5 Ways to Cut Utility Costs Without Living in a Cave
When you are looking for ways to save money, try starting with lowering your daily utilities cost. Many people forget that by simply lowering their usage of electricity and water, they can lower their monthly costs by dozens of dollars. Over the course of a year, one can save hundreds by making simple changes to their daily usage. The changes do not have to be large or life altering. One can still enjoy all the amenities of modern life and save money. Being mindful how we use our utilities and our wastefulness can save us a bundle. It only takes a little bit of consciousness and effort. Try making some of these small changes to your daily utility usage and see if it helps lower your monthly bill.
Use Natural Light
You probably do not even notice how often you turn on lights for no reason. It becomes habit when you enter a room. Even though you have plenty of natural light filling the room, you likely reach over for the switch and turn on the light so you can “see better.” In reality, you most likely can see what you are looking for just fine. There are also times when you turn on the light rather than simply opening closed drapes or opening a door to allow light in. While turning on a light may seem like a small thing, it is common for people to accidently leave a light on. The light can stay on all hours of the day. This is 100% wasteful and it serves no purpose. Lights can also be left on at night when you go to bed. Is there a reason for those lights to be on? Certainly not. And by leaving them on you have wasted hours of electricity with no gain.
Shower Less, Bath More
Many people shower twice a day for no other reason than they think it is the best way to keep clean. While cleanliness is important, there actually is little need for two showers a day. When it comes to the colder season, a shower every other day is not only acceptable, but actually can be good for your skin. Regardless of skin health, showering is only truly necessary when you have heavy dirt and residues build up. If you have a low-impact job or are not in need of smelling like roses, then showering less can save you money. And unless you are in the habit of a military shower (under 3 minutes), you are likely wasting a lot of water by standing in the shower for up to 20 minutes. Taking a bath saves you water, which costs you money to use. Because the amount seems so small each month, we tend to take overusing water for granted. However, by taking baths every day instead of showers, you can save hundreds of dollars throughout the year. If you dislike the idea of sitting in your dirt accumulated throughout the day, finish a bath with a quick 30-second rinse off in the shower.
Avoid Using the Heater
Unless the weather is dangerously cold, you can always utilize the concept of layers rather than wasting money on a heater. It is truly superfluous to use a heater when your life is not depending on it. Comfort can be found in wearing an extra pair of socks, long johns, and a sweater in the house. There can be exceptions like when you have guests arriving. But the heater should be treated more like a treat and less like a necessity around the house. You will easily save hundreds of dollars per years by simply snuggling a loved one under a blanket during movies, rather than demanding to wear shorts during winter.
Minimize the Air Conditioner
When the warm weather rolls around, learn to enjoy it rather than hide from it. Nobody is saying that you have to endure 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, for temperatures between 65-89 degrees, simply open the door and sit in the shade to save money. Far too many dollars are wasted on demanding a particular temperature. Sure, 85 degrees may seem a little hot when you are used to the cool weather of winter, but the body acclimates well to heat. When you open doors and windows, the cool breeze is able to roll through and cool you down. If you still have a hard time being comfortable in 80+ degree weather, just think of the money you can save to buy a pool.
Unplug the Power
Turn off and unplug the computer, disconnect the TV, and unplug any unnecessary appliance that is not in use. Every little bit of energy used is wasted when it is not being utilized. Plugged in items still use up energy and over the course of a month (and especially a year) it can add up. Sit down with a good book and enjoy the silence and some natural lighting as you save money without having to raise a ranger (except to turn the page).
Image credited to arpola.org
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