Living frugally as a Servicemember is a challenge. Where do you find the money to do all the things you want to do with your family? Sometimes the savings that are the easiest to find are the things you deal with every day. Many times we can save substantially on things we buy every day, or by doing something a little bit differently. Some of these savings are small things; others are fairly large items that can add up swiftly.
Here are some ideas on how to save money that you might not even be thinking about.
Cell Phones- Many people use their cell phones a great deal, and for them, a cell phone with a plan may be a great idea. But if you are a person that uses your phone for “Honey I will be home in a couple of hours”, click. Then for you a pay as you go cell phone may be the answer. There are several companies, such as nationwide Tracphone, that have plans that may meet your needs, and give you savings over a regular Cell phone and cell phone usage plan. SAVINGS: up to $400 dollars a year, depending on previous provider and plan. Light Colored Roof- This may sound silly, but there is a lot of money to be saved with choosing a lighter colored roof. A 30-year roof lifetime can have home energy costs significantly reduced by having a light colored reflective roof. SAVINGS: as much as $750 dollars over the lifetime of the roof, but this may be a lot more in hotter, warmer climates.
Appliances- Many people do not stop to think how much they could save with newer appliances. If you have a Dishwasher made since 1994, or a refrigerator made since 1995, you will have an appliance that uses up to 25 percent less energy. This can really add up. SAVINGS: Up to $25 dollars a year, per appliance that you replacing. Property Taxes- If the house values in your area are steady, or declining consider challenging the amount of your appraisal. The worst that can happen is you are turned down, and if appropriate, then you win out. SAVINGS: At least a few hundred dollars annually in most case.
Think Green- With alternative methods of heating and cooling, as well as solar hot water heat, and other environmentally friendly methods, you can literally invest your way to savings. The initial cost of a green environmentally friendly system can be expensive, but the longer that you have it installed the more savings you will realize. For example, Solar Hot water systems can run about $3,500 dollars, but with tax credits and incentives in many areas, the cost can be much less. SAVINGS: Energy savings with solar hot water start at around $500 for the first year and increase as the price of electric service goes up.