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Goodbye 2010 | How to save in 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

As the year comes to an end, it’s important to set clear financial goals for 2011.  Economic times are tough, and that means it’s time to cut the fat out of your bad financial habits and improve your financial stability for the new year.

Here are some ways to save going into 2011.

1. Make a Personal Budget. By setting a budget and sticking to it in 2011 you’ll be surprised how much you actually save.  Make sure you don’t stray from your budget, and avoid any temptations to go on a 1 day shopping spree vente de cialis pas cher.  Review your previous credit card statement, and you’ll most likely find a few items you could have done without.

2. Pay yourself first. If you’re fortunate enough to have a job going into 2011, make sure you set aside some of that paycheck in a savings account first.  Once some of that money is already put away, it’s hard not to save.

3. Review your monthly bills and trim them where you can.  If you pay for cable, see which channels you can remove to lower your monthly bill, if you can’t get rid of cable all together.  Check your local utilities to see if they offer any incentive plans. Meted for instance is rolling out an Energy Savings plan called Easy Green where you can save up to $60/year and also help the environment.

4. Carpool.  If you have to travel far for work (or even if it’s nearby), find out who lives close to you and setup a carpool schedule.  Not only will you save money on gas, but you’ll be helping the environment as well. With Gas prices likely to increase in 2011 and beyond, it’s important to find ways to save money on Gas.

5. Review your mutual fund expense ratios.  Often times certain stocks you may have will have higher expense ratios than they may be paying out.  It’s important to review these funds / stocks on a yearly basis and assess which funds might be worth exchanging for others.  If you have a financial advisor, setup an appointment now for the new year.  You’ll be glad you did.

6. Shop and Eat Smart.  It might seem easier to buy fast food on the go because of those “dollar menus” but in reality it’s going to cost you more in the long run.  Not only is eating Fast Food not good for you, you probably will be spending money on gym memberships.  If you buy food from your local food market you can purchase food for the whole week for less than you’ll most likely spend eating fast food everyday.  Spend your saturday morning purchasing from your local food market (or whenever they’re open), and spend one night a week preparing food.  If you spend just 2 hours, one day a week preparing your meals for the week (and storing them properly of course), you will be eating healthy and also be helping your local community.

7. Check your local Newspapers for Sales. Often times something you’re looking for or need to purchase in a particular month, could end up being on sale.  By purchasing items on Sale or on Clearance you could save quite a bit of money.

8. Save when you go out.  If you would like to have a movie night, go in the afternoon.  Typically it’s cheaper and you’ll more than likely get better seats than in the evening, when it’s most likely going to be packed. Also, look online for special deals when either going to the movie theater, or out to eat.

9. Recycle. It is possible to make money by recycling.  It might take a lot of cans to make a couple of bucks, but that money can go a long way when you stick to your saving habits.  Keep any containers that might be reusable.  Some containers you might be able to fill up with Gatorade for the kids, which is cheaper and better for them than a can of soda.

10. Recharge your Batteries.  Instead of buying regular batteries which will just end up in the landfills afterwords, purchase rechargeable. You’ll be saving the amount of batteries going to landfills (thus helping the environment) as well as save a trip you might have taken to purchase new ones at the store.

So going into 2011 start to think about where you can improve your Health, Financial Stability, and overall Future Wealth.  Make 2011 the year where you “trim the fat” rather than “put on the pounds”.  This is your year to shine.

Have a Safe and Prosperous New Year!

Your partner in living a greener life,

Mark Lane
President Eco York, LLC

Celebrate a Green Thanksgiving

We all  look forward to this time of year.  The leaves change color, the smell of a hot meal brewing in the crock pot, family get together, friends and family gathering around a nice cozy fire.  However sometimes we forget about Staying Green and eating Healthy.  Thanksgiving is of course one of the holidays we all are waiting for all year round.  Whether you’re a vegetarian, or not there’s always something to enjoy during the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Family from out of town comes in to visit and the smell of Turkey and Dumplings fill your house.  This is the time of year to be grateful for everything you have and to think of others who might not be as fortunate.

One of the things you can do to show how grateful you are is to volunteer at a local food bank, or even donate some cans of food that have been collecting dust in the back of your cabinet.  In addition to helping others there are some things you can do to help the environment during this holiday season as well.

Use your Dishwasher

If you have a dishwasher make sure you use it this holiday season.  A dishwasher uses about 1/6 the amount of water as if you were to wash your dishes in the sink.

You can also make your own Eco-Friendly Dish Detergent.  Grate about 2 oz of soap and mix with Hot water. Mix in Borax and washing soda. Stir the mixture until it’s nice and thick. Pour the mixture into a container and let it thicken overnight.  You can then use this mixture when loading your dishwasher after your holiday meal.

Eliminate temptation to overeat

One tip to not over eating is limiting temptation to overeat.  When you’re setting the table for your guests this holiday season, instead of putting the food directly on the table try putting the food on a counter away from where everyone will be sitting.  This technique will help eliminate the temptation to gourge and throw more food on your plate than you normally would.  If anyone wants anything to eat now they’ll have to get up to get it, which will help them think about if they really should go for seconds or thirds.

Traveling Tips

If every family would eliminate the unnecessary need to travel this holiday season you could save about 1 gallon of fuel and we would reduce green house gas emissions by about 1 million tons.  Instead of traveling far, invite your family over to your home this holiday season.  If it is necessary to travel to your holiday destination, then make sure you set your thermostat and turn off the lights while you’re gone.

What to do with the Leftovers?

One of the first things you can do is find your local food bank or homeless shelter and donate your leftovers to the less fortunate.  Use biodegradable containers and make sure you encourage your guests to take food home with them.  If you’ve prepared a big meal there’s no sense in letting the food sit in the freezer or refrigerator for months only to be thrown out and wasted later on.  Instead portion out your leftovers so that nothing is wasted and any food that can’t be saved should be donated or portioned out to your guests.

Recycle

We know most of you probably recycle on a daily basis, but sometimes during the holidays we can forget the basics.  Clearly mark any recycle bins or areas where your guests can place recyclable items during your holiday get together.  Any plastic containers, beverage containers, or packaging should be recycled to avoid unnecessary items making it to the landfills.

Remember Holidays are all about getting together with family and friends and being grateful for what you have.  Make sure you travel safe (if you need to travel), and follow these simple saving tips to make it a safe and Green Thanksgiving this year.

Happy Holidays!

Your partner in living a greener life,

Mark Lane
President Eco York, LLC