Monthly Archives: February 2014

Saving Money: Ways To Bring Your Water Bill Down

The water bill can take up a large portion of your household budget. There are several ways to bring your water bill down so that you can save money. The following tips are simple, yet they can make a big difference on the monthly bill.

Showering

Switch to a new showerhead. Many older models can use up to 5.5 gallons per minute. New low flow designs cut water usage back to an average of 2.5 gallons per minute. This can lower your water bill anywhere from 25% to 60%.

 

Think about cutting back on your time in the shower. Try five minutes. This, along with a new showerhead, can cut usage back by 12.5 gallons. The average 15 minute shower can use as much as 37.5 gallons.

 

Opt for a shower over a bath when possible. The common household bath tub uses 35 gallons of water to fill it for bathing. You’ll cut water usage by 22.5 gallons by choosing a five minute shower instead of a bath.

Check the Toilets

Up to 500 gallons of water per day can be wasted by a leaking toilet. There is one simple way to locate leaks. You can pick up tablets at your local home improvement store to use in testing for them. Place one in the tank. It will color the water. Next, watch for color seeping into the bowl. Seeing color indicates a leak. This should immediately be addressed.

 

Replace the toilet flapper once a year. They can quickly break down, allowing water to pass by. Flappers are quite inexpensive to change out. You may want to go with an adjustable flapper. This lets you determine how much water is used in each flush. Adjustable flappers can save up to three gallons of water with every flush. That will definitely bring down your water bill.

Your Faucets

As much as 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of water can be lost each year due to a faucet that leaks. Make sure all faucets in your home are functioning properly. Have a professional plumber repair or replace them as needed. Always turn the faucet off while shaving or brushing your teeth.

 

Installing a faucet aerator can help. This is a device that attaches to the faucet in order to reduce the flow of water. It won’t reduce the pressure, only the amount of water coming through. Many newer faucets have an aerator built in.

Routinely Check the Hot Water Tank

Hot water tanks can start to leak around the bottom of them. Leaks will raise your water bill due to the wasted amounts of water. Watch for puddles under and around the tank. If you find a leak Need-A-Plumber Canada repairs hot water tanks in Edmonton, or you can seek the advice of professionals at your local appliance stores.

 

 

Keeping up on these water usage issues can save you a lot of money on the water bill. When problems due arise, call a professional for any necessary repairs.

 

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Six Simple Rules To Follow That Will Get You Out Of Debt

When you have a substantial amount of debt, it can be difficult to see a clear path to paying it off. But the longer you carry high interest debt, the more you’ll end up paying in the long run. This means you will have less money to save and invest in the things that matter most to you. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Read on for six steps to take to get out of debt for good.

 

Create a Budget, and Stick to It

 

The first step toward paying off debt is figuring out how much money you have to do so. Write down all your monthly expenses, then subtract the amount from your take home pay. Whatever is left over should immediately begin going straight to your debt payments. In addition, cut out unnecessary expenses like a high grocery budget, cable TV or dry cleaning. Creating a budget will help you visualize your spending and saving as well.

 

Stop Using Your Credit Cards 

 

While you should keep your credit accounts open, it’s critical that you stop using the actual cards. Piling more debt on top of the debt you already hold will make it impossible for you to ever pay off the balance. Be diligent in using cash, or pay for items with a debit card instead.

 

Pay Off Highest Interest Debts First 

 

This technique is called “snowballing” your debt. Pay the minimums on all your credit cards and accounts except the one with the highest interest rate. Put all extra money toward that high cost debt until it is paid off, then roll that payment to the debt with the next highest interest rate until your debts are paid.

 

Get a Side Job 

 

If you find that you can’t find any extra money in your budget to put toward debt, consider taking a second job. You can put everything you earn toward your debt, which will help pay them off much more quickly. Consider freelance writing, teaching classes, babysitting, cleaning houses, or anything else that can help you make some quick cash to put toward the money you owe.

 

Set Periodic Goals 

 

Having thousands of dollars in debt can make it difficult to ever see the light at the end of the tunnel. And if that light is years away, staying motivated can be a challenge. The answer? Set small goals along the way. For example, aim to pay off a certain amount at the end of six months. The more you pay off, the more money you’ll have to put toward the rest of your debt.

 

Stay Positive

 

If you feel discouraged, think about all the things you’ll be able to do once your debt is paid off, and the relief you’ll feel when those payments are behind you for good. Know that as long as you are making even the smallest payments, you are in your way to a debt-free life.

 

While getting out of debt can seem overwhelming and impossible, with some effort and a good plan, you can become debt-free. Consider talking to professionals if you feel like you can’t find a solution to your financial situation, says bankruptcy lawyers Thompson &DeVeny. It’s much better to ask for help when you need it instead of drowning in debt.

 

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5 Factors to Consider Carefully When Choosing a New Bank

Financial services have become increasingly important as consumers need checks, credit cards, and loans to enjoy their lives. The days of keeping money under the mattress are gone; in our modern world, fining the right bank to assist with your financial needs is a must for daily living. When you create a solid relationship with a bank, you can qualify for better loans. Customer service representatives who recognize you will save you time and give you better service. Here are 5 factors to consider when choosing a new bank.

 

1. Type of Bank 

When choosing a bank, you must determine which type of bank you want. Banks can focus on mortgages, consumers, corporations, or agriculture. If you are thinking about starting a new company, then you will need to find a bank with merchant services. If you belong to a specific organization or profession, you may also qualify for membership with a credit union that can offer you valuable services tailored to your needs.  Decide what features are important to you, and look among banks that cater to those needs.

 

2. Branch Locations 

Many people prefer to physically deposit and withdraw their money. Finding a bank branch, kiosk, or ATM along your route to work and home saves you valuable time. Some bank branches are even found in grocery stores of shopping malls. Also carefully consider the distribution of branches of the bank.  While a bank may be convenient in your area, if it is a regional bank, you may not be able to access needed services while traveling. Determine if the branch locations of the potential bank truly meet your needs all around.

 

3. Account Options 

Savings, checking, and mutual funds accounts have a wide range of features and interest rates. If you have children, creating an account for them will teach them how to manage money. Sometimes, banks have special “Savers” services allowing you to automatically transfer money from checking to savings. Some even offer 401(k) plans for retirement. Decide which accounts are important to you, then determine if the bank you are considering offers sufficiently attractive options in those areas.

 

4. Attractive Interest Rates 

Banks offer a wide range of interest rates based on their size, function and marketing strategy. Selecting a bank with high interest rates paid to you for your savings accounts and low interest rates for loans, can save you a lot of money in the end. Plan ahead to establish a solid foundation for your wealth.

 

5. Financial Services and Terms 

If you travel a lot, you might want a bank with traveler’s checks. Some banks have change-making kiosks. Business owners might want to purchase coins and bills for their companies. Online banking options are also available. What is the bank’s policy for third-party checks? What are the penalties for “insufficient funds.” Consider carefully financial services and terms the bank offers.  Make sure you truly understand the fine print and are satisfied by the policies and offerings.

 

Credit and banking has always been one of the primary inputs for productivity. Now, consumers are realizing that credit is essential for maintaining a high-quality standard of life. You will want to find a bank with good customer service making you feel comfortable. This is your money and finding a good bank to help you increase your wealth is the first step. Plan carefully and find the best option for you.

 

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