Karen, coauthor of our book Living a Rich Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom writes,
“The past few months my water bill was almost double what it normally is. I found this odd since it’s winter time and the sprinklers aren’t running. When this happens, a great thing to do is to turn off all the faucets, hoses, and appliances that use water in the house and then look at your meter. If the meter is still running, you most likely have a leak somewhere.
We were able to find a small leak in our backyard pretty easily because the ground was wet. My husband fixed the leak and now our water bill is back to normal.
Utilities are wonderful! I’m so grateful for my utilities that I don’t begrudge paying for them. What I do mind is paying more than I need to.
There are so many ways to save on utilities that Anita and I devoted a whole section in our upcoming book to that topic. But here are just a few ideas that could save you money:
- Don’t heat/cool areas in your home that you don’t use. I have a large room that we use purely for storage (not food) and we save a lot of money by not heating/cooling it. My in-laws don’t have anyone living in their basement and they rarely go down there so they keep the thermostat off unless they have company.
- Unplug anything that you are not using. Everything you have plugged into the wall uses power, even when you aren’t using it. So try to keep toasters, curling irons, phone chargers, etc. unplugged until you want to use them.
- Watch your water bill for unwarranted increases. Leaks happen all the time and the sooner you catch it the better. Don’t do what I did and wait two months before doing something.
- Seal cracks in windows and doors. It takes a little work but it really isn’t very expensive to do.
- Use alternative ways of heating if possible. We have a fireplace and use it quite regularly in the winter time. Not only does it save us money, but it also makes our home quite cozy.
- Insulate your water heater if it is in the garage.
- Use solar screens in the summertime. We live in a very hot climate and we are always looking for ways to keep the house cooler. We found the materials to make our own solar screens and they have been helpful.
- Look into programmable thermostats and water heaters.
- Even just turning lights off in rooms you aren’t in will help.
- Anita also wrote a blog post 27 Ways to Conveniently Save on Energy Bills here.
So Challenge #25 is to commit to finding one way to save money on utilities and implement it.
We all love the convenience that our utilities provide but there really is no reason to pay more than we should for them.”