Utility bills—they’re something we all have to pay, and I bet you probably just click “online payments” on your computer screen and off goes your digital payment into cyberspace. Certainly that’s what I do when the bill comes in the mail!
How many times have you really looked at your bill, though, and wondered if you are paying more than the average for your area? Utility usage definitely depends on the size of your family and home—two people in a one bedroom apartment are not going to pay as much as a 7-person family in a large suburban house—but if you’re looking to save a little money, try a few things to lower your utility bill. Even if you’re only saving a few dollars a month, those bucks will add up over time!
Turn off your electronics: Many electronics have an extremely low-energy “sleep” mode where the appliance doesn’t fully turn off, but remains in a standby state until you turn it back on. But you know what saves even more power? Just turning your electronics off! Flip off the surge protector too, when you go to sleep—that draws power as well, even if everything plugged into it is turned off.
Replace lightbulbs with CFL bulbs: Most cities have sent out public notices about or even subsidized replacing standard bulbs with the weirdly spiral-shaped CFL bulbs. But if you haven’t replaced yours yet, please do! They really do save quite a bit of energy—and money. Ask your public utilities manager if they give out any for free or at a discount.
Let dishes air dry instead of running the “heated dry” cycle on the dishwasher: Many people line dry their clothes to save energy by not using a dryer. But most dishwashers also have a “dry” cycle that use heat to dry dishes. And of course, using heat is using energy which is spending money, so crack open that dishwasher once the dishes are washed and let them air dry. Or, if you’ve got time, wipe them down with a dishtowel.
What other ways do you save energy around your home?
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That is the most untrue statement ever made here on Thrifty Divas. Americans accumulated over $11.31 trillion in debt in 2012.
I promise, with those statistics, you are NOT alone. One of the hardest things about paying down debt is feeling alone. You feel like no one else is in your place and that it’s hopeless. Again, another lie! There is also a sort of stigma that goes with people who are in debt.
Just a few are, “You are irresponsible with your money,” “You don’t pay your bills,” “You just want everything now and you don’t want to save for it.”
Those are some pretty strong words that some of us in debt have heard. So if you keep your debt a secret you’ll never have to hear those things. However, how about coming into the light and be honest, then get the help you need to get out of it.
One of the biggest ways to get out of debt is to bring it into the light and get into a support system. Get with other likeminded people who want the same thing you do. If you’d like to pay down your debt with the help of likeminded peers, join the members of AFullCup (for free) http://www.afullcup.com/forums/frugal-living/656663-big-debt-payoff-2013-a.html. These guys are serious about getting out of debt and helping each other through it.
Those guys are talking about everything from paying off huge home loans to smaller credit card bills. Regardless they aren’t going at it alone and neither should you!
Go kill some debt in 2013!