Money savers for people on low incomes

Do you struggle to pay your bills at the end of the month? Do you check for loose change at the gas station? It could be that you’re throwing money away without even realizing it. Simply by becoming more efficient, you could stop having to worry about living hand to mouth. Here we look at some products and methods which can help you do exactly that.

Do you drive a car which gives good gas mileage? You’re almost certainly still wasting money. It’s not just gas that you have to pay for with a car, you’ve got insurance, maintenance and tax on top of all that. Perhaps you’ve already considered selling it and replacing it with a bicycle, but the journey to work and back is just too much for you? Well, you should consider getting yourself an e-bike. An electric bicycle will probably cost you a fraction of what you sell your car for (giving you a nice lump sum in your pocket right there and then), plus reducing your monthly costs as there’s nothing to pay in the way of tax or gas. It’s electrically powered so you don’t expend much energy at all getting to work and you can weave through the traffic jams to cut down on your journey time. As far as charging the battery goes, it’s not going to make a huge difference to your electricity bill, but if you want to be smart about it, you could ask about the possibility of charging it at work. After all, you’ll be freeing up a parking space every day! Check out these models at The Electric Rider to see which one suits you best.

On the subject of electricity, this is something you could well be wasting at home, especially if you live in either a hot or cold climate. Air conditioners and heaters use a tremendous amount of electricity each month and add weight to your monthly outgoings.

In cold climates, keep warm with blankets and extra layers of clothing instead of heating your home. Use a wood burner to cook with, heat your water and your home. If you spend most of your time in the same room as your burner, you are unlikely to get cold anyway.

In hot climates, try to avoid using your air conditioner whenever possible. Make sure your house is well ventilated, but put up reflective screens in the windows to stop the penetration of ultraviolet light (which further heats up your home). Use an electric or manual fan, or even better, allow the natural draft to cool your home. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself cool and hydrated.

Another way people throw away money is through too much inefficient lighting. Does your home resemble the Empire State Building at night? If so, you need to start sleeping when it’s dark and getting on with your business when the sun comes up. Sunlight is free, electric light is not. If you really must light your home at night, consider candles or oil lanterns, but always be aware of the risk of smoke poisoning and fires. A safer option to save money in the long term, but which will cost you right now, would be to switch to LED lighting. It lasts much longer and is much more energy efficient than standard lighting. It also runs well at a low voltage, which is great for people who take advantage of solar power.

Speaking of which, if you happen to live in an area with a decent amount of sunshine, you’d be crazy not to consider harnessing all that free power to provide electricity to your home. Again, there will be a significant initial outlay, but once you have installed the solar panels and started putting them to use, you’ll see a drastic reduction in the amount you have to pay your electricity supplier each month.

If you find yourself wanting to splurge on an evening out with friends once you get that pay check, only to regret it the morning after (and again at the end of the month), why not invite those same friends over to your home for some food and drinks, put some music on and hang out? Everyone can chip in a small amount towards food and drinks and you’ll all likely find that your wallet is fuller the next morning than it was when you used to go out partying.

There are lots of other tips and hacks which apply to certain situations. Take a look at where you seem to be leaking money and ask others about how to plug the leak. Put your mind to it and before you know it, you could be saving more money than you dreamed possible!

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