Eco-friendly Tips to Save Cash
As someone who is devoted to eco-friendly living, you strive to do everything you can to be friendly to Mother Earth. You recycle anything and everything your garbage company will allow and you purposefully buy products that do not include tons of wasteful packaging. You have energy-efficient appliances, run them on off hours and either drive or are saving up for a hybrid car.
While these are all fantastic ways to be green, there may be an easily-overlooked area of your life that could also benefit from an eco-friendly upgrade: your finances. For example, check out the following ideas that will not only save you time, but are also good for the Earth.
Between your electric bill, phone bill and pages-long bank statements, you probably get dozens of pages of paperwork in the mail every month from various companies. To cut down on the amount of paper that comes into your home, and save some trees in the process, contact all of your service providers and ask about paperless billing. In many cases, you can sign up for this service online. Each company will email you your latest statement so you’ll still be up to date on your various accounts.
Your parents probably paid their bills by finding the checkbook and stamps, carefully writing a check for each payment and then mailing out a stack of envelopes to the various accounts. Ditch this old fashioned (and not exactly green) way of paying bills and opt for online payments instead. While you are inquiring about paperless billing, ask about the possibility for online payments — you can usually either pay your bills online on your own, or you can also sometimes set up automatic payments, which is a huge time saver. Your bank may also have an online payment feature; give them a call to set this up and know that your car, gas and Visa bill will all automatically be paid on time, saving you potential late fees and having to pay for envelopes and stamps.
Look Into an Online Identity Theft Program
As you transfer your accounts over to paperless billing and online payments and shred piles of old bills (you can often use the shredded paper as mulch in your garden!), you might realize how many people have access to your personal information. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent identity theft, but you can certainly take eco-friendly steps to help lower your risk. You can sign up online for an identity theft protection service that can provide you with peace of mind and make it easier to safeguard your finances in the digital age. Look for a service that offers notifications by phone and through text if your information is being compromised, and that offers paperless billing; in most cases you can sign up for these services without ever having to sign anything on paper.
Halt the Junk Mail
Getting off of mailing lists requires a number of steps, but the end result is well worth your time and effort. To remove your name from as many mailing lists as possible, visit a website like DMA Choice and follow the instructions on the site to stop the junk mail in its tracks. If you get tons of credit card offers, or have recently purchased a new car or home and are being bombarded with home and car insurance offers and more, visit the OptOutPrescreen website and choose either a five-year removal or permanent removal from these mailing lists.
It’s great when living in an eco-friendly way also benefits you in some way, and this is definitely the case with green finances. By following these tips you’ll save time and money when paying bills, reduce your risk of identity theft and eliminate the annoying chore of going through piles of junk mail.