4 Energy Apps To Help You Go Green and Spend Less Green

Energy apps to go green and save more green

Saving energy and saving money are hot topics in today’s economic climate. Isn’t it amazing if you can control both from the palm of your hand?

You might not realize it, but having a smartphone is good for more than making calls, checking emails, and playing games. You can use it to track energy efficiency and save on electricity bills using innovative mobile apps. Renewable energy apps can be of great help for how to save energy and money in your home.

Technology can help you live a more sustainable life. Here is a list of energy apps that will help you adopt green living and a more mindful lifestyle.

 Energy Consumption Analyzer

This app works as a mobile database of your home energy use. It’s easy to lose track of your energy consumption until you get an unpleasant bill. Energy consumption analyzer provides accurate readings of your daily energy consumption. You can add your meters for electricity, gas, or water to the database and keep track of current meter readings.

The energy consumption analyzer lets you color-code readings and add comments to them for better understanding. The application asks you to input data from your meter and calculates the average consumption rate. It then displays a bar graph or table of the total amount of actually used energy during a day, week, or month to help you gain insights and view trends.

Energy Cost Calculator

While trying to cut down your energy consumption, it’s necessary to know how much energy you are using. Through the Energy Cost Calculator, you can calculate energy usage and operating cost of electrical equipment you use. It helps you analyze which appliances in your home use the most energy. 

This application lets you know how much an appliance costs to run over a period and allows you to control it. You can calculate the running cost of an appliance by entering the wattage and how often you use it. The results are not 100% accurate, as it does not have access to your tariff information, but it gives you an idea.

Energy Tracker

Energy tracker can evaluate and manage meter reading according to your electricity, gas, heat, and water consumption. It automatically detects meter readings and dates to provide a graphical analysis of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly consumption.

Energy tracker knows where you can save money by creating a report. It makes an estimate by comparing daily and monthly trends throughout the year. All data is saved to the application and will provide you with exclusive CSV reports on your energy consumption at home.

Smappee

Smappee manages your energy flows in a way that you can work, relax, and live without compromising on comfort. It gives you a clear insight into your energy consumption, and you can leave your home without any worries. Let the app control and automate your energy flows.

It provides you real-time readings for electricity, gas, water, and solar consumption. You can automate your appliances and let the application control their energy flows to optimize consumption. It also allows you to control energy use remotely using smart devices and plugs.

How often should you replace your coffee maker?

coffee maker

Not all coffee makers are created equal. There are stories of machines that last a lifetime while other coffee makers can’t go six months without breaking down. But why do the lifespans of different coffee makers vary so much?

Many things can affect the lifespan of a coffee maker, but mostly it’s about build quality and regular maintenance. Most solid machines will keep brewing quality joe for around five years, but you can extend its lifespan by a few more just by regularly cleaning the machine.

Water hardness plays a big role in determining how long your machine lasts. You might have to descale and perform maintenance on your machine more often if the water in your home is particularly hard. Even if your water is relatively soft, it’s always a good idea to create and stick to a descaling schedule, because calcium will build up in the tubes over time.

The complexity of your coffee maker is also important. More moving parts means more things that can potentially break. Coffee makers that have no tubes, pumps, or heating elements will pretty much last forever. In many cases, you can have your machine brewing like new by replacing the broken parts.

Now it’s time for you to take a good, long look at your coffee maker. How long have you had it for? Have you noticed a drop in the quality of the coffee it brews? If you’re unsure if it might be time to upgrade to a newer model, here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you know what to look for.

Does it even brew?

This might sound too obvious, but is your coffee maker even working? In many cases, a broken pump or failed heat element can be fixed or replaced. Of course, this depends on the brand of your coffee maker and whether spare parts are readily available.

If your coffee isn’t brewing at all, or your machine won’t turn on, it’s often not worth going through the trouble of repairing it — chances are good it will break again.

Before you start shopping for a new machine, check to see if your current warranty covers repairs or replacements. If you can get a new coffee maker, and you like your current model, then replacing it is the way to go.

Is there build-up in the tubes that can’t be removed with descaling?

Water with a high concentration of calcium is called hard water. While it isn’t a health risk, the calcium can collect in the tubes and corners of your coffee maker. Over time, the buildup can affect the performance of your machine, which is why it’s so important to regularly descale (remove buildup).

Over years of neglect and constant use, the calcified minerals can accumulate and harden to the point that descaling won’t be enough to fix the problem. Cleaning it might not be feasible or worth your time. This would mean it’s time for you to find a new coffee maker.

5 Awesome Reasons to Buy Used Children’s Clothing

Buy Used Children's Clothing

Growing children constantly need new clothes. Every growth spurt turns pants into waders and shirts into Incredible Hulk candidates. Kids get taller, fill out, and become more developed as they grow which means new clothes every year. Except that the clothes don’t actually need to be new. As long as your child feels confident and stylish, you can absolutely source kids’ clothes from secondhand clothing stores at a discount in price and an increase in eco-responsibility.

Believe it or not, kids actually love second-hand clothes. You can become a smart-budgeting and eco-friendly parent with a little savvy second-hand shopping.

 1) Children Grow Faster than Clothes can Wear Out

Some kids grow like weeds. Every few months they need a new length of pants or a new cut of shirt. They grow in size and in stylish taste, so parents are constantly having to replenish childhood closets. You’re not the only parent who doesn’t want to toss perfectly good outgrown clothes. Join the global hand-me-down community by shopping secondhand kid’s clothes and be sure to upcycle when your kids grow out of what they’re wearing now.

2) Second-Hand Clothes are Less Expensive

If you’re shopping for your children on a budget (aren’t we all?) then used clothing can almost always be found at a lower cost than new garments. Kids go through clothing fast and often kid’s clothing is built to survive more than a few play sessions. You can find some great deals and a cool collection for your child’s closet this year without blowing your budget by shopping second-hand.

3) Used Clothes are Softer on Sensitive Skin

If you have a picky dresser or a child with sensitive skin, you know how valuable pre-softened clothes can be. New clothes are starched and treated to look good on the shelf. Their fibers are stiff and new, and the tags still have sharp corners. Used clothes, however, have been washed a few times. This means they’re free of retail chemicals and those fibers and tags have softened up for comfy relief on a child’s sensitive skin.

4) Find Hidden Gems Outside Fashion Trends

Parents and kids often don’t care for today’s clothing fashions, and you’re not limited. Shopping secondhand clothes opens a world of retro fashion and hidden gems for you and your child to explore.

5) The Perfect Source of Costume Supplies

Last but certainly not least, secondhand shopping is perfect for costume supplies. Whether you’re planning for a Halloween or building a child’s dress-up collection, used clothes offer a low-cost and fun way to find all sorts of interesting pieces from novelty shoes to formalwear.

If your children are growing fast and you want to make smart parenting decisions, try used children’s clothing. It’s eco-friendly, soft, and extremely cost-effective for the whole family. You might even find a few hidden gems for yourself in the racks. For more great green living ideas or an apartment with green living priorities, contact us today!

3 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable and Save Money in 2021

It’s often a fact of life, doing the right thing means paying more.  But did you know that doing the right thing for the planet can actually save you money? Read on for 3 super easy ways to be more sustainable and save money in 2021.

1. Save On Single-Use Plastics

When you add up the cost of all the single-use plastics and consumables we buy it’s easy to see why ditching them saves you money.

Think about the packs of bottled water we pick up at the store without thinking.  They take decades to breakdown, if they break down at all. One reusable bottle topped up with tap water will more than pay for itself, fast.

Looking for reusable alternatives to single-use items is sustainable and money-saving.

Here are more swaps that save:

  • Swap paper towels for rags made from old t-shirts and bed linen
  • Swap facial wipes for washcloths
  • Swap take-out coffee cups for a reusable one and some coffee shops will give you a discount whilst you throw less into landfill.

2. Stop Your Money Going Down the Drain

Global warming signs have highlighted just how precious water is. Whilst some countries have way too much, others have too little, so letting what we have just slip away down the drain doesn’t sit right anymore.

Did you know that saving water can also save you money?

  • Collect rainwater in a barrel and use it to water your garden. You may never need to use a hose again.
  • Only run the dishwasher or do laundry when you have a full load. The machines often use the same amount of water regardless of how much you put in, so you’ll save water and money by running appliances less often.
  • Shower instead of having a bath. Baths use 36 gallons of water and showers much less.
  • Install water-conserving showerheads and faucets as an easy way to use less water and reduce your bills.

3. Eat Smart and Save Money

More and more people are choosing organic food because organic farmers don’t use pesticides and they use less water and fertilizer. They’re making a great sustainable choice.

The problem is one look in the organic aisle at the grocery store will tell you that buying organic is expensive.

But if you shop smart you can save money and eat green greens!

  • Whether you have a window box or a strip of lawn, you can save money by growing your own herbs and vegetables.  By growing your favorite produce, you can buy less at the grocery store.
  • Freeze or pickle leftovers instead of throwing them away.
  • Buy seasonally. Produce in season is often less expensive than produce that’s had to be imported out of season. Seasonal produce has probably traveled less far so you get fresher food with less of an environmental impact and keep more money in your pocket.
  • Visit farmer’s markets. Buying directly can mean cheaper organic food because the grocery store isn’t taking a cut.

It’s easier to make impactful changes when both you and the environment benefit from them. So practice some of these easy ways to be sustainable and watch your savings grow.

COVIDDebtConsolidation.com Offers Credit Card Relief

COVID Debt Consolidation

Credit cards are beneficial assets when used effectively. They can cover the cost of things you don’t have money for upfront, improve your credit score, and give you perks like cashback. Not to mention, they’re a convenient method of payment. However, when you start falling behind on your account, rack up the balance, or acquire more cards than you can afford, it becomes a problem. 

Falling Behind In Current Times

There are several reasons why a person might find themselves in over their heads in credit card debt. This is particularly true in the middle of a pandemic. You or someone in your home loses their job. You run out of money to pay for things you need. You start relying on credit cards to tide you over. Although you may find a new job or source of income, things have gotten out of control. 

The balances high or maxed out, late fees are added, then the interest rates kill you. You try to keep up with the minimum payments, but it’s not enough to resolve the matter. Before long, your credit score declines, the creditors won’t stop calling, and the stress weighs on you. 

Chopping Away The Debt

The impact of high debts and ruined credit in your financial life is heavy. Fortunately, there are several ways you can get back on track and get your debt under control. 

  • Side Gigs – one of the first options is to get a side gig or second job. You can become a rideshare driver, deliver food and groceries, or cut grass in your neighborhood for extra cash. You can dedicate this money to your credit cards to get them out of the red faster. 
  • Sell Things – Are there items lying around your house that you don’t want or need? If so, you could make a decent amount of money to go towards your credit card debt. You can host a yard sale if you live in a high-traffic area. Another option is to place ads in online classifieds. If you have big-ticket items like used cars, jewelry, computers, or smartphones, you should look for specialized buyers as they are often willing to pay more for your old things. 
  • Negotiate – Most cardholders are surprised to learn how willing their creditors are to work something out. If you were a good customer before the pandemic, they don’t want to lose you. They could reduce your monthly payment or interest rates. If your balance is high or the account is in collections, they may be willing to accept a smaller settlement. 

COVID Debt Consolidation 

Each of the above methods for chopping down debt can help consumers get out of debt faster. Another effective solution is to work with companies like COVID Debt Consolidation. They are a financial service that offers debt consolidation loans to consumers in need of assistance. Interested parties reach out to the agency and provide details on their outstanding high-interest credit cards. A financial expert then reviews this information along with other determining factors to assess if and how much you can get approved for. If approved, the credit card balances are paid in full, and the consumers’ obligation is to the debt consolidation loan company. 

As long as the debt consolidation loan is paid promptly, consumers reap the benefits. They notice that old credit card accounts are closed, so no more late payments are reported. Over time, the debt to income ratio decreases, and positive payment history help to raise the credit score. They also have the comfort of knowing their debt is under control which is mentally and physically soothing. 

Sure, there are many reasons a person could end up with thousands of dollars in credit card debt. However, when it’s something as uncontrollable as a global health crisis, it can be difficult to get out of. Fortunately, solutions like debt consolidation loans help those in need get back on their feet. 

Keys to Security in Your Retirement

Retired couple

In your early thirties you may not put stock in your retirement. However, it’s exactly at this young age that planning for your retirement can result in achieving personal wealth. Listed below are several tips for remaining financially stable in your golden years. 

A Second Career

Many people take on part-time work in areas of interest alongside working full time for an employer. Part-time jobs that pay well include real estate investing, personal instructors, tutors, accountants, physical and massage therapists, and freelance writers. Any one of them will provide additional income that you can use to supplement your retirement. If you choose to flip homes, companies like Lantman lending hard money lenders can help secure the necessary funds. 

Become Debt Free

The word debt-free may seem unrealistic, especially if you currently owe out tens of thousands of dollars to multiple sources. Thankfully, living debt-free is something you can achieve. Making changes in your lifestyle, like using cash instead of credit, refraining from frivolous spending, and shopping smart, will all help you reduce debt now and in the future. Creating and using a household budget will make you aware of poor spending habits, allowing you to change them. 

Going Green

Buying and using only what you need helps reduce waste and costs. It’s a concept that those who practice green living adopt. Replacing traditional light bulbs with long-lasting LEDs, taking shorter showers, turning off lights when not needed, and hang drying laundry, will all help to reduce your carbon footprint and lower home costs. Installing solar panels and replacing a gasoline-powered vehicle with a hybrid or completely electric car will further enhance your results. If the latter is not an option, taking public transportation or riding a bike instead of driving your vehicle will offer similar results. 

An active retiree

Maintain a High Credit Score

Having an excellent credit score will allow you to obtain the lowest interest rates on a mortgage, auto loan, and credit cards. A high credit score also eliminates security deposits for utilities, improves your buying power, and makes it easy to borrow money when needed. Finding the best rates on cell phones and auto insurance, and maybe even a better job, are a few other advantages to maintaining a good credit score. 

Retirement Funds

Many companies offer participation in a 401k after a period of 90 days. Most of these same employers match your investment up to 3%, doubling your contribution. If you work less than 40 hours or your employer doesn’t provide these benefits, you can take out a personal 401k or a Roth IRA. Both will help you build wealth in your golden years for a small weekly deposit. 

Maintain Your Home

If you currently own a home, there’s no guarantee that you will make money selling it when you retire. However, while this is true, and the market helps determine the outcome, maintaining the home will offer a better chance at a profit. Repairing the roof and plumbing, updating appliances, having a pest inspection, and replacing older doors and windows are a few examples that can improve the value of your home. 

A Financial Planner

A financial planner isn’t only for the wealthy. Anyone who works full-time and wants to retire in comfort should have someone to help them with investments and savings. Advisors know through experience and training what works for different circumstances. They take into account your annual earnings and advise on spending and the best ways to establish savings.

Save Where Possible

Shopping after the holidays, moving mid-week, and using coupons when available are a few ways to save money on the things you need daily. Canceling cable television, switching to Hulu or Netflix, and bundling services like insurance, offer more ways to stretch your money. 

Now, while you’re young, is the perfect time to start planning for your retirement. With roughly 30 years in front of you, you can make meaningful choices that provide financial wealth in your golden years.

Credit Card Debt, Student Loans, and Homeownership: My Goals For Sustainability in 2021

Brice Capital

Although the pandemic knocked me off track a bit, this year, I plan to continue with my efforts to live a more sustainable life. As I became consciously aware of the human impact on the environment, I was encouraged to reduce my carbon footprint. I wanted to do more to conserve natural resources and save the planet. Upon further research, I concluded that this started with my finances. 

Not So Sustainable Household

I was presently living with my parents, whose practices were far from environmentally-friendly. Despite my best efforts to make changes around the house, it barely made an impact. For every bottle, jar, or can I recycled, they threw ten times that in the trash. I’d turn off a light in the house, and my parents would turn on five. Not to mention, I was so far away from my job that I had to take two buses and a cab to get to work. 

Homeownership

As much as I loved my parents, I knew it was time to get a place of my own. I had some money saved up and figured it was best to buy a house. After carefully reviewing my finances, I realized that my debt was out of control. Between student loans and credit cards, my debt to income ratio and credit utilization percentages were so high that it impacted my credit score. Essentially, if I was going to become a homeowner and live a more sustainable lifestyle, I had to get my finances in order. 

Debt Consolidation

My credit cards had high balances and high-interest rates, which made them difficult to manage. If I was ever going to get them under control, I needed a viable solution. So, I visited BriceCapital.com for credit card debt relief. They offered low-interest rate loans to eligible applicants. The loan would enable you to pay off all your credit cards, leaving you with one affordable monthly payment to manage. The representative from Brice Capital assisted me in finding the best consolidation loan and repayment plan. It saved me a lot of money and helped me get on track with my credit card debt. 

Tackling Student Loans

The only other significant debt I had on my credit report was student loans. I’d deferred them for years creating higher balances and interest rates through the roof. I figured if Brice Capital helped me get my credit card debt in order, there had to be a similar solution for my student loans. So, I found an agency that allowed me to consolidate my student loans and essentially save more money. 

On The Right Track

It’s only been a few months since I consolidated my credit card and student loan debt, but I’ve already seen a difference. My debt to income ratio and credit utilization rates improved, causing my credit score to improve. I took the money I saved by working with Brice Capital and put it into an account to ante up the money I needed for a down payment on my new home. As long as I continue to be a responsible borrower, I should be able to start looking for a home in no time. 

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I’ve started looking at the available properties within my price range just to see what was out there. Wanting to live a more sustainable life, I wanted to look for a place close to my job. That way, I could park my car and walk to conserve gas and help the environment. Believe it or not, I found several starter homes in neighborhoods with high walkability rates. They were also in communities that were dedicated to sustainability, which was a plus. 

Living a sustainable lifestyle isn’t easy when you live with others that don’t support the cause. As much as I adore my parents, embarking on my journey towards homeownership would enable me to reduce my carbon footprint. Brice Capital and other debt reduction opportunities allowed me to improve my finances and boost my savings to afford a home and lifestyle of my choice.