Quitting a bad habit often requires us to find the right motivation to be able to truly change our behavior. Motivation comes in many different forms, and also varies from person to person. One person might decide to break a bad habit because they want to be healthier, while another person might change because of a desire for personal growth. But if there’s one thing that can motivate almost anyone to change, it would be the desire to save money!
That’s what today’s post is all about—breaking bad habits around the house in order to save money. Because the unfortunate truth about these common behaviors is that all of them can cost you money over time. They might even be costing you money as we speak! So if you’re guilty of any of these 11 bad household habits, it may be time to break them for the sake of your budget!
(I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been guilty of several of these bad habits, so I’m not passing any judgment! The goal of this post is simply to make you aware of the little things we all do that can have unintended financial consequences. Because after all, knowledges is power!)
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11 Bad Habits Around The House That Cost You Money
1. Yanking Cords To Unplug Them
Yanking a cord to unplug it might save you a couple of seconds of time, but it could end up costing you a lot of money! Tugging and yanking on cords can cause all kinds of damage, like bending the plug, fraying the wires, splitting the cord, or even cracking the outlet itself.
Instead, just walk over to the wall and gently pull the cord out by the plug. It only takes a few more seconds, and it could save both your plug-in appliance and your wall outlets!
2. Flushing Cleaning Wipes
When in doubt, don’t flush anything you’re not sure you should flush! Because while toilet paper is designed to break down quickly after flushing, baby wipes and household cleaning wipes are made from woven fibers that don’t break down that way. These can lead to clogs in your own plumbing system at home, or even affect your municipality’s entire sewage system.
Instead, toss all wipes in the trash! It’s the easiest way to avoid expensive plumbing problems.
3. Overfilling (Or Underfilling) Your Fridge Or Freezer
Your fridge and freezer both operate best when they’re kept about three-quarters full. A jam-packed fridge or freezer will likely have items blocking the air vents, resulting in poor air circulation throughout. On the other end of the spectrum, a bare fridge or freezer requires more energy to keep everything cold, and that will show up on your electric bill.
To avoid these issues, keep your fridge and freezer most of the way full as often as you can. (Noticed your fridge or freezer is looking a bit empty? Just place a few jugs of water to take up some of that extra space!)
4. Running A Half-Empty Load Of Dishes
Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water and energy to wash a half-empty load of dishes as it does for a full load. So you might as well get the most value for your money by only running full loads of dishes. If you have a few dishes that you want clean, just wash them by hand to save money and energy.
5. Leaving Spills In Your Oven
Grease splatters, drips, and other food messes can be unavoidable when cooking in an oven. But it’s important to clean up those spills and splatters as soon as the oven cools off. Leaving greasy messes at the bottom of your oven can lead to weird-tasting food, bad odors, or discoloration inside the oven.
In addition to wiping up spills as soon as possible, make sure to clean the inside of your oven every few months or so. Check out the link below to learn my favorite method for cleaning your oven’s interior.
6. Failing To Tighten Your Car’s Gas Cap
Firstly, driving around with a loose gas cap will cost the environment, because it allows vapors to escape into the atmosphere. Secondly, most newer models will alert you about a loose gas cap by displaying the “Check Engine” light. If you aren’t aware that the gas cap is the issue, this could send you to a car repair shop for an expensive (and unnecessary) diagnosis.
7. Slamming The Front Door
It turns out that Mom was right to warn you to close doors gently! Repeatedly slamming your front door shut can pull the door out of alignment, leading to drafts, air gaps, and potentially higher utility bills. If your door-slamming habit is due to the weight of the door in question, consider installing a door closer to help remind you to let the door do the work.
8. Letting Dryer Lint Accumulate
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are about 2,900 clothes dryer fires each year, leading to injuries, deaths, and an estimated $35 million in property damage. And one of the major causes of those dryer fires is a failure to clean out the lint trap regularly!
Get in the habit of clearing out your lint trap before or after each use. Additionally, you should vacuum out the vent where the lint trap sits about every 90 days. This will keep it clear on an ongoing basis, but if your dryer vent is already clogged, you will probably want to call in a dryer technician to get it properly cleaned out.
9. Forgetting To Change Filters
Many appliances have filters that need to be kept clean, like your HVAC system, your range hood, personal air filters, and even your vacuum cleaner. These appliances can’t run efficiently with dirty filters, so it’s important to change them out or clean them regularly! Most filters are designed to be easy to remove, clean, or replace.
10. Taking Long, Steamy Showers
Not only can long, hot showers strip your skin of moisture, but they can also contribute to water damage in your bathroom. Make sure your bathroom’s fan is working properly to remove moisture from the bathroom, and keep it running during your shower and for about 20-30 minutes after your shower. And limit your showers to about 5 minutes to avoid overtaxing your water heater.
11. Wearing Shoes In The House
Want to keep your floors clean? The easiest way to do it is by instituting a “no shoes in the house” rule! Dirty shoe soles can spread dust, allergens, and bacteria all over your house. They can also scuff up floors and track dirt all over, and the solution to all of these issues is simple: take off your shoes at the door!
Have you ever had to overcome a bad habit?