Jun 22 2017

Think About Money

When you’re trying to keep your cost of living down in Sarasota, Florida, you could be looking in the wrong places to figure out where you’re spending most of your money. People don’t realize how easy it is to spend too much on coffee, food, and home energy usage.

You Drink Designer Coffee

Buying coffee on the way to work is very convenient but it also gets very expensive. If you stop at your favorite spot like Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, a large cup of coffee is well over $2, depending on where you live. Adding extras like flavors, getting it iced, or going for specialty drinks like flavored lattes makes the price go up even more. Conservatively, you might spend $10 a week on coffee. That’s more than $500 a year you could save by changing just one habit.

Imagine instead how little you could spend at home if you brew your coffee yourself. Using a moderately priced roast, you could get each cup of coffee for about 25 cents. Even factoring in the price of creamer, your coffee maker, and filters, you won’t hit $500 unless you’re drinking a serious amount of coffee at home. Save the designer coffee for treat days and brew at home the rest of the time.

Your House Wastes Energy

One big place people waste money is inside the home. Anything from living in an apartment that’s too expensive or a drafty house can eat a hole in your wallet. Utility bills and electricity usage are two big ways you might be spending too much money, and sometimes the solution is very simple.

Your HVAC system is one of your home’s major energy users, so when your electric bill starts going up, it might have something to do with your HVAC. The simplest thing is to check for drafts. Windows and doors let out a lot of air that your HVAC system works hard to cool or heat, which means it has to work that much harder to keep the house at the right temperature. Try adding blackout curtains to your windows or weatherstripping around your doors. If that doesn’t help, see if a maintenance tuneup from one of our HVAC technicians lowers your system’s energy consumption.

You Don’t Buy Generic

At the store, you see generic brands everywhere. A lot of people avoid these because they believe they’re of inferior quality. While in some cases that is true, in many cases generic is just as good as the brand name. Items like water, seasonings, milk, and OTC medicine are all great options for buying generic. With these things, the ingredients are exactly the same, which you’ll see if you read the label. For OTC medications, find one with the same active ingredient as the name brand.

Some generic items don’t work as well as the name brands. Paper towels and batteries are a few good examples. Of course, if you try a generic brand and dislike it, don’t keep buying it just because it’s cheaper.

You Eat Lots of Takeout

Speaking of being at the store, you should plan your meals before you make your weekly shopping trip. That way you end up with enough food for the week without buying things that expire before you eat them. Also, don’t buy too little because that leaves you with no choice but to order pizza on Friday when your pantry and fridge are empty.

If you like takeout, there’s nothing wrong with that, but try to make it an occasional thing and not your everyday go-to plan. Takeout is expensive, and delivery is worse because you have to pay the driver’s fee, too. It’s very convenient, but once you get the hang of preparing meals in advance, you’ll enjoy how much money you save.

When your HVAC system is sucking down too much energy, call All American Heating and Cooling. We’ll do tuneups and repairs that keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible. Give us a call today at 941-479-6060 to schedule an appointment.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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