Stop allowing your old washing machine or drafty windows to drain your yearly budget. While the upfront cost for modern appliances and other investments can be high, the future payoff is even higher. Here are four investments you should make now to save more money in the long run.
High Efficiency Appliances
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Energy efficient appliances are better for the environment than older versions and they help keep more money in your pocketbook. In fact, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, if every American household invested in energy-efficient appliances, the nation could eliminate 25 power plants. Even better, energy-efficient appliances eliminate $400 in utility bills per year from each household budget. A few modern appliances to consider purchasing include a high-efficiency washing machine and dryer, a new water heater and a modern dishwasher.
Quality Windows and Insulation
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Is your home outfitted with older or drafty windows? Window and insulation energy leaks could be costing more than you think. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that America loses about $35 billion annually through windows and the average American household spends between $1500 and $2500 each year on energy bills, with 45 percent of that amount going to heating and cooling.
Installing new windows and improving your home’s insulation doesn’t just save you money. These investments also improve the home’s comfort, reduce the fading of furniture and carpets and improve your home’s safety.
Modern Light Bulbs and Other Small Changes
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The household changes you make needn’t be drastic to be effective. Making the simple switch from incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs to newer LED versions can help reduce your energy bill by 7 percent over the long-term.
Also, invest in ‘smart’ power strips to reduce the power consumed in your household by lamps, small appliances, fans and more. Rather than continuing to draw power from outlets even when turned off as older power strips often do, smart power strips turn off the power switch automatically, thus reducing your energy bill over time. Purchase several smart power strips and use them as the main outlets for all items you previously plugged directly into the wall.
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Take your energy savings out of the home by investing in a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Modern vehicles such as the Ford Fusion save you money in several ways. The most obvious and immediate savings of a hybrid vehicle is the reduced amount drivers spend on gas. Some fuel-efficient cars can reduce the amount of gas you use by 50 percent or more.
Other benefits that come with a hybrid vehicle include lower maintenance bills, lower taxes and fees, cheaper insurance and more. Since commuters often spend several hours in their car per day, investing in a fuel-efficient vehicle offers the most immediate payback and continues paying off well into the future.
The appliances you use and the car you drive can make your budget or break it. Spend a little more now on worthwhile investments and technologies to save more in the long-term.