Saving money isn’t easy for anyone. In GOBankingRates’ 2015 survey on savings, nearly a third of respondents had $0 saved, and 69% kept less than $1,000 in their savings. New Year’s resolutions are in full effect – let’s add some manageable savings techniques to your repertoire.
When you boil it down, there are two simple ways any of us can get more money in the bank and keep it there: increase income and decrease expenses. The holidays are fast approaching, and we all know how tricky it is to avoid some one-time purchases. Don’t worry – you don’t have to give up your subscriptions to NatureBox or Recently! There are plenty of manageable ways to minimize recurring expenses. The simplest? Start at home by slashing your utility bills.
On average, basic utilities (heat, water, electricity, waste) cost $200-300 per month. The average American family spends at least $2,200 every year on energy bills alone, so savings on utilities can represent a big chunk of change.
On top of the already high cost of utility bills, people in many parts of the country are seeing dramatic price increases due to record-breaking weather. Case in point – the September heat wave in the San Francisco Bay Area broke the temperature record last set in 1970 by a full 3ºF. It’s not just temporary heat waves, either. The unusually hot summer and fall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa meant a nasty surprise for many of Alliant Energy’s customers, like Jason Arends, who reported that his energy bill doubled over the normal cost.
You can’t control the weather, but you can certainly take steps to minimize its impact on your utility bills. Here are some simple ways to save:
- Bump your thermostat down a bit – every degree reduces your energy bill by 3%
- Reduce your home’s energy consumption by up to 15% by replacing your air filters every month, or better yet, get reusable air filters and clean them once a month
- Dirty lint traps on dryers are energy guzzlers and fire traps, so clean yours every time
- Limit your laundry to full loads, keeping in mind that a full load means loosely-packed clothes that fill 75% of your washer’s drum
- Turning your water heater on and off depending on need will only save average residences about $2, but if you’re going on vacation, turn it off
- Double your baked recipes to save on gas/electricity (and take a bite out of your food bill with leftovers while you’re at it!)
Ready for more? Here’s a more extensive list of creative utility-reducing ideas, thanks to Ashlea over at Heart Hook Home. Put a few of these effortless tricks into practice and enjoy the savings!