When money is tight — as it is for so many in this lousy economy — everyone starts clamoring to find ways to pinch pennies. While this is natural and helpful, it often means we overlook savings of dollars, sometimes lots of dollars.
After spending our college years clipping coupons, sending in rebates, and shopping frugally — methods that garnered lots of free (and even money-making) purchases — a simple number crunching revealed that my fledgling desktop publishing business was far more lucrative. So, whenever the workload allowed, I chose to forgo couponing for the cash income.
As I learned more about finances and taxes, I found a number of other ways to save substantially. That came about by looking at big ticket items like insurance, loans, and the like.
With insurance, for example, I ended up saving hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year by spending a couple of hours comparing rates. And I still do this every couple of years to negate the inevitable rate increase creep.
The same thing applies to mortgages and other loans. Refinancing can mean big, long-term savings.
Utilities are expenditures that can suck our cash right out the window. Since these are often significant expenses, they should be carefully analyzed.
A straightforward way to do this is to schedule a home energy audit. An audit like this is simple. Simply call a local home energy auditors, make an appointment, and they will comb through the possibly problematic areas in your home to look for inefficiencies.
When the auditors are done, you will get a report showing where your home needs some updating or upgrading in order to save energy and to get your utility bills back in check.
Recommendations might include better caulking, new windows, changes in lighting, or a suggestion to get bids from insulation contractors to beef up your homes protection from changes in the weather.