Financial Health: Clean Up Your Act

The next step in cleaning up your budget: changing how you clean your clothes.

Washing in hot water can cost you an unnecessary bundle in electricity costs. For example: Say you do three loads of laundry each week. Using hot water costs $0.60 per load, which adds up to almost $100 a year! Cold water, which costs just $0.04 a load, totals less than $7 per year. Voila! Almost $90 in savings in your pocket.

Kick the dry-cleaning habit, and your money can go even further. With a home dry-cleaning kit (which usually cost less than $20), you can clean 50-60 garments in a regular dryer. Compare that to dry cleaning costs for a given week, which can easily total between $30 and $60—up to three times the cost of the home kit. That’s some serious saving.

All in all, there are potentially hundreds of dollars in savings just waiting to be wrung from the wash. When saving and investing, small initial steps can lead to big results. Even these slight changes can have a profound impact on your nest egg.