Here at Retiring Wise (One Reverse Mortgage’s blog) we like to provide articles series like the Tune In Tuesdays and the Reverse Mortgage 101 series. We decided we needed to provide a little more….so here is our new series to check back for…Savings for Seniors. These articles will provide helpful tips for seniors to save money on all sorts of things, everything from saving money on food to saving money on health expenses. Today’s Savings For Seniors is all about saving on household expenses.
1. Avoid flushing water down the drain – Place a 1 or 2 liter bottle filled with sand in your toilet tank. This will help you use less water per flush.
2. Only wash clothes with a full load – Running full loads in your washer is the most efficient way for you to do laundry. Running smaller loads uses the same amount of power and water. Only doing full loads can save you about 5 percent on your water costs in a year. Every penny adds up!
3. Save rain water – I love to garden but the water bill always seems to increase pretty dramatically during those gardening months. One of the easiest ways to cut your water bill is to save rain water in a barrel or an old garage can. Once you start using rain water to water your plants you will see a savings in your water bill and your plants will probably look healthier with the vitamin enriched rain water.
4. Call utility companies twice a year – Utility companies can change your rate or billing amount throughout the year. Check your bills each month and keep track of what you are paying. Mentioning to utility companies that you live on a fixed income can get your utility bills cut in c
5. Visit the Salvation Army – When I am looking for something for the house or looking to get some new clothes for the season I check out the Salvation Army before I go anywhere else. I can find some really amazing things for a fraction of the cost of a department store. My number one tip for Salvation Army shopping is, take your time. Salvation Army stores are organized to a point but there can be a lot to go through.6.
6. Try off brand items at the grocery store – depending on the item, name brand groceries can be up to 20 percent more than the off brand items. What many people do not understand about store brands is that the name brand companies usually are making the goods, they are just using the store labels. Items you use most are items you should try for the store brand. Another area where you can save is with cleaning products. They clean just as good as the name brand for much less.
7. Programmable thermostat – For a simple programmable thermostat the cost initially will be around 80 bucks. Within in a year you can save up to 10 percent on your heating and cooling bills by using the programmable thermostat. They are very simple to use and you can set programs as often as you like so your home can be at the right temperature all the time.
8. Know when to have your blinds opened and closed – In the summer months keep blinds and drapes shut up keep out the sunlight. Sunlight streaming in your home in the summer can raise the temperature of a room almost 5 degrees making your air conditioner run more costing you more money. The same is true in the winter time, only you want to leave your blinds and drapes open to let in the warm sunlight.
9. Adjust the temperature on your water heater – Typically the temperature water heaters are set at is around 140 to 160 degrees. Your water heater can work properly at 130 degrees which is a save temperature for killing bacteria and still warm enough. In the long run the lower temperature will save you money on your utility bill.
10. Don’t be a drip about a leaky faucet – According to energyworksnow.com a leaky faucet dripping once every second can cost you $35 in one year! Replace old plumbing and faucets with newer more energy efficient equipment can really add up in savings.
What tips do you have for saving on household expenses?
Kristen Curzytek is a writer for Retiring Wise. Give us a call at (800) 401-8114 to talk to one of our licensed professionals. They can discuss your financial situation with you and determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you and your financial goals.