By Lina Martinez

How many times have you sat, staring at your bank balance, internally screaming 'where did that $100 go?'. Or, how many times have you bailed on a friend, your reason been you've 'got no money'? Of course, unless something terrible has happened, we actually do have some money in the bank. Being the dramatic creatures we are, we have a tendency to exaggerate the seriousness of our financial situation. But, somewhat depressingly, we do live in a day and age where having $500 in the bank means you may as well have nothing. If that money isn't going to cover your rent, your medical fees, your kids food or your car, you'll probably feel like you're struggling. This is why it is vital for us to scrimp and save wherever we can. Thankfully, there are some hacks available for you to save money on your household outgoing, where a lot of your money goes.

A hot water tank jacket

It may seem a little odd wrapping your boiler up in a jacket. But, this handy little trick can save you around $40 per year. Your water heater will need to work twice as hard to keep your hot water - well, hot, without any supportive form of insulation. The jackets themselves are pretty inexpensive to buy and you can even fit them yourself.

 

 

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Making full use of your appliances

This is something many of us are guilty of doing from time to time. But putting your washing machine on when it's only half full, or running a half-empty dishwasher are both things that can make your energy bills skyrocket. If you and your family go through a lot of laundry, consider buying a secondary laundry basket and labelling it the 'emergency basket'. That way, if someone needs a clean shirt for an important meeting, or your teenager needs a clean sports kit, you can get the most urgent items cleaned first. Then, if you can still fit more in the washing machine, turn to your normal laundry bin.

Check everything is working

A faulty central heating or water system can be the root cause for many wasted energy bills in the home. If you suspect something is wrong with your heating system, consider calling in a professional to check everything is working. It is best to do this before winter sets in, as heating companies will be overrun with enquiries once the cold weather sets in. The type of water in your home could also be affecting how efficient your running water is. Many households suffer from hard water - water with very high levels of magnesium and calcium - and this water can damage your pipes. It is also a leading cause behind limescale. You can deal with this yourself by using the best water softener to dilute the running supply.

 

 

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Consider changing your lighting

In recent years, the cause for LED lighting has been shining bright. A single LED 7W bulb uses much less energy than the halogen equivalent - meaning it could save you around $8 a year per bulb.

 

 

 

Lina Martinez has her B.S. in journalism and is a contributor to our politics, life and money pages. She once admitted over drinks to singing "Careless Whisper" in the shower. We are still trying to get her to sing it at karaoke.