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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ways to Save Money In the Midst Of Rising Cost of Living

The last few post from the blog mentioned that you have been warned regarding the Malaysia's electricity tariff hike and with just about half month to go before 2014 when the thing happens, let us figure out ways to save money. While doing so, I come across the article from The Star and the article is really suitable for the current situation that is faced by most Malaysians.

The article is about the unconventional money savers and talk about cutting cost - by all means which include unconventional method. The article is as follows:-

FUEL prices are up. Electricity tariffs are rising. In a nutshell, the cost of living is being elevated. Many of us, in our attempts to be frugal, will tighten our belts.
Naturally, there are many ways of doing this. The following are some obvious, though not necessarily conventional methods to cut down your costs.

According to, certain home appliances and electronics will continue to use power even when they’re switched off. It estimates that 10% of the average home electricity bill comes from the energy used by these products, which are popularly called “energy vampires.”

“The only way to completely prevent such appliances from using standby power – that is, drawing on the energy supply even after they’re turned off – is to unplug them.”
According to, such products include those that typically have standby power use, such as a remote control, external power supply, digital display, LED status light, or digital clock, a battery charger or a soft-touch key-pad.

Paint it white
According to an article in The New York Times, painting your roof white can actually reduce air-conditioning costs by 20% or more in hot, sunny weather.

“Lower energy consumption also means fewer of the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. What is more, a white roof can cost as little as 15% more than its dark counterpart, depending on the materials used, while slashing electricity bills,” it says.

Freeze it
Contrary to popular belief, the freezer in your fridge can be used for more than just preserving food. According to, a website that provides interior design tips and ideas, the lifespan of candles can be almost doubled if they are placed in the freezer for a day before using them.

“Chilling the wax gives it a bit longer before burning through and leaving you with an empty jar. For some candles this will also cause them to drip less and burn straight down without burning through the side of the candle.

“Although this isn’t a life-altering tip, nice candles can be pricey and making them last a little longer might mean you get to purchase them in the first place, or purchase them more often, or possibly more like all those tables in the magazines that seem to be loaded up with flickering wicks,” it says.
Battery life can also be extended when stored in the freezer, according to how-to website,

“A number of studies have shown that storing batteries in the freezer helps them retain their charge longer.

“This is less true for alkaline batteries (freezing extends their shelf life by only about 5%) than it is for NiMH (nickel–metal hydride) or and Nicad batteries often used in electronics. Keeping NiMH batteries in the freezer can boost battery life by 90%.”

Citing battery-centric site GreenBatteries, says alkaline batteries stored at room temperature tend to self discharge at a rate of less than 2% per year.

Normally refrigerating or freezing them will only help maintain their charge by a tiny amount. Hardly worth the effort of chilling them. However, if alkaline batteries are stored at higher temperatures they will start to lose capacity much quicker.

At 85 degrees Fahrenheit, they only lose about 5% per year, but at 100 degrees they lose 25% per year. If you live in a very hot climate or are storing your batteries in a very hot location, it may be worthwhile for you to store your alkaline batteries in a refrigerator instead.

Flush it less
While not related to electricity cost, flushing your toilet regularly can add to your monthly water bill.
A popular (though probably not regularly followed) tongue-in-cheek adage on when to flush your toilet immediately comes to mind: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”

According to Mother Nature Network (MNN), an environmental and social responsibility online network, the average person urinates six times a day, which is about 7.6 gallons flushed.

“That equals 2,774 gallons per year to dispose of just 171 gallons of urine. The average person defecates about once per day, and if that were the only occasion you flushed, it would equal 584 gallons of water, saving 2,190 gallons. If a household of four followed this flushing rule, they would save 8,760 gallons of water a year.”

However, not flushing can be considered as a very unhygienic, unappealing practice by many (if not most). MNN does go on to note that there is an aversion by many people to looking at urine.
“Then there is the more serious concern about toilet bowl cleanliness. True, “letting it mellow” increases the rate at which a toilet bowl becomes scummy.

However, in many households, the toilets are brushed at least once a week (hopefully) anyway, and so there is no chance for significant scum to build up.

 However, for the purpose of this “money-saving” tip, it is suggested that one should definitely consider the hygienic practicality first before the financial implications that come with flushing (or not flushing) your toilet.

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