We spend millions of dollars on utilities in America each year, and the rates seem to keep rising. Your heating bill could be seemingly under control until you have to turn your heat on in the winter, or crank up the AC in the summer, at which point you could be in for a surprise. Water bills fluctuate from state to state, and depending how much water you use, your bill can go from normal to a nightmare quickly. For someone in a one bedroom apartment, keeping the water on is very manageable while the water bill for a 5 person home can be a shocker each month.
Although utilities like lights and water are necessities that we’re all entitled to, all the bills can be overwhelming, especially if you are on a fixed income. With other monthly bills we accumulate such as cellphone plans, credit cards and student loan repayments, you may find yourself having to choose between which bills to pay while letting others fall to the wayside.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to lower utility bills without having to decrease your quality of life. Let’s take a look at five great tips that can help shave your utility bills down and give you more wiggle room to save.
Unplug and Unwind
The first step in saving money on your electric/gas bills is as simple as turning lights off when nobody’s in the room. Make it a point to perform a walk-thru of your home at the end of the night. Make sure all lights, TVs, and other electrical devices are turned off and unplugged before going to bed. The savings from simply turning everything off can add up quickly.
Monitor Your Meter
Compare the meter reading on your utility bill to what actually appears on your meter. If the amount on your meter is lower than the one on your bill, you might be getting overcharged. However, remember that we’re human and mistakes do happen sometimes, so don’t automatically assume the worse if there is in fact a discrepancy.
Plug Those Leaks!
If you have any leaky faucets around the house, those tiny drops of water can turn into big bucks at the end of the month. Make it a point to check all of the sinks, tubs, and toilets in your home for leaks and get them fixed immediately. It could be as easy as simple tightening a screw, so pay attention to slow leaks and handle them accordingly.
Give Autopay Some Love
Some companies knock a couple of dollars off just for signing up with automatic bill pay programs where money is taken out of your bank account each month on a set day. If this is an option that’s reasonable for you, try it out and see. You might find that autopay not only saves you money, but also time as you won’t have to worry about stopping your day just to pay a bill. Also, talk to a customer service agent about other programs they offer that could save you money. You never know until you ask.
Bundle It Up
Many cable companies these days offer phone, cable, and internet bundle packages which cuts down the price of having to pay for them individually. However, do a little research before signing up for a bundle package. Make sure you know what you’re signing up for, what channels you’re receiving, how vast the phone coverage is, how fast the internet speed is, and if there’s any hidden fees. The key is to be completely aware of where your money is going. With a little time and research, you could reduce your bills by half!