Are you struggling with your budget? You wouldn’t be alone. The lingering pandemic, labor shortages, and tensions in Eastern Europe have created the perfect storm for inflation. Everyone’s paying more for almost anything, from utilities and clothing to groceries and gas.
With the usual expenses costing more than ever, you’re probably not saving as much as you should.
Rule of thumb says you should have as much as six months’ worth of expenses sitting in an emergency. This amount provides an ample cushion when things go wrong like if your tire blows, you chip a tooth, or you lose some shifts at work.
These unexpected expenses are possible to handle without an emergency, as long as you have the right credit score to borrow. But what happens if you’re recovering from bad credit? Some online direct lenders, such as MoneyKey, don’t rely on risk-based lending using your credit score.
When it comes to an installment loan like a MoneyKey direct loan online, you may still qualify if you have subprime credit. Installment loans for bad credit are based on your employment situation, income, and other financial information.
However, like any cash advance, an installment loan for bad credit is best used as a safety net when your savings fail.
So what can you do to make sure your emergency fund doesn’t run out?
These eco-friendly habits do more than help Mother Earth. They come with the added cost-saving benefit of helping your budget.
1. Use Appliances at Off-Peak Times
When you do chores plays a crucial role in how much you pay for water, electricity, and gas.
Utility providers apply time-of-use prices to offset high demand when most people use energy. Off-peak pricing charges less for energy and water as a way to encourage people to use utilities when energy demand is low.
If you wait to run large appliances that use up a lot of energy (i.e., your dishwasher, washer, and dryer), you could cash in on off-peak pricing. Research shows you’ll also reduce how much pollution and resources the electricity you use produces.
2. Use Your Dishwasher
Washing your dishes by hand may feel like the more eco-friendly option, but the dishwasher is actually the green way to do dishes. The average person uses as many as 27 gallons of water by washing a sink full of dishes, whereas an ENERGY-STAR dishwasher uses just 3.
3. Drive Less, Walk More
Trade your car keys for your running shoes whenever possible. Not only will you get your steps in for the day, but you’ll also save on gas and reduce pollution.
Of course, walking everywhere isn’t always a convenient or safe option. Ask friends and family to carpool or, if possible, take public transit.
4. Adjust Your Thermostat
Perhaps the easiest money- and eco-friendly tip on the list is setting your thermostat at the energy-efficient settings.
According to the US Department of Energy, setting your thermostat back by 10°F for 8 hours a day can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills.
Summer Settings: Run your air con at 78°F when you’re at home.
Winter Settings: Try to keep your indoor temps at 68°F while you’re at home and awake. Set it a few degrees lower if you’re out of the house or asleep.
5. Wash Laundry with Cold Water
Simply setting your wash cycle to cold water can save 90% of the energy used by your laundry machine. The switch promises to save as much as $60 a year, and you’ll produce 864 fewer pounds of CO2 emissions.