A programmable thermostat can literally save a couple hundred dollars a year (or more). The reason I personally recommend the Nest so heavily, is that you can remotely access your thermostat via wifi and change the temperature (providing small savings each time) if your plans change (maybe you decide to go out to dinner and movies for instances).
The ROI on the Nest is mind blowing. Some users have claimed that it has more than paid for itself over 6 months, but I think a more conservative guess is 50% a year (2 year payback). Remember all of those savings are tax-free returns as well.
2. Change out your old Light Bulbs for LEDs
Finally LEDs are on top over CFLs. The only issues I’ve seen with mine is that certain ones flicker slightly when I have the dishwasher running, apparently it’s known issue that’s being worked out. Considering my light bulbs are over a year old, it’s likely completely solved. If you have CFLs though, it’s likely the power savings isn’t worth converting from CFL to LED.
3. Get any Annual Credit Card Fees Removed
Believe it or not, it’s very possible to get most credit card annual fees removed entirely. One call (around 10 minutes) earlier this year saved me $95 a year, forever.
4. Negotiate your Car Insurance
Shop around but also be sure to ask for discounts. Tell them about your low mileage for instances or see if there is any student or military discounts (if you would qualify). Just keep pushing, this is a 15 minute phone call that could save you a couple thousand dollars over the next decade.
This is actually a two part savings. People are quick to think it’s just the water savings, but don’t forget that you are using less hot water. With the right shower head, it’s not even noticeable and it saves you money.
6. Use Ebates (Newer Fatwallet)
Ebates is literally money for the sky. Before you check out online, login through your account to see if there is any additional cash back for the retailer. Follow the link through and expect some cash back in your fat wallet account. I clock in about $120 a year from fatwallet.
Amazon’s prices are incredibly competitive, but we are in a very rare state because most grocery stores sell amazon giftcards and provide huge free gas perks. My grocery store gives $1.00 off per gallon up to 35 gallons for every $500 (during promotions it’s only $250). That mean’s in theory you could get 7% back in gas perk alone (in addition to the credit card and fatwallet cash back). Let’s also not forget the saved time, gas, and wear and tear on your car. People have yet to fully wise up to Amazon, but once Amazon pantry and more food becomes available, we will likely see grocery stores pull their amazon cards.
8. Buy Gift Cards Online at a discount
There are various gift card flipping websites out there, that allow you to buy gift cards at a discount. 10% off Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart right now. This is especially important for large purchases. The discounts vary, but usually clothing stores are heavily discount (because people don’t want the cards they have). Also note: Home Depot and Lowes giftcards can be paired with a 10% off coupon (usually up to $5,000) found on eBay.
9. Take the Free Credit Rewards
If you don’t already have a credit card for rewards, get one. Specifically there is a great way right now to get $1000+ of international travel for free. Apply for two cards (and meet their spending goals), the chase sapphire preferred card and the united mileage plus card. For the sapphire preferred card You get the 40k miles (which you will transfer to United Mileage later, at 1 to 1) and you get 30k miles for the united mileage plus card. Redeem those miles via United’s program and qualify for a lot of free travel. International round trip tickets around the $1000-$1500 range cost 60k miles. Meaning qualifying for these cards, can in theory give you $1600 (10k miles left worth) of value per person per year. If you are looking for an easier perk program, capital one venture is 2% on everything.
10. Troll Your Gas Perk Programs at your Grocery
The easiest way to “troll” your gas perk programs are gift cards. You have a large home renovation project coming up? You could buy home depot cards at your grocery store, OR you could buy eBay gifts and buy discounted gift cards off eBay (going back to #8). Some grocery stores even have PayPal reload cards which can be used for direct PayPal checkout (on other various websites). Buying gift cards and coupons off eBay via gas perk eBay gift cards is worth the hassle as you can see incredibly savings. Really make the effort when you are looking at large purchases (like a remodel).
So how much can you Save Using These Techniques? Well I put some ballpark numbers on these suggestions.
The Nest ($150 a year or more)
CFL ($150 a year or more)
Annual Credit Cards ($95 a year or more)
Negotiate your Insurance ($150 a year or more)
Water Saving Showerheads ($100 a year or more)
Using Fatwallet ($120 a year or more)
Shop with Amazon (easily $250 a year or more)
Buy Gift Cards at Discount (easily $500 a year or more)
Take Free Credit Card Rewards ($1500 of value a year or more)
Troll your Gas Perks Program ($420 a year or more, assumes 35 gallons once month)
Grand Total: $3,435 a year or more.
If you save the difference and compound it at 8% annual (compounded monthly), you’re looking at increasing your wealth by $445,327 after 30 years. Easiest half million ever saved.