier packages. But, who really needs 50 Home Shopping channels anyways! I guess I’m really just saying shop around and look for the best package for your needs.

For me the cheaper cable TV package is great, I also have a TiVo DVR, so I can record all my favorite shows, and it’s also on a home network which means I can download movies from Amazon on Demand and coming soon even Netflix will team up with TiVo to offer even more movie rentals. Now I am not suggesting you buy the lower tier cable TV package and then rent $100 worth of movies a month. That is not frugal at all, what I mean, is you can buy the lower tier cable or satellite TV package and rent a movie or 2 a month, nothing drastic. That would only set you back about $10.

As you can see there are many ways to save money around your house. All it takes is a little time and creativity, we all have this, well… most of us do. And there are plenty more ways you can save around the house, just get on the internet and research them. Another great option is HGTV; they always have great tips on how to save.

At first this was going to be one post on 5 ways to save you money. But, as you can see I tend to write a lot. If I wrote on all 5 ideas, it would take me hours and I might lose a few of my precious readers. So I am going to break this down into a 2 part series with 6 ways to save money. I can hear your cheers now! Part 2 of this riveting series will come out next Friday. Till then keep on reading my posts and all comments are welcome!

Comments, criticism, useful knowledge?

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