Saving on your utilities isn’t as hard as you think and it is a great way to cut down on your housing expenses. As you scrubdown your budget, try some of these techniques to help you save money on your monthly expenses on electricity, heating, water, and trash removal services.
How To Save Money On Your Utilities:
- Replace old school lighbulbs with new school Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL)…they use 75% less energy.
- Adjust your Thermostat. Did you know that for every degree adjust (up in the summer, down in the winter) you can save 1% on your energy bill? Care2.com has even more tips…go read 10 Tips for the Thermostat.
- Buy a programmable thermostat. Take the guess work out of adjusting your thermostat while you’re out at work or school. I’ve found some between $20-60 on Amazon. Totally worth the investment.
- Have an energy audit done on your house. Did you know that many electric companies provide free or reduced cost energy audits on homes to determine energy efficiency? You can even do it yourself! Learn more at Energy Star!
- Buy a comforter for your water heater. Adding insulation to your water heater can help you preserve hot water and reduce electric/heating costs by 25-45%
- Become Buffy the vampire appliance slayer. Vampire appliances eat away at electricity even when you’re not using them! If the appliance displays a light or clock it’s sucking your hard earned money away. Plug your vampires into a power strip with a power button you can easily turn off when not using these appliances. Oh, and unplug your phone/pad chargers, too!
- Change Your AC Filters. When your filters are full of dust and junk, your AC has to work way harder to cool your home. Make sure you inspect your filters and change them out regularly. You will also find that the air quality in your home increases and the dust decreases.
- Drop a brick in your toilet tank. This is an old school trick to new school water waste issues. The tank will reach its capacity threshold faster reducing the amount of water used with each flush.
- Stop taking Hollywood showers. Do you float off into LaLa Land when you’re getting so fresh and so clean, clean? Oh, well, chances are if you’re a mom you don’t remember the last long, luxurious shower you took, but if you’re a serial shower hog, try keeping your shower to 10 minutes or less!
- Stop water waste while scrubbing teeth and hands and bodies. As much as I love the spa treatment of gentle running water and steam, if you turn off the water while you scrub your body, hair, teeth, and hands…of course turning the water back on to rinse, you can save a nice chunk of change on your water bill.
- Use your dishwasher. Not only will it save you money, but according to Energy Star, it will save you 230 hours of personal time a year! I know you can all use some more “me” time!
- Wear your clothing more than once. Yes! Wear once and throw it in the was sucks time and money! Now don’t go getting all, “can you believe she wears her underwear more than once” on me. No. I mean shirts, pants, shorts and the like.
- If it’s yellow…let it mellow. Okay, so this is not a rule that would fly in my house…but if you need to save money, leave no stone unturned, right?
- Install water saving shower heads. So you’re not going to shut the water off to scrub and you refuse to let your refuge in the tub go, so do yourself a favor and grab a low flow fixture shower head to save 25%-60% more water.
- Use local/native plant species in your landscaping. They’ve already got all the tools they need to survive and thrive in your local climate and soil conditions, so you don’t have to go around spending extra time, water, and resources to keep them looking lush.
- Dump your own junk. Save money by hauling your own trash and recyclables to your local dump and recycling center! You can save almost $200 per year with this DIY tip.
- Visit DSIRE to learn about your state’s incentive programs for energy savings. DSIRE provides a state-by-state breakdown of energy saving incentives including free or discounted services and products to encourage its citizens to be energy efficient. Each state offers a variety of tax-rebate programs for making larger energy efficiency modifications to your home including upgrading appliances and installing alternative energy sources like solar panels.
- Enroll in Budget Billing Programs. This might not necessarily be a money saving tip, but it is definitely a money SMART tip. Electricity and heating costs can be a bit like a rollercoaster. Rather than find yourself slammed with a huge electricity bill in the summer and a tiny one in the spring, enroll in budget billing and get a more predictable monthly bill. Energy companies will analyze your annual usage for the year and determine a fixed monthly payment amount based on that average. Caution: If you go over your annual estimate, you will be required to pay the difference at the end of the year. If you go under, they will apply that credit to the following year or reimburse you the difference.
- Check if you qualify for LIHEAP. The Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program to help low-income households with their home energy bills. Learn more about this program here.
- Consider downsizing your home. I know I said this in Housing Expenses Part I, but I can’t express how important it is to find a home that fits your budget, and that means size and utility costs as well. Just because a large home seems like a good deal, when you fail to factor in associated costs like utilities, you run the risk of becoming chained to your home with a very uncomfortable budget. Two words: House poor.
What do you do to save money on your utilities? Biggest successes? Share them with us! And don’t forget to register for your chance to win Personal Finance in Your 20s For Dummies!
Powered by Facebook Comments