NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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More Small Steps to Wealth

More Small Steps to Wealth

 

11. Buy quality appliances that will last.  It’s worth the time to do a bit of research when you buy a new appliance. A reliable, energy-efficient washer and dryer might cost you quite a bit now, but if it continually saves you energy and lasts for 15 years instead of five, you’ll save significant money in the long run.

12. Clean or change out your car’s air filter.  A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles driven in an average vehicle.

13. Plan your meals around your grocery store’s flyer.  Instead of creating your meal plan out of thin air, plan all your meals around what’s on sale in your grocery store’s flyer. Look at the biggest sales, then plan recipes based on those ingredients and what you have on hand. Do that for a few months and you’ll find yourself with a much smaller food bill than you’re used to.

14. Avoid stress-spending.  It’s easy to justify spending money just to wind down from a stressful day at work. However, it’s rarely a good idea. Instead of buying things you don’t need to make yourself feel better, it might be wise to find other ways to de-stress instead.  Exercise is always a good option, as is meditation and even a good old-fashioned nap. Read, watch movies, or work in your yard if you’re stressed out. Spending money won’t reduce your stress in the long run.

15.  Do a “maintenance run” on your appliances.  Check all of the vents, especially on refrigerators, dryers, and heating and cooling units them to make sure there isn’t any dust clogging them and that they’re fairly clean.  Check. The less dust you have blocking the mechanics of these devices, the more efficiently they’ll run (saving you on your energy bill) and the longer they’ll last (saving you on replacement costs).

16. Cancel unused club memberships. Are you paying dues at a club that you never use? Like, for instance, a gym membership or a country club membership? If you’re on the fence about any of your memberships or find that you’re not using them very often, cancel them.

17. Keep your hands clean.  This one’s simple – just wash your hands thoroughly each time you use the bathroom or handle raw foods. You’ll keep yourself from acquiring all kinds of viruses and bacteria, saving you on medical bills and lost productivity.

18.  Join a volunteer program. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, get some exercise, and involve yourself in a positive project that can lift your spirit. It also comes without a cost to you and can provide a lot of entertainment and a fulfilling day when you’re in the right mindset.

19. Try generic brands of items you buy regularly. Instead of just picking up the ordinary brand of an item you buy, try out the store brand or generic version of the item.  Once you’re on board the generic train, you’ll find your regular grocery bill getting smaller and smaller.

20. Prepare some meals at home.  Purchase an easy-to-use cookbook and try making some of the dishes inside. You’ll find that cooking at home is much easier than you think – and way cheaper and healthier than take-out or dining out. Even better, you can easily prepare meals in advance – even handy fast-food type meals.

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