Want to save money? Toss these 5 items while spring cleaning
Temperatures are finally starting to feel like summer is around the corner, which means spring cleaning is in full effect. According to Statista, a statistics website, 72 percent of Americans took part in some form of spring purge in 2013, up 10 percent from the prior year. While your inner 16-year-old may still be clinging to that U2 Zootopia concert tee, keeping other items like aging gadgets, appliances and makeup may end up costing you.
Here are five ways to say goodbye to old stuff without causing a hole in your wallet:
Ditch the ancient electrical items and appliances. If you are a gadget and appliance aficionado, you live for new product launches. The opposite extreme is keeping outdated items in heavy rotation. According to a study from Energy.gov, appliances account for 13 percent of your household's energy costs; even more if you don't have EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Energy Star-compliant items. The worst offenders include: dishwashers, air conditioners and washers and dryers. Likewise, an iPhone 4 uses more energy than an Energy Star-rated refrigerator (if you include wireless connections, data usage, and battery charging), according to Mark Mills, chief executive of Digital Power Group. Bottom line: If your gadgets are more than 5 years old or your appliances are so ancient they aren't Energy Star-certified, consider tossing or replacing them.
SEE MORE: 12 Ways to Save Money at Home
Say "no" to magazine purchases and subscriptions and go digital. If you still getmagazines sent to your home every month, you aren't alone. On average, around 14 million people still subscribe to news magazines, according to a Pew Research Center study. This number is far less than it was 10 years ago and continues to decline as more people get their news digitally. (Case in point: You are reading this piece online, right?) Subscribing to two or more magazines can cost you upwards of $150 a year. Do you have a weekly habit of picking up the latest issue of Elle, Vogue and Wired while grabbing milk at the grocery store? In addition to causing massive clutter in your home, your average magazine costs $3.99. If you're grabbing three per week, you could spend well over $600 per year. Take this advice and go digital: It's cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Click through to learn 20 creative ways to make a quick buck:
Embrace and invest in new thermostat technology. Since temperatures are rising, the urge to keep the air blasting all day is strong. Don't. Turing off the air conditioner for up to 8 hours a day (say, while you're at the office)can cut your bill by 10 percent or more. Programmable thermostats are relatively inexpensive, with certain models priced under $25. Side note: This works for the winter, too.
EXPLORE MORE: 12 Habits of Phenomenally Frugal Families
Replace regular light bulbs with LED lights. LED lights may not be on your radar yet, but they should be. Let's break it down: LED bulbs last close to 20 years. While they may initially cost more than regular bulbs (they run, on average, $15 to $22), you won't have to replace them as frequently.
Throw out and replace old cosmetics often. Few things are worse than having to replace items from your makeup bag. But using old makeup not only leads to disappointment (items lose their potency over time), it could cause you to spend more to compensate for the loss in effectiveness. Studies have shown that makeup immediately oxidizes and degrades the minute you open the packaging, and after a couple of months, it can accumulate bacterial and fungal growth. Let's say you're cool with that, but fungal growth is now causing skin issues. There goes another $500 to try and rectify the problem. Do yourself and your wallet a favor: Throw out and replace anything that's more than a couple of months old, before bacteria wrecks your perfect skin and annual beauty budget.
SEE ALSO: 10 Quirky Ways to Save Money
Spring cleaning can be viewed as an annoying chore or the greatest purge of the year. If you would rather stick toothpicks in your eye than organize and clean, think about the potential savings you'll reap by setting aside a weekend to organize and purge. With the leftover money, you can celebrate not having to partake for another year!
RELATED: Check out 15 kitchen items you should throw away immediately:
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