On Apirl 23, 2015 I wrote a post Debt Free – Plan; Part 2, talking about your food consumption and how you could save money on this. Getting in debt is so easy, I’m sure almost everyone in the world has been in debt once in their lifetime. The struggle is to get out of debt.
If you follow the links that I add to my most current post it will take you back to the begining of my “informational” post that explains what my husband and I did to get out of debt. This by no means guarantees that it will work for EVERYONE, but I’m sure everyone can take a few things that can help them either get out of debt or prevent themselves to get into debt.
Saying this I will now talk to you about some of utility bills can cost lower or not have at all.
1. Electricity – This is a major component in everyone’s life that we all have to pay unless you rent and it is already included in your monthly rent. This is not the norm anymore so what can we do to make the usage lower.
a. Solar Power- This is of course for the homes that you own and if you have the funds for this. It is an expensive cost to set up and to add this to your electicity grid but the pay off is HUGE. There are different type of programs so it depends where you live as to which programs fit your household. Sometimes the electic company will end up paying YOU a monthly check because of your independence of not having to use their grid.
b. Appliances – We all have diffeent types of styles that we would like to have. Some peole want a huge tv, refrigerator, washers and dryers etc.. Thankfully a lot of brand name companies are coming out with appliances that are energy efficient. This of course helps a lot. Having lamps, microwaves are other appliances that you need to look into… Do you really need them? If you don’t then why have them? Blenders, mixers, radios etc… These are items you do not use often or all day, these are appliance that could be plugged off when not in use; even your microwave. If you have an eletic stove and your water runs with electricity also make sure you cook as much as you can in a block of time instead of using your stove through out the day… Yes that means you might be cooking your full day or week meals in 2 or three hours will save your at least $100 if not more a month!
c. Light fixtures – These can cause a problem espcieally fi you are use to having the lights one ALL THE TIME. I understand if you have kids they forget and if you didn’t have parents like mine you were not taught this simple trait. Shut off lights in the rooms that ARE NOT IN CURRENT USE. Opt for small night lights (there are energy efficient ones out there), your light fixtures regarless if they are lamps or fixed to your home structure there are lights that are energy efficient. The most complex your light fixture is the more expensive the light bulbs could be. Again you can save more money in the long run by just shutting off the lights you do not need at that moment. Love the sun!! Open up your windows and doors. There are a lont of blinds or curtains that are dark enough so noone can see into your home but shear enough that it lets light into your home.
2. Water – If your water runs by the electric grid and not gas then try your best to not use it as much. If your dishwasher has a heat energy saver use it if not then try your best to alternate washing dishes by hand or not. If you don’t mind washing dishes then wash your pots and pans by hand which will help you have more room in your dishwasher for dishes. I personally wash my dishes in the dishwasher once a week, of course we are only two people so we don’t use up that many dishes anyways. My pots and pans are cast iron so those I have to wash by hand. If you don’t have a filter system in your refrigerater or sink then most likely you are buying a service or bottled water. We had Sparkletts and it was only 40 dollars a month, it worked for two months but then we bought our own water dispenser and a filter system that attaches to it. We spent about $240 on the dispenser and filter system but we don’t have to pay $40 a month on a service now. We use the water in our apartment to poor into the system. We have water steel bottles to help us save on individual water bottles. So now the $40 dollars that we are saving goes into other debt we have or into our savings. The dispenser is also energy efficient so it does not suck up a lot of electricity. The actual filter we replace every 6 months and cost around $40 for one filter.
Water Service: (6) 5gallon bottles, one hot/cold water dispenser, delivered every 4 weeks
$40.00 a month X 12 months = $480.00
No Water Service: 1 hot/cold energy dispenser, 1 water filter needs to be replaced every 6 months
$200.00 water dispenser + $40.00 water filter system = $240.00 one tyme expense
$ 40.00 water filter X every 6 months (twice a year) = $80.00 a year
This year expense for no water service delivery $320.00
After this year expense for no water service delivery $ 80.00
With water service delivery $480.00
Savings; water service delivery $480.00 – no water service delivery $80.00 = $400.00
YOUR SAVING $400.00 DOLLARS A YEAR!!
3. Working Out – Now a lot of people live in apartment complexes or homes that have some gym equipment or work out in their environment or free community groups. Thats awesome because if you can work out for free then this does not aply to you at all. Now if you do have a gym membership you want to make sure that you review all the companies. Some have personal trainers iincluded, others it is an extra cost. You might want to look at local small groups that charge an average of $ 10-40 dollars per session. If you are a person that cannot keep a schdule going to the gym then this is probably your best bet. Plus you can mix the groups meaning, some are yoga, cardio, toning etc… Look at what works for you and do the math. I know we have a gym membership but our gym is open 24 hours, so even if we don’t go through out the day we have the option to do it at night. We would have to pay extra for a personal trainer but we both right now cannot do that, we do know which workout helps us and that is what we work on now.
4. Insurance – All I can say here is that you need to shop around. This unfortunately I still have not found a for sure saving. You just need to look around at the best deals out there. Some inusrance give you incentives for being good drivers, not having any tickets, multiple cars etc.. Some even include home renters insurance so please shop around I’m sure there is one that will give you the best deal.
5. Telephone – Now days most not all people have cell phones. Do you really need a land line? This of course depends on your needs. If you don’t really need that “smart phone” why get it? Remember, a smart phone depending on which brand you get you will have to pay for data charges, text and other apps that are not free. A regular flip phone you have basic talk and texting that you need to worry about. If your lifestyle needs a smart phone then get it. Just remember that those type of phones cost more then a regular flip phone. Also look for a company that gives you rollover minutes or unlimited texting or data. Not many are out there with great coverage but that is something you need to look into.
6. Cable & Internet – This is hard for many because many use this for “destressing” after work or after the children go to bed. This is something you need to think about and be hard on yourslef and family. This will not alienate you from the world I promise. I have already posted an example about this in a similiar post so I will not waste time on this section. If you want to see it follow this link on Debt free plan the begining and you can see how much you can save.
Of course there are plenty of more utilities that are not on here. If you want to know about them please comment below and I will do my research if I don’t have it myself.
Again this is just my own opinion and examples of how you can resolve your situation. Plese let me know if you want more post about saving or bringing your debt down. If you would like me to see your personal debt please contact me and I will look over the information you give mer (no account numbers, logins please). I will suggest a plan but not a guaranttee and in the end you and your family chose if it will work for you. Again this will be free of cost unless you chose to donate anything to me.
Until Next Time,