Have you ever found yourself wondering where all of your money has gone? In this first video of a two-part series, Cristie Richards discusses some easy tips and websites that may be able to reduce your overall monthly spending.
>>Jacqueline Davies: A lot of us get to the end of the month and have nothing to show for the work that we’ve done, with all of our money gone and only pennies at best to put into savings, leaving us to ask, “Where did all that money go?” I’m Jacqueline Davies and I’m here today with Cristie Richards, Senior Vice President for Zions Bank, who’s giving us a few tips on eliminating needless costs. Cristie, thank you so much for joining us today.
>>Cristie Richards: Thank you.
>>Jacqueline Davies: I know that we had talked in the past about budgeting and how we can save money, and I think when people get a little bit behind they think, “I need to go out and get another job. I need to be making more money.” But what can we do at home so that we can save money, maybe start there?
>>Cristie Richards: Well, there’s several things we can do at home. First, I would suggest lowering the temperature on your thermostat. For every degree you lower that, you save about 5% on your monthly bill. Another thing to consider is lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. If you don’t have a temperature control gauge on your water heater, then run your water until it’s about – it’s hot, but not scalding – that will adjust it so that you save money as well. Another thing to consider is to wash your clothes with cold water. If you do that, you save about 50% in energy just by switching from hot to cold. Another thing to consider, and something that we don’t think about, is adjusting our lawnmowers to about three inches. Keeping your lawn and grass longer, it retains more moisture and that way you don’t have to water as often.
>>Jacqueline Davies: Now, I know that we have a lot of memberships to clubs and things like that and you’re paying these monthly dues every month or these yearly fees. How are some of the – what are some of the ways we can cut back on that, maybe take another look at that?
>>Cristie Richards: Well first of all, gym memberships. A lot of us have gym memberships. Some of us don’t use them. If you’re not using it, cancel it. If you are using it, we’re going into the summer time now and there’s a lot of activities you can do outdoors, so consider cancelling it during the summer months. A lot of programs now are month-to-month so you can cancel them more easily. You have to remember that a lot of them require 30- to 60-day period before they’re cancelled so you have to plan ahead, but consider cancelling that and finding other ways to get in your exercise without going to the gym. Another thing to consider are your cable services. A lot of times we pay way too much in that area – I know I was. There’s a great website, it’s called WhiteFence.com, and you go on it and you plug in your zip code, and let’s say you want to compare cable services, it will bring up all the cable service providers in your area and it will give you a comparison of the costs and even packages. I did this myself and I looked at the provider that I currently have and there were probably six or seven different options for that carrier, so I was able – it educated me a little bit more – and then you can call your cable company and say, you know, you want to change your package.
>>Jacqueline Davies: So what are some of the other needless expenses that we have, maybe, that we don’t think about? We talked about, you know, saving at home, things we can do in our house, memberships, things like that. What are some other things that we might not really think about?
>>Cristie Richards: Well, there’s spending and entertainment. Of course all of us like to spend money, and if you have it in your budget, then you’re allowed to spend some. One of the sites I’ve found is called eBates.com and it has most of the major retailers on there and you sign in and you purchase through this site at these major retailers and you get a rebate back – anywhere from one to 25% back. And the cool thing is, is they’ll return your money via check, or they’ll deposit it into your PayPal account, or you can say you want it to go to charity and you can pick a charity that it will go to. So it’s a great, great site. Another site that I like for entertainment is Entertainment Book, and you can go on there, it does cost I think about $25 to enroll, but you get, you know, 50% off or a lot of 2-for-1 certificates, so if you are planning to dine out – which we all like to do – it’s a great way to save money there.
>>Jacqueline Davies: Thank you so much for sharing those helpful tips.
>>Cristie Richards: You’re welcome.
>>Jacqueline Davies: To see more videos like this, subscribe to the Zions Direct YouTube channel.