Home > 2015 > Personal Finance

How Going Green Can Save You Money & Get You Out of Debt

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 1 Comment

With Earth Day right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to ask ourselves if we’re doing enough to help the planet. While it might be difficult at times to discover new ways to be environmentally friendly while on a budget, doing so could actually save you a decent amount of money. So to help incentivize some of you to be a little greener, here are some great ways to keep the planet healthy and your wallet full.

1. Save Those Bottles & Cans

This may not be something you do on the regular, but recycling your aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass at a bottle return center could net you some extra cash. Although the return isn’t huge, taking a trip every month or so to the recycling machine is an easy way to make a little extra cash. Just think of it as, you’re going to the store to buy food anyway so returning the bottles isn’t an extra trip but one that actually gives you money back. Keep in mind you paid for the bottle deposit so you’re wasting money by not returning the bottles. Not only that, but you’ll also be cutting down on pollution caused by waste.

A great way to spend that little extra windfall each month is to put the money towards your grocery budget (but don’t make this an excuse to go over budget).

2. Consider Solar Panels

Maybe they look a little funky on your roof like you’re looking for aliens, but your wallet will love how much they help you save. Many companies will now install the panels free of charge, though make sure you read through the contract and make sure you understand what you’re giving up to get the panels. You can then sit back and let Mother Nature help you rack in the savings as you use less and less paid electricity and more of the sun’s natural, and free, energy.

The savings don’t have to stop there though. Take the money you’ve saved and look into investing in some other energy-conscious products for your home. Energy Star appliances, LED lightbulbs, and low-flow sink fixtures are just a couple of examples of things that can keep both your wallet and the environment a little bit cleaner. The savings you see on your utility bills can be placed toward savings for future home improvement projects and sometimes, if you have a lot of extra energy you can sell that back to the energy company.

3. Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Green cleaning products are all the rage, but they can come with a bigger price tag than normal cleaning products. The good thing is, they are so simple to make yourself at home and you most likely already have all the ingredients in your kitchen. Better yet, making these products at home can help cut down on the environmental pollution caused by their manufacture and disposal. Eartheasy.com has some great examples of non-toxic home-cleaning formulas. Just take a moment to add up cleaning supplies each month and see your savings from making it yourself.

4. Carpool or Take Public Transportation

Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to deal with traffic or gas prices? Public transportation and carpooling is a great way to save some money and reduce your carbon footprint. The savings don’t just end with gas though. Fewer miles on your car will save you money on maintenance and repairs, and ditching a vehicle altogether (if you can manage it) will keep you from having to pay money on car insurance and registration fees.

With all that extra money, you can start saving up for an emergency fund or bolster the savings you already have. Of course, if you think you might need a car again someday in the future, you can put a little portion of that money towards the down payment on a new car or lease. Also, consider an alternative earth-friendly car to cut costs on gas and even service for that car. You should always take the future and the unexpected into consideration when planning your savings.

Also, if you have debt, the extra savings can be added to your monthly payments to pay down your debts faster. Your debt load can have an impact on your credit scores, which in turn have an impact on your access to credit in the future. The better your credit, the better chances you have of getting lower interest rates, which saves you money over the lifetime of the loans. You can see how your debts are affecting your credit by getting your free credit report summary on Credit.com.

So take some time this Earth Day and see if there is anything you can do to help the environment. Chances are, doing so could actually save you, or make you, a decent amount of money in the long run. In addition to saving money, your actions can help make this planet a healthier, safer place to live for all of us.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • Marilyn Jensen

    Grow as much of your own food as possible as well. With the California drought and the Mid-West being hit with devastating weather, we are still paying tremendous amounts for meat. Saving on veggies can help offset the cost of that $30. hunk of beef that used to cost $6.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team