Expense # 1: Utilities
All your utilities expenditures are a necessity right? Well, let's see.
Cable TV: Do you have cable TV? Do you have TiVo or DVR? HBO? You need to look real hard at these luxeries. They are not necessary. As a matter of fact, you may see an improvement in your life without them. These luxeries can cost $45 to $100 per month. If you cancel, that could be put directly toward paying off that credit card bill.
Internet: Do you have high speed internet? Do you really need it? If it's not for a business, then probably not. Go to a $9.95 dial up plan. You will probably save $25 to $45 by doing this.
Heat, Air, electricity: Turn down your heater setting, turn up your AC setting, and turn off those lights, TV, radio, PC, and everything else you are not using. You can save $10-20 a month easy.
Some web sites to try include:
The U.S. Department of Energy at http://hes.lbl.gov.
This site will help you compare the energy cost for an average house in your area vs. the energy cost for an energy-efficient home. Also, it will give you numbers on how much, on average, different appliances cost in energy to run.
Another web site to try is www.energyguide.com
Other tips to save on energy bills:
Windows - Save energy by sealing the gaps and cracks around your windows with a silicone or foam sealant or install weather stripping. Also, save energy by sealing gaps around all other openings including your power outlets, dryer vent, attic and garage doors.
Lighting - Check out the new low watt light bulbs that are compact fluorescents. A 14 watt bulb will put out 60 watts of light. Compact fluorescent bulbs use 66% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than a regular bulb. You will save money on both energy and the cost of bulbs. You can also save energy by installing dimmer switches on bulbs.
Thermostats - If you have a programmable thermostat. Have it set to lower when you are away from home and heat before your arrival. Also have it lower during the night. This can save lots of energy at very little inconvenience or cost.
Insulation - If you have blown insulation, be sure you have at least 7 inches in your attic and that it has not become packed down. Lots of energy can escape through your attic if not properly insolated. This can save a lot on your energy bill.
With electrical and gas bills getting bigger every year, looking hard at where you can save on energy costs can greatly impact your monthly expenses.
Water: Do you water your grass? This can run $20-100 per month depending on the area. If you can't afford to water your grass every other day, depending on your weather patterns you can try not watering at all. In some cases, the roots will go deaper and your grass stronger. You will also reap some good savings.
Other ways to save on your water and power utility bill:
- Install a water conserving shower head
- run your dishwasher at night to save on power
- wrap your water heater in an insulation jacket. Again to save on power.
- Save energy by sealing outdoor pipes and hoses.