We all have our morning routine. Whether you groggily crawl to the coffee maker or briskly walk the dog, it’s typical to start the day on autopilot. Hot coffee. Warm shower. 1,000 sit-ups (just kidding). But how often do you focus on ways to save money in the morning? Probably not a lot.
There's no need to do anything drastic before 8 AM, but with a few simple adjustments and a little planning ahead, you can save time and cash while you get ready to face the day.
1. While you’re in the shower. Every morning, you start the day fresh by standing in your shower. Do you know the temperature of the water that’s splashing you? It turns out most water heaters are unnecessarily set to 140 degrees by installers. Lowering your temperature to 120 degrees will reduce your water heating costs by 6% to 10%, and you won’t even notice the difference!
2. When you’re sipping your coffee. The average American spends over $1,000 annually for their daily jolt in coffee stores. By brewing your coffee at home and having a reusable coffee mug on the go, you will save around $100 per month. If you’re not quite ready to say no to that coffee shop cup of Joe, some shops will give you a discount for bringing your own mug. To get even more out of your home brew, read: Clean Your Coffee Maker.
3. After you eat your breakfast. Unplug your toaster, coffee maker, blender and any other appliances you use while making breakfast. These small appliances consume large amounts of unnecessary energy as a whole. These ‘vampire’ products cannot be truly turned off without being unplugged, and draw power 24 hours a day whether on or off, costing you money. To learn more about home energy hogs, read: Identify Home Energy Hogs.
4. When you’re getting dressed. Take one night to clean out your closet and make your mornings easier. When you clean it out, separate your clothes into four piles: keep, store, donate/sell and toss. Your store pile is for clothes that are out of season (sweaters in the summer and bathing suits in the winter). You can store them under beds or in closets when they’re not needed. Only place items in the throw away pile if they are ruined beyond repair. Otherwise, place them in the “donate” or “sale” pile. Put the “donate” and “trash” piles into large plastic trash bags, and remove them from your closet area. Bring your donate pile to a Goodwill or another local consignment shop. To sell your items and make a little extra cash, list them on an online site like eBay or bring them to a local consignment store as well.
5. As you’re walking out the door. The average U.S. household will spend about $2,100 on home energy this year, and almost half of that goes to heating and cooling. By simply setting your air conditioning fan to “auto” instead of “on” as you jet out the door, you’ll save roughly $15 each month on your energy bill. This setting will automatically turn your fan off once your house reaches a target temperature, rather than having it continue pumping out cold air you don’t need. Tip: Close your curtains, too! You’ll keep your house cool naturally by blocking the sun.
For a few more money saving tips that apply to lunch and dinner as well as breakfast, read: Save Money in the Kitchen.