5 Ways Routine Maintenance Pays Off
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The following is a contribution from Kyle at RatherBeShopping.com. If you’re interested in contributing to Frugal Rules, please see our guidelines and contact us.
I have always considered routine maintenance to be the little tasks, that when done consistently, avoid the big problems. Maintenance of “things” in your life is certainly part of this, but what about maintenance of your body and your personal and professional relationships? Those can certainly have big consequences if not properly maintained. Here are five routine maintenance items that when considered can help show you how to save money and have a lasting positive impact on your life.
Routine Maintenance for Your Car
By maintaining your vehicle not only do you fight against depreciation, but you’ll see how to save money on gas through better gas mileage, resulting in more cash in your pocket. This means regular oil and filter changes, tire rotations, and tune-ups. See your owner’s manual for the suggested routine maintenance schedule for your particular vehicle. By paying as you go to keep your car maintained you’re likely to avoid the “big” break-down that could cost you thousands.
What easy things can you do on a regular basis to improve your personal finances? Things that jump to mind include adding money every month to a savings account, emergency fund, or retirement account. Or how about shopping around for a better auto insurance policy? Or how about calling your cable provider and telling them you are considering canceling and see if they’ll lower your bill to keep you on as a customer. The idea is to spend some time each week, or month, in an effort to improve your finances and monthly expenses. It’s when this gets ignored that we blindly pay more than we should for routine maintenance type services or leave money in our checking account earning .001% interest.
By maintaining your body by eating right and exercising not only do you stand to live longer but you’ll be less susceptible to illness which costs money to fight. Not to mention the loss of productivity and time away from work. This doesn’t mean you have to start P90X tomorrow, but rather start doing little routine maintenance things like taking the stairs at work, or parking your car at the far end of the parking lot and walking. The little things will start to add up to a healthier lifestyle in no time.
If you’re a homeowner learning to do basic home maintenance not only will you save a lot of money but you’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of learning to do-it-yourself. Mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, and cleaning the gutters is a great place to start, but why not challenge yourself the next time your toilet leaks and learn to fix it yourself rather than call a plumber. This would certainly cross over into personal maintenance as a big aspect of that is constantly challenging yourself and getting out of your comfort zone. Plus, at $75/hour, its easy to see how to save money by learning to do routine maintenance tasks yourself.
In terms of a career, maintaining relationships is crucial. This means not burning bridges when leaving a job as you never know when you might need a good reference. But more importantly, by building strong relationships through networking, you open yourself up to many new opportunities both personally and professionally. Attend local trade shows and seminars in your field, join local business groups that interest you, or join your local Rotary club as a way to not only give back to the community but also as a fantastic way to network with local business people.
My philosophy has always been to try and find the perfect balance when it comes to routine “life” maintenance. When you get out of balance, either personally or professionally, “stuff” can start to creep up on you and lead to big expenses or a breakdown in relationships.
How do you maintain your life and what are the benefits you have seen from it?
Editor’s note: I could not agree more with Kyle. By doing routine maintenance you can save money on money different things in life, plus enhance your life in general.
Kyle James runs a site called Rather-Be-Shopping.com which collects and organizes online coupons and to over 800 retailers. Popular offers include Lands’End coupon codes for free shipping and up to 30% off your order.
Photo courtesy of: Helmut Gevert
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.