I have always said that watching the small expenses is extremely important. Those small ones add up to huge amounts in one year’s time. They can sink your entire budget.
But you also have to watch the large expenses. You may have a mortgage or a home equity loan and could find the money to pay a little extra on the principal each month. This will not only pay off your mortgage early but save you a fortune in interest charges.
Saving up the cash to buy a new or used car will save you the interest that a car loan will cost.
Watching your grocery budget each month by shopping sales and menu planning will keep you from wasting many dollars.
But one of the largest expenses you have every year are your utility bills. They cost a fortune. It is a battle for us to keep them low.
We just got our one month gas and electric bill. We had frigid temps here this past month and I was expecting our bill to be quite large. It didn’t disappoint. The electric portion of our bill was $ 82.10 for 645 KWH. The natural gas portion of our bill was $ 177.24 for 198 CCF’s. Then the company charges us a $ .87 payment charge just to issue the bill and post the payment which I find ludicrous. But NYS allows it. So the total bill was $260.21 for 33 days with an average daily temperature of 24 degrees fahrenheit. It was one of the highest winter bills that we have ever had since we moved back to New York.
Of course, the company gets a rate increase every year or two because we all know the price of everything always goes up. So between the rate increases and the cold temperatures in the winter and warm ones in the summer, it is an every day battle to keep these bills down.
The last twelve months have cost us $ 2216.33 in just electricity and natural gas.
You all know that we do our best to try to do everything to cut these costs. This winter, we added a storm door to our leaky back door. I closed off 2 bedrooms by closing the heating vents in those rooms so that they don’t cost a fortune to heat when no one is using them. I use cloth snakes against our basement doors to keep that cold air down there. I also put one on the bottom of our back door since we don’t use that door during the winter so it doesn’t have to be moved every time we go in and out.
And we try to watch all of the things that I have written about before: here, here, and here, .
I wish I could turn the heat down but Hubby is always cold. We keep the temp at 71 during the day in our home and even with that Hubby wears a sweatshirt jacket and sometimes a winter jacket in the house. He is always cold.
I do a pretty good job on the electric bill by washing clothes in cold water and hanging laundry. If I use the dryer, I use my wool balls to save on that energy. I also try to use small appliances as much as I can to save on that bill because they are cheaper to use.
We keep lights turned off in the daytime unless it is a dreary day and we need them to read. I try to keep the energy saving shades down in the winter. I defrost my chest freezer when it needs it so that it runs more efficiently. We use power strips on some of our TV’s so I can turn them totally off at night. It is too hard to get everything plugged in that we have in the great room behind the cabinet so we don’t do that one.
When I cook. I try to keep covers on pans especially when I cook on the gas stove. There are so many things that I do that I can’t remember them all.
I hope I am not missing anything but I would love to hear how you keep your utility bills down. Could you please share with me and everyone who reads here how you do it by leaving a comment. I will be checking them during the day to get them posted right away so that they can help other people.