When we talk about utility bills, we think of water bill, electricity bill and gas. These three things have become the basic necessity of every household. But you can also save the most on utility bills as a part of personal finance.
I live in a 2 BHK apartment. Over the years, I have learned how to reduce my utility bills and save money from them. If you want to save money each month, you have to become a miser.
There are ways where upgrading your lifestyle can save your money, too.
The cost of utility bills varies from season. During summer, usually the electricity bill goes up because of the high usage of air conditioner and fans. During winter, it varies how much power your house is consuming with the heater.
When you plan to save money and run the household on a tight budget, you need a monthly budget and come up with tips that can do fulfil your purposes.
Based on the research and personal experience, here I will share some tips on how to save money on utility bills.
How to save money on water bills –
Water leaks can be a significant drain on our water bill. Over the years, the water bills are rising and partially that’s because of the climbing demand for water and shortage in the supply.
Water leakages are the worst because it leads to water wastage. When the world is facing challenges in water supply due to frequent climatic changes, we must not waste water for the betterment of environment.
Repairing leaks can lead to huge savings on your monthly bills. Sometimes people ignore a small water leak, but a quick fix can save you both water and money.
Last week, there was a leakage in our toilet and it wasted a lot of water in just one night. The very next day morning I called a plumber and get it fix. I could tell how much water the leakage cost us.
In arid and summer regions, leakages are common. Usually, water pipes burst due to overheat. If you are the homeowner, keep a tab on all your water fixes.
Upgrade water appliances
In the world where water is becoming more scarce, it is becoming more expensive too. You will feel it is hard every time when you pay the water bill.
That’s why it is important to find out ways to save money on water bill.
Upgrading all your plumbing fixtures to energy-efficient appliances will save you money on water bill. Certainly, you will have to bear the onetime cost of installing the fixtures, but for the next few years, it will save you a great deal of money on the bill.
Collect Rain Water
You might have read in your school how collecting and storing rain water is environmentally friendly and helps in saving water organically.
Rainwater is a natural resource. As it has a higher oxygen level, and contains fewer pollutants, it can be used for washing and other household chores where water is used.
Once you store them in a large container and filter them, you can use them for days. Eventually, this will save you money on water bill.
Avoid filling swimming pools
You might have read/heard in the news how Cape town is already facing challenges in water. Likewise, if you come down to India, in several parts of the country there are severe water crisis, people can’t afford to waste water.
If you have a swimming pool at home, consider keeping it empty and use it in some other work.
Maintaining a swimming pool is expensive. You have to fill the pool with clean water, maintain the pool before and afterwards. Usually it is quite costly to maintain.
Now, if you have a tight budget, consider avoiding filling the swimming pool with water. You can save a great deal of amount monthly on this.
The cost of filling a pool is about 700 USD. Stop filling the pool. The entire amount will go to your savings account.
Turn Off Taps
How does turning off a tap can save you money?
Many homeowners often overlook this simple yet very important thing. They leave the taps open when not in use, mostly forget to turn it off.
The average home water bill goes up to $150 a month. You can reduce it further by turning off all the taps in your home when not in use.
Even if you follow no other way, by just turning off taps, you can save at least 40% of water bill cost.
For example, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Store water on tanks
You can save thousands of gallons of water appropriately in your home on a water tank. You can collect and store rainwater or normal water. For better water use, you can install filtration system which will make the water good for drinking and cooking purpose.
If you have a big family, you can store water in a tank and use them for days. It is cost efficient and saves money on water bill.
Giving you an example, all my years at my parent’s home, we used stored water for washing, cleaning, bathing and cooking purposes. We had a water tank kept at a safe covered place where we used to fill once a week, and filter them before using.
For any middle-class family, saving money is important. We found this trick a great way to save money.
How many times do you flush toilet in a day?
The average person flushes at least 8 gallons of water a day. Flushing less also saves you from extra water expenditure. The toilet is often the most used by any member of the household.
To save money on the water, in some places you have to use it mindfully. It is important to flush toilet, but if you know how exactly to do, you can literally save money.
Different countries have different standards of flushing a toilet. How much water is required for flushing is always depended on how well your plumbing is constructed.
Thus, if you invest more money on better plumbing, you can save money on water bill throughout your life.
Invest in water saving products
People often think investing in water-saving products are unnecessary. But they can save your money in the long run on water bills.
Water saving products such as faucet aerators, flow regulator, kitchen hoses, shower hoses are some of the water-saving devices that if you install at home can save you water and money both.
These are easily available at any hardware store. You can ask your plumber to install them and see how it change your monthly water bill.
Skip the use of bathtub
I love having a shower in the bathtub. But keeping the fact in mind, I have stopped using bathtub instead I use either showerhead or a bucket.
Bathtub consumes a lot of water. It wastes water and increases the bill.
Bathroom is the place where the maximum water is getting used. Thus, if don’t use it wisely, eventually you have to pay a higher bill.
For example, in the western countries, people don’t use buckets for shower. But in India, we use buckets for shower that save water greatly.
How to Save Money on Electric Bill – 19 Ways
Grow a habit of switching off
Do you want to know how you can save up to 10% of your electricity bill?
The habit of switching off lights and other electronic appliances when they are not in use can help you in saving.
Many people are unaware that by adapting the habit of switching off electronic appliances, when they are not needed can alone save money on an electric bill.
For example, when you are not in the room, turn off the switches of lights and fans.
Not only money is the only thing that should matter. We need to learn how to save energy wisely. With the unexpected climate change, the Earth is getting warmer and there is a high in demand for air conditioners.
The more energy consumption you will save, the lesser bill you have.
Use CFL bulbs
Recently, we bought a new home, and we have installed CFL light bulbs.
CFL lightbulbs are the new energy-saving lightbulbs that are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They are also cheaper in cost and last much longer than the conventional lightbulbs.
The traditional incandescent lightbulbs consume a lot more power and they generate more heat.
The CFL lightbulbs not only lower down your electric bill but also your carbon footprint, which in turn helps our environment.
Using CFL bulbs are a great way to save money on electricity bill from your household budget.
Replace old appliances
Old electronic appliances consume 20% more electricity. If you are looking into ways to cut the consumption of energy, swap out old appliances with the new energy efficient devices.
Updating your appliances will save money on your utility bills. Households are saving hundreds of dollars each month by doing a onetime investment on new appliances.
For example, if you are still using a 2010 washing machine model, it will certainly consume more energy. It is better if you buy an upgraded model in exchange that will help you with your utility bill.
My parents recently bought a new inverter energy-efficient refrigerator in exchange for their 13 years old fridge. And so far, it is a good investment.
Keep air vents clean
Wondering how air vents can lower your electric bill?
Air vents are used for the heating and cooling system to function properly. If you keep them as clean as possible, it will keep your home well ventilated.
It is recommended homeowners should vacuum their vents at least once every 6 months. Not only money, air vents filter the air you breathe and help regulate the home temperature. regulating the home temperature.
Cooking smartly is not just about cooking food. It is also about cooking efficiently and wisely. You can save electricity and lower your electric bill when cooking at home.
Upgrade your home kitchen with smart technology. Use microwave, stovetop and oven wisely. Cook food at low flame or invest on a slow cooker.
Slow cook recipes add flavour to the food, also reduce your electricity consumption significantly.
Use washing machine and dishwasher wisely
Both dishwasher and washing machine consume the same amount of power. If you want to cut down your energy consumption, consider buying smart technology washing machine and dishwasher.
Use them only when you have loaded with clothes and utensils.
Both washing machine and dishwasher are useful when you have a large family. It could save you money on the electric bill.
Wear layers instead of using room heater
This might look like an unrealistic way to save money on an electric bill. During winter, you can consider wearing woollen clothes and stay warm. People mostly keep their room heater on the entire day.
Certainly, in places where the temperature dips a lot, it’s important to keep yourself warm and cozy. However, if you wear layers instead of using a room heater, you will save some money on an electric bill.
Room heater consumes more power to keep the room warm. Sometimes, it feels impossible to stay in the room when the temperature goes below zero.
To save money on your utility bill, you can swap between using room temperature and wearing warm clothes.
For example, during the day time wear multiple warm layers and use blankets. At night, use room heater and fireplace to keep yourself warm and comfortable.
Consider home automation
Home automation is relatively a new concept.
Wondering how it can save you money on an electric bill?
The first thing is it monitors your home for energy use. Second, it has features like auto temperature controlling, voice controlled turn off of lights and fans and so on.
Home automation is expensive, but it has a great potential for savings.
It gives you the option to control all the electronic functionalities as per your need without wasting the energy.
People these days prefer to install advance technologies home automation devices.
The more advanced technologies it provides, the costlier it gets, but the better result it provides in reducing power consumption.
Cool down your attic
In ancient days, people used to cool down the attic of the house just before sunset. When the sun sets and their house goes dark, they would quickly open all the windows of the attic to let the air flow freely.
This led to an instant cooling and a natural ventilation system. You can do the same now. Instead of depending on the air-conditioner, make use of the attic for cooling down the house naturally.
If you don’t have an attic in your house, you can cool down your roof by covering up the entire roof with aluminium sheets or any other heat absorbent material.
Use cold water to wash clothes
When I was in the US for a couple of years, I wonder why people use warm water to wash clothes. Cold water is just fine to wash clothes.
If you are on the journey of saving money on the utility bill, you have to skip washing clothes in hot water.
For hot water, you have to turn on the heater, and that leads to power consumption.
Stop using dryer
If you stop using a dryer for drying clothes, it can save up to 10% of your electric bill.
Research shows that clothes dryers are terrible for the environment as they use o lot of energy.
I am fortunate that I don’t have clothes dryer as we dry our clothes by hanging them on a clothes dryer tool in the roof under the sunlight.
It is cost-efficient and environmental free.
Although wealthy people prefer to use clothes dryer. However, it is not a value for money product.
Maintain the A/C
When summer quickly approaches, people think of installing new ac unit in their homes. Or, do some cleaning of the existing ac unit.
Experts recommend yearly maintenance of an AC unit is an important preventive measure to save money on electric bill. Ac has now become an important accessory. Keeping the ac clean inside and out. Get the filter clean by an expert for better air pass keeps an ac better and reduces power consumption too.
Open your windows for cool air circulation
Opening a window for cool air circulation keeps your room well ventilated and dissipates heat from the inside of the room.
Every day if you keep all the windows of your house open for an hour, it will cool down your room temperature. Thus, reduce the use of ac.
It is one of the best and easy way to save money on electric bill in summer.
If you are going out somewhere, keep at least one window of the house open and let the cool breeze enter the room.
Use blackout curtains
I have blackout curtains in all the rooms. The place where I live is boiling and during summer heat gets unbearable.
Blackout curtains stop the light to enter your room, thus keeps the heat wave away from entering. These are made of two layers of fabric for extra insulation.
These types of curtains are especially made for blocking out sunlight and preventing heat from entering the room. During summer, it helps calm the atmosphere of the room and gives a cooling effect.
If you invest in a better quality of blackout curtains, they can help you avoid the use of air-conditioners during summer. Thus, can help you lower your electric bill.
Use Stand fan
If you live in a summer dominated zone, stand fan is a must have a thing at home. The electric bills can skyrocket during summer. Investing in a good stand fan will help to save money on bills.
Stand fans are cheaper and a better alternative to an ac. You can keep a stand fan turn on for hours as it consumes less electricity.
It functions by cooling down the temperature of the room by pulling in the hot air from outside and blowing out the cool air from inside.
I have two stand fans and I keep them turn on during the day, afternoon and evening. I only use the air-conditioner at night for a good sleep.
Stand fan is an extreme value for money electronic appliance.
Insulate a Garage Door
Winter weather can take a toll on your home’s energy bill. One way to cut costs is to insulate your garage door. This will help keep the heat in and the cold out, which can save you money on your heating bill.
There are two ways to insulate a garage door: Garage door insulation kits come with everything you need to insulate your door, including panels, tape, and instructions.
Sheets of insulation can be cut to fit your door and then attached with adhesive or tape.
Most people do not realize how much heat is lost through their garage door.
Clean and Maintain Your Refrigerator
Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home, and it’s also one of the biggest energy consumers.
A dirty refrigerator can use up to 30% more energy than a clean one, so it’s important to regularly clean your fridge and keep it in good working condition.
Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining your refrigerator:
Clean the coils. The coils on the back or bottom of your fridge can get covered in dust and dirt, which makes them work harder and use more energy. Once a month, vacuum or brush the coils to remove any buildup.
Keep the door seals clean. Dirt and grime can build up on them and cause the fridge to not seal properly, making it work harder to keep things cool.
Do not overfill your fridge. This makes it harder for air to circulate and can cause your fridge to run longer than necessary.
Clean the inside of your fridge with a mild soap and water solution. Be sure to wipe down the shelves, drawers, and door gasket.
Check the temperature setting on your fridge. It should be set between 35- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit for optimal efficiency.
Defrost regularly. If your freezer has a lot of ice build-up, it has to work harder to maintain a cold temperature, which uses more energy.
Most freezers should be defrosted at least once a year; if yours is frosting up more frequently, there may be a problem with the door seal or gasket.
Try Smart Metering
If you are looking for ways to save money on your electricity bill, you might want to consider installing a smart meter.
Smart meters are devices that track your energy usage and allow you to see how much power you’re using in real-time.
This information can help you make changes to your habits and make more informed decisions about when and how to use energy.
While the upfront cost of installing a smart meter may be higher than a traditional meter, the long-term savings can be significant.
Simply making minor adjustments to your daily routine can lead to big savings on your monthly bill.
If you are interested in exploring smart metering as an option for saving money on your electricity bill, contact your utility company to see if they offer this service.
Patch Up Air Leaks Outside
If your home’s exterior is not properly insulated, drafts can sneak in and cause your energy bills to spike. Regularly check for air leaks around doors and windows.
If you find any, seal them up with weatherstripping or caulk. Another area to check is your home’s foundation. If there are any cracks or gaps, fill them in with expanding foam or sealant.
Sealing up air leaks around your home is a great way to reduce your energy consumption and save money on your electricity bill.