How to Save On and Cut Your Cable, Electric & Water Bills
Slashing the Cost of Monthly Utilities
Monthly utilities can quickly add up. There’s the cable bill, electric bill, water bill, phone bill, sewage bill and trash collection bill. You may also have to pay other monthly bills such as lawn maintenance.
Depending on where you live, the list of bills to pay each month can seem endless. If your budget is tight, the strategies below can help you save on some common utility payments.
Saving on the Cable Bill
Your cable service is strictly for pleasure. After all, you don’t need a television. In 2015, the average American spent $123 dollars a month on cable. In 2011, that median was only $86. So, you might want to ask yourself: Do I watch a lot of television? Is there another service that might be better for me? Do I need to watch $123 worth of television every month?
You have a number of choices. A onetime option is to buy a home TV antenna from a local dealer or buy one over the Internet, such as an Omni-directional for about $400, which you can take with you if you move. You can watch local TV and network programing such as CBS, NBC, ABC and Public Broadcasting for free and supplement with pay per view.
Video streaming is also a popular alternative, with many ditching cable altogether for Netflix, Hulu, and/or Apple TV, subscriptions with can be as low as $9 a month. Compared to the average cost-per-month, that is more than $1,000 in annual savings.
Saving on the Electric Bill
Monthly electric fees vary depending on geographical location, time of year, and the hobbies of your family. Below are some unconventional tips you can employ to lower your monthly electric bill:
- Embrace white – Paint your roof white to reflect the sun and stay cooler.
- Harness solar power – Add solar panels (a good investment in the long run).
- Purchase new appliances – Upgrade your appliances and light bulbs to more energy efficient models.
- Use less light – Keep the lights off in the daytime (even outdoor lights).
- Practice money-saving habits – Turn electronics off when you’re not home, turn the air conditioning up and the heat down, turn off the water heater and don’t run your water sprinklers.
Saving on the Water Bill
Water is the single most important resource we have yet it is likely one of the least expensive bills you have to pay at the end of the month. It is estimated that humans cannot live more than three days without water. Reducing your water usage can reap benefits that go beyond a lower monthly payment. Try the following water-savings tips to save our clean drinking water supply and lower your bill:
- Stop pre-rinsing dishes
- Use your dishwasher because it actually uses less water
- Keep drinking water in the fridge to avoid running the tap and waiting for cold water
- Heat water on the stove to avoid running the tap and waiting for hot water
- Avoid baths and aim for five minutes showers
- Install a fill cycle diverter
- Add a full water bottle to your toilet
- Wear your clothes more than once before washing – especially in the winter
- Sweep sidewalks instead of spraying them
- Collect rain water to water the plants and choose plants that require less water
- Use the local car wash instead of the hose (hey, you’re also supporting a local business)
- Buy an “Atmospheric Water Generator” for your home, makes anywhere from 2 to 10 gallons of water a day depending on the humidity in your home. Note they are pricey, but it makes drinking water from the air. If you have no electricity they will run on solar panels and a portable noiseless “Humless Generator.”
Lower bills mean more money in your pocket. It also helps to conserve our valuable resources. By employing the above resource-saving tips, everyone wins.
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