STICK TO A BUDGET
When you can lower utility bills, then you can stick to a budget with under usage and maintenance. I have a lot of experience with utility bills. The many homes I have owned give me experience in utility choices, use, and maintenance. After living in areas with high utility bills and areas with lower utility bills, I can safely say I have cracked the code of lower utility bills.
The areas with low utility bills have a way of sneaking high costs in if you do not pay attention. Understanding utility use and care is a large part of maintaining a home.
1. LIGHTS – USE ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS AND AUTOMATIC ON/OFF SWITCHES TO CONSERVE ENERGY
When lights are overused, it can make a big difference in your electric bill, proper light usage is essential to low utility bills. In some places, electric bills are awfully expensive where there is a utility monopoly.
Too many families or even singles do not keep what I call, “light awareness”. If you leave a room, turn out the lights, it is that simple. Use the right types of light bulbs.
If lights are used for security purposes, it’s best to use automatic programmable on/off switches. They are available from a local hardware store, there are many examples. These are useful when traveling out of town and a homeowner does not want others to know. This can keep light use to a minimum.
Energy-efficient light bulbs shave considerable money off a utility bill. Some energy-efficient bulbs will seem to last forever. If the combination of low light use and energy-efficient lights are used, this will allow for low utility bills by far.
Children are another reason lights are kept on too long. It is OK to explain to your kids, no matter what their age without putting pressure on their little minds. Some kids even feel important when they are asked to help and why.
2. GAS: KEEP GAS FOR COOKING AND FIREPLACES TO A MINIMUM TO KNOCK A DENT IN YOUR BILL.
Many dwellers love cooking with gas, so there is a lot of gas being used. There are also gas fireplaces. There are two types of gas. Natural gas is usually used in the cities and LP Gas (liquid propane) is usually used in rural areas.
Because I have experience with both, I can say that electricity is far cheaper than LP gas in rural areas and natural gas is less expensive than electricity in urban areas.
Because LP gas is so expensive, I never run my pilot in my country-home fireplace. Of course, natural gas is cleaner to burn for the environment. To save money, it is best to build a wood-burning fireplace, especially where wood is plentiful.
Unfortunately, due to fires caused by unkept wood-burning fireplaces, some states no longer allow wood-burning fireplaces to be built in new construction homes.
Keep all gas appliances off during non-use to save money on burning. Keeping gas use low, will enable low utility bills in this area. A regular plumbing inspection of gas pipes will keep bills low by keeping them in good shape.
Small Savings Become Big Money Overtime
3. WATER IS ONE OF THE LEAST EXPENSIVE UTILITIES THAT CAN SKYROCKET WITHOUT A PLUMBING INSPECTION TO IMMEDIATELY FIX PROBLEMS
If there is a leak, a water bill can explode. One way a leak can be detected is if a water bill is exceptionally high over the past few months. Use only what’s needed and turn the water off when not in use. If you suspect a leak, get a plumbing inspection and fix the leak immediately.
4. LOW FLOW FIXTURES AND LOW WATER PRESSURE FAUCETS ARE RECOMMENDED – THESE SAVE ON WATER AND HEAT
Low flow fixtures keep the flow to a minimum, so water usage is kept to a minimum. So, saving on a water bill is big, and if it is hot, saves on hot water. Unfortunately, some owners and renters change the valves to get a high water flow, this increases your water bill. Use low water pressure faucets the right way.
Understanding the difference that it can make in your water and heat bill, will help to understand its importance.
5. SEPTIC/SEWER – AVOID BUSTED PIPES AND IMPROPER MAINTENANCE
In rural areas or urban areas that have not been fully transformed you will have a septic system at home, instead of a city sewer system. It must be maintained with a septic enhancer or you could have an expensive backup. It also must be cleaned out every few years or you could get into expensive trouble.
6. LANDLINE PHONE VS CELL SERVICE – YOU CAN NOW GET ONE MONTHLY FEE FOR LOCAL AND LONG DISTANCE.
With landline phones, there is enhanced 911 calling in most areas, which is important for the extremely sick or the elderly. This means for those who live in a major area the call is traced to your location immediately. The ambulance will know where to go even if you hang up.
With cell service this is usually not the case, they can only tell the general location. Some areas are changing that.
Landlines are usually less expensive than cell service. The problem is no access to cell service when you are away from home. There are very inexpensive cell service contracts, talk to a chosen carrier and get an inexpensive fit for your budget. Cell phone contracts are competitive and constantly changing, so stay informed. Choosing phone service carefully will allow you to stick to a budget.
7. HEAT/AIR- THIS IS WHERE THE COST CAN BE QUITE HIGH
The thermostat is king; keeping the thermostat down with heat, and up with air, can save a few thousand dollars a year. Investing in a programmable thermostat will save money when you are away. The largest costs come when you must replace your system.
Know what the costs are before asking a professional to replace a system. If you don’t need heat or air don’t use them, this is a great way to low utility bills.
Also, updating to an efficient system will save money over time and pay for itself. We upgraded to a complete heat, air, and programmable thermostat modern system and it paid for itself in 3 years. Our bill was almost cut in half. This is where you can find the money for your budget in a huge way
8. FIREPLACE – A WOOD-BURNING FIREPLACE IS A GREAT ALTERNATIVE FOR HEAT
When the thermostat is kept down exceptionally low, the fireplace can make up the heat. It will basically take the chill out of the air. But, the home will be comfortable.
9. OPEN WINDOWS: IN PLACES WHERE YOU GET A COOL BREEZE FROM WINDOWS
Use natural breeze instead of air conditioning. Air conditioners are an extremely expensive way to cool when there is free cool air. Keeping air conditioning use to a minimum will allow big budget savings.
10. ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOW COVERINGS HELP TO CONTROL THE ATMOSPHERE.
There are many types of window coverings that control the heat or cold at the surface of the window. Energy-efficient window coverings run the gamut from shades to curtains. Check with the local window covering retailer and they will review the best options for home windows.
Many home dwellers cannot stick to their budget due to large heat and air bills from over-usage and non-maintenance.
11. UNPLUG ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES THAT USE ELECTRICITY AND GENERATE COSTS
Many homeowners and apartment dwellers do not know this. There is a difference in an electrical bill when all unused appliances are unplugged. It is also wise to unplug during major electrical outages to prevent short circuits.
Consistency and Awareness is the Key to Saving Money
IN SUMMARY OF: HOW TO STICK TO A BUDGET WHEN YOU SAVE ON UTILITIES IN 11 POWERFUL WAYS
There are many ways to stick to a budget. A major way is to lower utility bills through conservative use of utilities. Getting a plumbing inspection, electrical, heating, and air inspection yearly is crucial. This will detect problems when they are small and inexpensive, waiting causes big problems and big repair bills.
When you save money on utilities you can find money for your budget.
These are surefire ways to lower utility bills. With these suggestions, there will be a deep cut in the money spent on utilities. The surprise will be that you will find money for your budget you hadn’t dreamed of. Save money when maintaining a home, by understanding how to efficiently use and care for utilities.
This article is updated from 2017