Whether you’re looking for ways to cut down on your expenses, or you just want to save more money, there could be small things around your home that are costing you more than they should be. Even though some of these things don’t seem too significant, every little bit adds up, and small changes can eventually go a long way. Some of the following are common money wasters around the home, and some simple fixes:
Cooling and heating
Cooling and heating are often the most significant expenses that make up monthly electricity costs. By cutting down on these costs, you’ll likely notice a difference in your utility bills. Ensuring that your home is properly insulated is key to regulating the inside temperature—otherwise your cool or hot air could be escaping, and harsh temperatures from outside could be creeping in. When a home doesn’t have a good insulation, it takes a lot more to get it to that ideal temperature.
Unless you have pets or the weather is particularly harsh on any given day, you might want to consider leaving your unit off completely when you’re not home, especially if you’ll be gone all day. If your thermostat has a timer, set it to turn on shortly before you arrive. This way, it won’t be running all day long, but the temperature will be nice by the time you get home. You might also want to consider turning the vents off in rooms you don’t use much (or at all), especially if you have a larger home.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of ceiling fans. Running them counterclockwise in the summer will help cool off your home, and you won’t need to use the air conditioner as much, if at all. In the winter, remember that hot air rises, so switch ceiling fans into a clockwise direction. Switching the direction of your ceiling fans will push hot air down, and you’ll stay warmer.
Other energy usage
Aside from cutting down on cooling and heating costs, there are other small changes you can make that can help to lower your monthly utility bills. If you ever leave appliances plugged in when you aren’t using them—even small appliances, such as a toaster or coffee maker—you’re paying for it, because appliances will use energy just by being plugged in, even if they aren’t on or being used. As such, make a habit out of unplugging appliances whenever you’re done using them. Additionally, it’s important to remember to always turn off lights in rooms you’re not using. You might also want to invest in LED light bulbs; while these light bulbs are more expensive upfront than traditional light bulbs, they last many years and don’t use nearly as much energy.
Eating at restaurants can be expensive, but if you’re able to get more than one meal out of an outing and bring home a decent amount of leftovers, you get more for your money. Alas, many leftovers are forgotten about, eventually spoil, and need to be thrown out. The same can be said for meals that are cooked at home and food that you buy at the grocery store that never gets eaten before its expiration date. If you find that you’re throwing away food, get into a habit of not buying or cooking more than you can get before it expires. A lot of meals and perishables can also be frozen for another time, so make it a habit to save what you can before it spoils and you wasted money.