Saving is crucial for long-term security, but, in today’s high-pressure, consumer economy, it’s fast becoming a lost art. Saving money works best when done a little at a time over a long period of time. The money stacks up before you know it. It’s important to go through financial training in order to budget and manage your bank account efficiently. Use these 5 tips to get your savings plan on track.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Did you know that ceiling fans help you save money in the winter as well as the summer? During the summer, using ceiling fans can cool your home up to ten degrees more than your air conditioning system alone. You save a ton by changing the thermostat setting from 70- to 80 degrees. Fans decrease utility bills quickly and efficiently.

During the winter, reverse the ceiling fan’s rotation. This has the effect of sucking the hot air upwards and then redistributing it from the ceiling and down the walls. The process continually repeats. Your ceiling fans do more than look pretty. They save you cash, winter or summer.

Shower Fast

You don’t have to shower like a Marine recruit, but making it quick helps. The average shower uses 2.1 gallons of water per minute. If your household averages 20 shower minutes per day, that’s over 1,000 gallons per month. Can you cut that in half?

Entertain at Home

This budget saving tip is often overlooked but it’s one of the most effective, as Money Crashers explains. If you have kids, this is even more important. Taking the family out can add up so fast Daddy Warbucks couldn’t keep up. The great thing about children is they have no consciousness of money. Activities they love, like playing in the park, building snow forts, or running under a sprinkler, cost very little. Enjoy the years where free activities can make a weekend!

Cut That Internet Bill

If you haven’t shopped around for Internet service recently, now’s the time. The old days of expensive cable Internet and bundles are over. Now, the highest speed Internet is available through competitors of those giant internet providers, and the savings are huge. For instance, TruVista provides high-speed Internet with optional TV and voice bundles that will make you wonder why you ever paid those high prices. Plus, when you want to entertain at home, you’ve got entertainment options at no additional cost.

Shop with a Plan

In a 24/7 society, it’s easy to shop every day. After all, you can just stop at the store, pick up a few things, and, while you at it, add a few more items. Instead, make a list of what you need and stick to it. By minimizing shopping trips, you avoid the temptation to overspend. You can also meal prep based on deals and coupons you find for specific stores.

The cost of living continues to grow, but most of us aren’t getting raises that compensate. To live on a budget effectively, you must plan your spending carefully. By following these tips, you’ll have cash left over at the end of each month.

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