Does it work to Save Money? These don't--

Ok, well-- I've given a few tips on ways to be energy efficient; now I've got a few items that are often claimed to be energy efficient, but are not. What I've done is taken a few new pieces of technology, done some research and critical analysis, and figured out if there is a profit for you to use it in the long term. The ones below are often hailed to be so, but are not. You may be surprised at what shows on this list-- and I hope my reasoning makes sense to you, because it does to me. Ready for some surprises?

Water Bottles with Built-in Filters-
The argument for this is that they allow you to filter tap water instead of buying bottles of water everywhere you go. However, what's often forgetten in the arguments for these little devices is the filter needs to be replaced every 150+/- uses; and the filter is $33! Most of these water bottles are $40, so that's a lot of money tied up for bottled water. If you ONLY bought bottled water at vending machines it would be worth it, but for most people that buy cases like Aquafina, it doesn't even come close to regaining its value. I would recommend a Nalgene bottle; just don't use it for anything but water or it will smell like it forever.

"Smart" Power Strips-
For those who aren't familiar with these, they power everything that is plugged into the power strip on when your computer is turned on. This sounds great, but many people don't really ever turn off their computer. It would really depend on your situation to give a value to this.

Memory sticks-
The often termed "geek stick" is supposed to save you money because it's a portable memory device that is reusable. Reusable cds work fine, and a 50 pack is about $10. Of course, not everyone wants to carry around cds. If it's possible, you can e-mail attachments with free e-mail accounts (such as GMail). If you're someone who doesn't need it for work, it really isn't worth the $20 for a cheap one.

Vespas that cost around $2,000 get around 65-70 miles a gallon, which is great, but at $2.50 a gallon, it would pay itself off in 800 gallons. In conclusion, it would take 37,500 miles of travelling only on a Vespa to break even. Driving a Vespa 15,000 miles a year would take 2 1/2 YEARS to break even. This doesn't include mechanical issues, tire replacements, insurance (check your local DMV if you would need so in your state if you're still interested). This is good if you ONLY want to have a Vespa, but with a car as well, I doubt you'd see any savings.

Coin Rollers-
These things cost $100, and many banks won't even accept already rolled change anymore. In fact, a lot of banks have machines like a coinstar that you can use for free if you have an account with them that does it for you automatically. Also, Coinstar allows you to use their machines free if you get a gift certificate through them for Amazon.

Energy Star Washing Machines-
These will cost you $300 more than the normal washing machines being sold, but new washing machines are very energy efficient as it is. Yes, the website for Energy Star claims it will save you $110 a year, but it is against a 1994 washing machine. Compared to a non-energy star machine, the savings are minimal and would take eight to ten years to just break even. Also, if you have kids and they love playing outside-- those clothes are not going to get as clean as witha non-energy star machine. If you're a pretty clean person, then it's not really noticable.

Hybrid Cars-
These cars run around $20,000,-25,000 (MSRP). Yes, they get great gas mileage, but when the batteries go on them every 10 or so years, it's another $7,000. The gas mileage for the Prius, for example, is 60 Mpg; a Toyota Corrolla (around $15,000 MSRP) is around 30 Mpg. Let's do a little math. That means it would need to save around $12,000 every 5 years to break even. Assume gas is $2.50. At 300 miles a week (the average in the US) for 52 weeks, fuel for the Prius would be $650 and the Corrolla $130o, giving a savings of $650 a year. Now, for 10 years that's $6,500, just about the cost of a battery. There's no savings with a hybrid from where I see it; plus, no one knows how these cars will last in the long-term. I'm not saying that a hybrid is a bad idea-- it does help the environment; but from an economic standpoint, it still fails to provide the service it claims on saving money long-term.

Electric Razors-
Okay, any guy that's used them can tell you after the first few times, they suck. Cleaning solution every 6 months is an extra $50 at the minimum every year. I don't think I spend that on disposable razors a year, nevermind the overhead. There are better ways to save money, and I've got plenty of articles around and in a couple days should have an article on the better alternative to this one.

Hopefully, my article here has helped you from falling into the pitfalls of money saving technology that is spoken about all over the news and internet. In a few days I'll have another article about what DOES, in fact, work. Until then, continue searching for new ways to save money!

No comments: