First held on April 22nd 1970, we appreciate the awareness that Earth Day has brought to protecting our environment and the urgency that it’s instilled in all of us. As we strive to better our world this Earth Day, there are some takeaways that we can apply to our personal finances.
Earth Day comes around only once a year but reducing, reusing, and recycling can become an everyday habit. Not just for the environment, but financially as well. This year you can take action to save money in a sustainable way.
April 22 is Earth Day, a yearly celebration of the beauty that Mother Earth gifts her residents every year. With the holiday often comes a reminder that we need to be doing more to preserve our land, water and precious resources. In fact, Americans create 4.5 pounds of waste every single day—1,643 pounds a year—and three times more than the global citizen’s average.
Here are a few things you can start working on to reduce your carbon footprint financially.
Go Paperless - Sign up for eStatements
Tired of having your mailbox full of unwanted statements that end up in the trash? There's an easy fix for this! Most financial institutions are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact by having their customers enroll in eStatements. It's a win-win for both ends.
You may be incurring a small monthly fee — which some banks charge for paper statements — that can be eliminated by going paperless. Some financial institutions may provide a monetary perk for those who enroll in eStatements. Switching to online statements is significantly easier because they are readily accessible through your online account. Making for a simpler and more cost-effective solution.
Minimize Your Spending to Help Reduce Waste
Cutting back on unnecessary purchases will both help you put more money into savings and reduce waste from store packaging. According to the recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the containers and packaging category had the most plastic tonnage at over 14.5 million tons in 2018.
Here are a couple things you can do to minimize unnecessary spending and reduce waste:
- Budgeting - This is the number one thing that helps to control spending and avoid unnecessary purchases.
- Understand and recognize marketing traps that make us buy what we don’t need. Amazon is a big player in this, even when you search things you may need they include other items that might interest you on Facebook or Instagram. Understand how these traps work and avoid them by not buying into them.
Adjust Your Commute
Most people are used to working from home, especially after the coronavirus pandemic shut down offices and workspaces. If your work allows you to, see if you can continue working at home for part of the week. Some workplaces have adopted a hybrid work model where you come into the office two or three days out of the week and work from home the days you're not in the office.
Better yet, see if you can limit your business travel by opting into more virtual meetings and conferences. That might free up even more cash, with the average American spending $1,186 on gasoline in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Let's not begin to talk what that number is today with inflated gas prices!)
Look out for tax credits that can reward you for sustainable decisions
Saving money on energy costs and helping the environment are a big incentive you can take advantage of. You might be able to claim tax credits and other tax-advantaged opportunities at both the state and federal level by “green-ifying” your home.
Those tax credits range from the well-known to the obscure. If you own property, consider participating in one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s various environmental assistance programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that pays a yearly rental payment in exchange for farmers removing environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production. There might be more options exclusive to your area.
Work with a tax advisor and Fiduciary financial planner to help you track down all that could be out there for you.
How Agemy Financial Strategies Can Help
Who knew Earth Day could provide so much inspiration for improving upon your personal finances? If you're looking for ways to save holistically for Earth Day and beyond, look no further. Working with the advisors at Agemy Financial Strategies can help you get ready for the future and future generations. Because making just a couple adjustments to your financial lifestyle can be greatly beneficial in the long run.
Click here to instantly book the day and time you'd like to connect with us for your complimentary 30 minute consultation. Our financial advisors in Guildford, CT and Denver, CO are looking forward to speaking with you.
Happy Earth Day to you and yours. Here’s to a happy, healthy and wealthy future ahead.