Since Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, 2012 it seemed like a perfect time to write about the ways we can help Mother Earth while saving money in the process. When people thinking about going green they often think about how it is too inconvenient and how it will drastically change their lifestyle. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are many ways you can help the environment without making any major changes and you may even save a buck or two.
- Bottle your own water – In 2009, Americans spent $9 billion dollars on bottled water. If you spent $15 a week on water that adds up to $780 a year for something you can get for free. There are many different types of containers, even ones with built-in filters, which can reflect your own personal style.
- Brew your own coffee – Coffee can be a huge budget buster for most people. If you only drink 1 cup per day 7 days a week at a cost of $3 a cup that’s $1092/year. Realistically the fancy coffee drinks at Starbucks cost a whole lot more. By brewing it at home or in the office you can save money, reduce the amount of coffee cups you use and sport some fancy travel mug.
- Borrow a book or go electronic –If you spend a lot of money on books each week you may want to consider going to the library instead. You not only save money, you reduce waste and you don’t have all those books hanging around. E-books will save you a little money compared to their paper counterparts plus they reduce paper and don’t take up space. Many magazines have electronic editions. If you need to buy books, try used. It’s better for the environment and it gives the book a new life. Also sharing magazines and books with friends is another money saving idea.
- Buy antique or vintage –Instead of furnishing your home with disposable furniture made from particle board that will eventually fall apart, buy used. Many antique or vintage items are back in style, are better quality and will last longer.
- Reuse, repurpose and recycle –By repurposing items, donating them or selling them you give the items a new life and protect the environment. Plus you save/make money in the process. One example, repurposing an old spice rack with jars to store screws, hooks, nuts or bolts you save money on buying an organizer plus you can easily find the items. Try sites like thredup, eBay and Craigslist for used clothing, toys, furniture, books and more.
- Use grocery bags as trash liners –Reduce your environmental footprint, save money and keep your trash can clean.
- Regular vehicle maintenance –It extends the life of your car, extends the tires and improves your gas mileage when you keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. So it saves you money and your carbon footprint.
- Avoid vending machines –A huge budget/gut buster is vending machines. Instead buy your favorite snacks in bulk and store them in an airtight reusable container. You save money and waste.
- Dine in–Eating out can be costly. Instead get out your favorite dishes and eat with family or friends. Talk, laugh, play games and have fun without spending money or wasting resources.
- Go paperless –Online bill pay is convenient as well as easy. You can even send yourself reminders or have payments taking out automatically. It also helps you save money by avoiding late fees and stamp. Plus it reduces the amount of paper being used.
Some other ways people go green are by using recycled building materials for their home improvement projects as well as buying energy efficient appliances. Some people will buy a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation, upgrade their HVAC systems or move closer to work. If you're looking for ways to finance some of your green endeavors, your future payments might be the answer. To get a free market evaluation, please call Rescue Capital 866.688.3532.
When it comes to selling all or some of your future payments many things can affect the outcome. If you’re properly prepared the transaction can go smoothly. However, if you don’t do your research ahead of time the sale might not go as planned. Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction.
- Do your homework-Research a few companies with the Better Business Bureau, talk to them to see what they have to offer. Some funding companies have merged but are still acting like they’re separate companies. Get multiple offers from separate companies and discuss the different options available to you such as deferring the sale or selling only a portion of your payments.
- Getting it in writing-Get a concrete offer in writing. If the company you’re talking to won't put it in writing go elsewhere. Reputable firms put their offers in writing and won’t give you the run-around.
- Going with someone you don’t feel comfortable with-If your representative avoids your calls, gives you the run-around or doesn’t take the time to explain things to you they may not be the right company. Go with a company that provides you with excellent customer service and treats you with the respect you deserve.
- Wasting the money-Instead of using the money to pay off high interest credit card debt or purchasing a home as intended, some people will go on costly shopping sprees or buy extravagant gifts. By using your money wisely you can avoid getting yourself into a deeper financial hole.
- Being Hasty-Haste makes waste. In other words, don't make rash decisions. Think everything through and don't just go with the first company that sends you an unsolicited check in the mail or has a memorable TV spot.
- Not reading the fine print-If you don't read your contract completely you could be getting in over your head and not even know it. Read your contract thoroughly and ask for help from a trusted advisor.
- Using a broker-Why pay someone part of your money in order to get you a good deal. By calling around to different companies you can get competitive quotes without the expense of a middleman.
- Selling too few or too many payments-Sit down and figure how much you need and the purpose. For example, if you need a new heating system you don’t need $300,000. Make a list of the things you need to purchase or pay off. Bring any estimates or bills with you when you appear in court. Make a budget and stick to it.
- Not getting advice-It’s important to talk to an independent advisor to determine if selling your future payments is in your best interest. In addition, make sure you understand your paperwork and the consequences of your transaction.
- Not calling Rescue Capital at 866.688.3532-Rescue Capital offers highly competitive rates, some of the best around. They take the time to listen to you and understand your financial goals. At Rescue Capital, you’re not a number but a person who needs our help.
The Department of Justice spent $4000 for 250 muffins. Doesn’t it seem sort of extravagant when you do the math? They also spent $121 million on conferences in a two year period including $600,000 on event planning. Now our cash strapped country has to pay the piper for such lavish spending. So what can you learn from such wasteful spending? Accountability and fiscal responsibility come to mind.
As we headed into a recession the government kept spending and spending. Soon we found ourselves deeper and deeper in debt. Rather than cutting back or at least try to control spending by purchasing cheaper muffins, getting competitive bids or hiring a full time staff member they continued down a path of irresponsibility. Obviously now drastic measures need to be taken to reduce spending, cutting costs and reducing debt; all this while trying to stimulate our troubled economy. Or they will need to come up with more money, aka raising taxes.
So what exactly does this have to do with you? While it is really quite simple, when times are tough it make sense to cut back on the little things to reduce spending rather than continuing on a path of debt and self-destruction. Things like skipping the mani-pedi, brewing your own coffee, bringing a bagged lunch or working a second job are small sacrifices you could easily do to save money and fund your emergency fund. By having such a fund, if something happens like your car breaks down or your roof leaks you will have the money to repair it. You wouldn’t have to incur debt or make drastic financial decisions.
Obviously there will always be the individual who continues to spend $300 on a pair of shoes so people won’t think they are hurting financially. But the truth is that you can only do that for so long before you get in over your head. At some point it isn’t about brewing your own coffee, it becomes about selling your assets such as your annuity, your car or your home just to survive. No one likes bill collectors and being in debt isn’t a picnic either therefore wouldn’t it make sense to live within your means and create a budget you can stick to?
Rescue Capital has a few tools on their website that can help you to reach your goal of financial responsibility. We are also looking into developing other tools too so if you have any suggestions on new tools or ways we can improve the ones we have just email us at email@example.com