On your journey to financial freedom, small savings add up to big progress. One area many people overlook is utility bills.
Compared to other expenses, utilities can seem trivial. But when you add them up, utilities represent a lot of monthly spending.
Managing utility bills is an important part of the journey to financial freedom. Keeping the lights, heat and water on should be a high priority, because they’re important for your family’s health and safety. And since your utility bills repeat month after month, small changes in your lifestyle can make a significant difference over time.
There’s a lot about your utility bills that you can’t control, because the utility companies set your rates, and you can’t shop around much. There are, however, some things you can do to streamline and budget your utility expenses. We’re going to talk about several in this article.
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Now, back to the topic at hand:
Here are three steps you can take to lower your utility bills and ensure don’t cost you more than they should.
1) Watch your waste.
You don’t think about your water bill while you brush your teeth. But if you leave the faucet running, that’s money literally going down the drain.
You can lower your bills by being mindful about the water and energy you consume. If you think your bills are too high, consider adjusting the thermostat. And don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room. Every little bit of savings helps.
2) Decrease your data.
Your mobile phone and internet connection are indispensable. But that doesn’t mean you need the latest smartphone or an unlimited data plan. You could save money by buying cheaper phones with cash and shopping discount carriers for the least expensive data package.
The same is true for your home internet — you probably don’t need to pay for top download speeds. The lowest-cost plans provide enough bandwidth for most families.
3) Plan your payments.
If you live in an area with really cold winters or warm summers, you’ve probably been surprised by the size of a gas or electricity bill. Heating and cooling your home requires a lot of energy, and it’s not uncommon for your utility bills to reach several hundred dollars during peak months.
To help with this, gas and electricity companies offer budget plans. When you sign up, the utility companies estimate what your total energy consumption will be for the year and then spread the cost across 12 monthly bills. You’ll pay for more than what you consume in low demand months, but much less than you consume at peak periods. These plans are really helpful, because they allow you to budget for one predictable expense every month.
If you take these steps, you’ll find it easier to manage your utilities. And over time, these strategies will help you reduce your financial stress and begin building a prosperous future.