Five Ways You Are Wasting Money Around The House

by Hank Coleman

Stop wasting moneyAre you looking for ways to save money in your family’s monthly budget? You may be surprised to realize just how you may be wasting money around the house with everyday items that you haven’t even considered.

If you just look around your home, I’m sure that you can find several ways that you can save money instead of wasting money around the house.

Five Ways You Are Wasting Money Around The House

Having 200 Cable Channels

Do you have the biggest cable or satellite television package that is offered? Have you ever sat down to seriously think about how many of those cable channels that you are actually watching?

It is a classic example of the Pareto Principle. I can almost guarantee that you spend 80% of your time only watching 20% of the television channels that your cable package offers. Is there a smaller cable package that you can switch to and still get those 20% of the channels that you always watch? When was the last time that you looked at your cable bill and which package you even have? Also, you can switch to Netflix, Roku, Hulu Plus and ditch cable altogether.

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Overpaying For Your Electric Bill

While some areas have only one electric company or option for power, others have their choice between providers. Some can even choose what type of electricity their power will be supplied by whether it is coal, wind, gas, nuclear, or a combination. There are even services such as EnergyHelpLine that can help energy customers switch suppliers and save money.

Vampire Power Draws While On Standby

There are many instances around your home where you are probably leaking electricity. Many of the appliances and electronics that we now own continue to draw a small amount of power even when they are in standby mode.

This is often called standby power, vampire power, phantom load, or leaking electricity. You may think that your devices are switched off and not drawing any power, but they are still drawing a small amount of power for things like clocks, front displays, or timed functions that will be done at a later time. Of course, unplugging your unused electronics will solve this problem and save you money on your electric bill.

Needlessly Heating Too Much Water

Another big waste of money at home is when you needlessly heat too much water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating water can take up 14% to 25% of the energy that you use in your home. Are you washing your clothes in the washing machine with hot water?

Switching to cold water can save you instead of wasting money throughout the year. Have you every thought about turning down the thermostat on your hot water heater? Turning down the temperature on your hot water heater can save you $100 to $200 per year depending on your model of hot water heater.

You can also switch to a tankless hot water heater to save money. While these may not seem like a lot of savings, every little bit will start to add up. This is just one way to save $100 or more per year and curb wasting money in your home.

Are You Leaking Hot Air?

There are tons of ways that air is escaping from your house to the outside. Mom and Dad said it best when we were kids. They weren’t paying to heat or cool the whole neighborhood. The same if, of course, true for your house. Here are a few easy ways to stop wasting money from leaking area.

  • Seal your duct work leading outside
  • Caulk your windows
  • Add insulation
  • Check your attic stairs
  • Put draft guards on your doors

Be sure to check out other ways that you can save money on your electric bill!

Have you found a few ways to stop wasting money around the house? What are your favorite, quick money saving tips around the house? Let us know in the comment section…

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]

Hank Coleman has written 578 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

TB at BlueCollarWorkman

I agree 100% with everything here! Whenyou’re not using stuff, unplug the frickers and save yoruself money! The only one that people shoudl think hard about is the cable. We’ve got a big cable package, but darn it, we really use it!


Hank Coleman

I guess if you really use it, then that’s okay. You really just have to know yourself.


Christian L.

I make a concerted effort to never throw food away. So many households waste tons of food and don’t consider they’re basically throwing money away. My roommates and I will even coordinate our shopping to cook meals together and avoid throwing away food.

-Christian L. @ Smart Military Money


Hank Coleman

That’s a great tip. I have been guilty of throwing food away on an occasion or two. It comes from poor planning on my part typically and letting food needlessly expire. Great tip, Christian! Thanks!



the 80/20 rule with television is so, so true. For me? I have hundreds of channels and watch about four channels.


Hank Coleman


I’m actually writing another blog post right now about just how much stuff in our lives is ruled by the 80/20 principle. It is so much stuff. I only wear 20% of the clothes in my closet for example. It’s crazy how much money we waste because of it.


Grayson @ Debt Roundup

Great post Hank. We cut cable, added a programmable thermostat, and turned down our water heater. I have been working hard on figuring out and fixing where we lose heat and A/C. Our house was not built well, so it means a lot of work.


Hank Coleman

I would highly recommend an energy audit to see where you are loosing heat or air. Often many electric companies come out to your home and do one one site. Others have tutorials for conducting your own audit online. Definitely well worth your time to check them out!


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