How to lower your energy bill without touching your thermostat

FeaturedMoney

Written by:

 

Increasing Energy Prices

Energy prices are spiking around the world, most notably in Europe. However, many experts believe a similar crisis in the United States may be around the corner.

 

This rise in energy prices is the result of inflation, the Russia/Ukraine war, and extreme weather events across the U.S. In particular, the 2021 Texas winter storm and severe droughts in California are contributing to an exhausted national energy supply chain.

______________________

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals get started now.

______________________

 

 

 

 

For these reasons, electric companies in states like Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, and Virginia are looking to raise residential electricity bills by up to 16%. In major cities, like NYC, energy prices could be even more expensive.

How To Prepare

With that in mind, there are several strategies you can use to warm your home without even touching your heating system.

To start, use heavy-duty clear plastic sheets to cover drafty windows. Insulated drapes or curtains will also do the trick to help keep out harsh, winter air from entering your home.

It’s important to ensure the warm air isn’t leaving your home. Common places for leaks include cut-throughs for pipes, unfinished spaces in cabinets or closets, and opened chimneys. Be sure to check that your flue is closed when you’re not having a fire.

Finally, this is also a good time to inspect your home for proper insulation. If you have an older home, insulation improvements (or replacement) could help you save on lost heat in the long run.

Lowering Your Bill

No matter how well your home keeps warm air, you still have to pay to warm it. With this in mind, there are a few more ways to reduce your inevitable energy bill.

 

To start, try using a concept called “zoning” when heating. In other words, instead of constantly heating the entire house, only heat the rooms people are currently using.

 

It’s also a good idea to eliminate “vampire energy sources” from your home. These are devices that stay plugged in constantly, even when they’re not being used. Coffee makers and entertainment systems are two examples. You can lower your bill by making sure everything is unplugged unless it’s in use.

 

If you invest your time today to prep your home, you will reap the rewards during the colder months — in the form of a lower energy bill.

 

Learn More:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

More from MediaFeed:

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck, once & for all

 

There is nothing more stressful than coming home from a long day of work and not knowing how you will afford to pay your bills. If this sounds like something happening to you, then it might be time for some changes.

 

In the U.S., 54% of people are living paycheck to paycheck.

 

This article will go over how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

 

Sponsored: Worried you don’t have enough money for retirement? Find a financial advisor who can help.

A financial advisor can guide you in building a portfolio that matches your financial needs and goals. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

 

 

 

 

AaronAmat/istockphoto

 

The first step to stopping your paycheck from constantly running out is figuring out where all of your money is going. Track every penny you spend for a month using an app like Mint.

 

You will see where you can cut back and save some money. Awareness is critical here.

Make sure you use my free budget template to get you started on tracking your expenses.

 

Related: These 2 Western cities are the most financially fit in the US

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Eliminate any unnecessary expenses. Here is a list of ordinary expenses that cause you to live in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle:

  • Fast food trips
  • Restaurant eating
  • Expensive gym membership
  • Coffee at the cafe
  • Alcohol
  • Another pair of shoes
  • More clothing

There are many ways to cut back on your spending, and it will likely take a bit of effort on your part. You don’t have to eliminate these above expenses completely.

Being 1% better every day is the way to financial independence. Begin by making temporary sacrifices that are small and sustainable. If you stop spending on everything you like, you will probably relapse and accumulate more debt.

 

 

 

Doucefleur/istock

 

 

One way to save right away is to negotiate your expenses.

 

Many people are afraid to negotiate their expenses, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know whether or not you could have gotten a better deal.

 

 

takasuu/iStock

 

Go through all your spending and see if you can do without one of your four streaming services. When you eliminate a $10 per month, you will save $120 per year, and if you do that ten times, you can save thousands each year and make real progress toward your savings goals.

 

EnDyk/ istockphoto

 

If you haven’t touched something in the last year, it is likely time to sell it. Have a yard sale if you have many items or use Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Having a less cluttered house is totally worth it, and the extra cash doesn’t hurt.

 

 

shironosov/iStock

 

If you’re looking for a way to bring in some extra money, then consider starting a side hustle.

 

The great thing about having a side hustle is that it can help you make extra money without making any drastic changes to your current lifestyle.

 

Millionaires have an average of 7 streams of income. Never rely on your 9-5 job solely. An extra job can help you break this vicious cycle.

 

 

Prostock-Studio/ istockphoto

 

If you don’t know where you’re going, it can be hard to get there. And when it comes to your money, this is undoubtedly true with financial goals.

 

You will break the cycle of check-to-check if you set your mind to it. Your financial situation can change if you write down your goals and change your spending habits.

 

 

Cn0ra/iStock

 

Avoid spending the cash if a purchase is not part of your regular monthly expenses or spending plan.

 

As discussed earlier, the easiest way to add new debt to your life is to spend more money on unnecessary things.

 

Put your cards in the sock drawer or only use cash. Paycheck to paycheck life doesn’t have to be forever, yet you need to laser focus on your spending habits.

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

One of the easiest ways to save is by reducing your utility bills.

 

Not only will this help you reduce how much electricity and water you use, but it can also lower your monthly bill as well. Plus, making these changes won’t require any effort on your part either.

 

Related: 50 Tips to Help You Save Money on Energy Costs

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

If you have high-interest debt, it’s crucial to plan to pay it off as soon as possible. Credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control and become difficult to manage.

 

Go after the account with the highest interest rate first and move on to the next one. Start paying every extra bit of money toward this to pay the debt faster. Do your best to break the cycle of only paying the minimum payment.

 

Depositphotos

 

One of the best ways to improve your finances is by educating yourself on personal finance. The best way to do this is by reading books about spending money, saving money, and prioritizing debt payments while breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle.

 

Here are a few of my favorite personal finance books that have helped me build savings and begin building wealth:

  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
  • The Death of Money by Jim Rickards

Related: Why a frugal lifestyle is powerful, painless & fun

 

Pattanaphong Khuankaew / istockphoto

 

Being debt-free means you will need to stop spending money in various areas and increase your monthly income.

 

Get a part-time job. Avoid that big purchase until next year. Spend money on essentials and have money saved for unexpected expenses.

 

These sacrifices will help you avoid financial disaster, and when you have more money, you will probably have less stress. Living paycheck to paycheck makes everyone have anxiety.

 

Ridofranz / istockphoto

 

Remember the reason why you want to have financial freedom and not live paycheck to paycheck.

 

Is it for that vacation to Italy you’ve always wanted to take? Is it for your kids? You can give them more money tips than you received when they are older. Or is it to become a digital nomad not stuck to any location because you have your living expenses by online income sources.

 

Whatever your reason, remind yourself of it daily to not feel aimless. I recommend making a vision board to remind you why more cash is the only way you will break free from the paycheck to paycheck life.

 

designer491/ iStock

 

Someone recovering from alcoholism does not frequent the bars to hang out with old friends. They avoid the bars and go to meetings to stay sober.

 

Leave the credit cards in the sock drawer if you don’t have discipline. Do not keep them near you. You will relapse and blow your emergency fund on something silly.

Know thyself and act accordingly.

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Set up a system where your expenses are automatically taken out of your bank account each month, and your emergency fund contributions are automatically transferred to your high yield savings account.

 

Automating takes the guesswork out of budgeting and will ensure that you’re always on track with your finances. It’s also a great way to ensure that you never miss a payment or contribution.

 

Don’t attempt to do this manually with your checking account, or you will invariably put off your savings goal and use your paycheck for something else.

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Instead of keeping up with all the latest trends and material items, you’ll only keep what brings value into your life.

 

Sound like an impossible task? It is at first and will be easier as time goes on and can be pretty rewarding in the end.

 

Last year I eliminated about 80% of my clothing and shoes. Now I only have what I need, and I feel very relieved.

 

There were too many options, and now oftentimes, there is only one option. Easy decision.

 

Damian Lugowski / iStock

 

Don’t deprive yourself when working toward paying off credit card debt. Make sure you are saving money for some enjoyable parts of life.

 

laflor

 

Your pay must be higher than your expenses. Make sure lifestyle creep doesn’t set in, and you have a surplus at the end of each month.

 

Deposit Photos

 

With Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you can buy nearly everything used. Everything I have bought used was in excellent condition, and I saved a lot of money.

It’s Time to Break the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle With Better Spending Habits

You have the tools to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Now it’s up to you to use these tools and begin improving your life.

 

More from MediaFeed:

Like MediaFeed’s content? Be sure to follow us.

This article originally appeared on MaxMyMoney.org and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Featured Image Credit: Jevtic / iStock.

AlertMe