5 Household Tricks to Offset the 2% Drop In Your Paycheck

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household tricksThis post originally appeared on BrightNest.

It had a good run, but the payroll tax cut Americans have been enjoying since 2011 is over.

Sadly, that means that most people saw a two percent decrease in their paycheck when 2013 came rolling around. What does that mean? If you make $50,000 a year, you just lost a grand – that’s $83 a month. Ouch.

Ok, now that the tears have been shed, it’s time to buck up and look on the bright side: you can earn that two percent back in no time by making some changes around the house!

Give these little money-saving tricks a try. Who knows, you might wind up with more than the two percent you lost!

1. Buy In Bulk

That industrial-sized bag of Cheetos probably won’t save you much cash, but other items will. For example, buying toilet paper in bulk can save you up to 50 percent compared to regular store prices. Read about four more bulk-worthy purchases.

2. Wash Your Clothes In Cold Water

The Department of Energy estimates that up to 90 percent of the cost of doing laundry comes from the fuel used to run your water heater. So, consider using cold water from now on. No need to worry about whether that will get your clothes clean – advances in technology and detergents have made cold-water washing just as effective as hot water. Do you do a lot of laundry? Then read a few more money-saving secrets!

3. Become an Awesome Upcycler

Throwing stuff out is so…unoriginal. If you’re willing to get a little creative, you’ll be surprised by how many things you can reuse around the house. If you need some ideas, start with tea bagswine bottlesapple peels and old maps.

4. Heat Your House Properly

Heat can get expensive, especially in the dead of winter. You may thinkyou’re heating your house properly, but how do you know for sure? Check out these five home-heating faux pas and make sure you’re not wasting cash making your house cozy!

5. Ditch the Drafts

That little breeze coming from your windows may be causing more problems than a bit of discomfort. Get this: up to 30 percent of a home’s energy usage can be lost to drafts alone! Keep that cash in your wallet by making some draft stoppers and performing a winter energy audit.

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