Saving money toward your long-term goals can be hard. Fortunately there are a few simple ways that you can reduce the amount you spend every month on electricity, gas, and water.
To learn how to save money that you can use to take the vacation you want or retire in comfort, check out our top tips for how to monthly save on expenses.
How to Monthly Save on your Energy Expenses
Saving electricity may seem hard, but you have to think about it on the long run. Here are some of the top tips you should consider as you figure out how to monthly save electricity in your home.
1. Install LED bulbs
Light bulb technology has been steadily improving, but LEDs represent a much bigger leap forward than CFLs. LEDs are more than four times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and they produce much more comfortable lighting thanCFLs.
If you’re concerned about the radiation that’s produced by fluorescent light sources like CFLs, you can take some comfort in knowing that LEDs don’t produce this potentially harmful energy.
While the increased efficiency of LEDs is impressive enough on its own, it’s also important to remember that an LED bulb you buy today might last the rest of your life. In fact, a very tiny LED diode is rated to last 50,000 hours, which is the equivalent of seven years of round-the-clock illumination. Not only will you save on electrical costs when you buy LED lights, but you’ll also save on the cost associated with replacing burnt-out bulbs.
2. Unplug appliances that you aren’t using
Even when your appliances are turned off, they’ll still suck up small amounts of electricity. If you want to meter every last watt, unplug all of your appliances when they aren’t in use.
One convenient way to take care of this money-saving step is to route your electrical appliances through power strips.
This way, instead of having to physically unplug your appliances from the wall, powerstrips give you the ability to flick a simple switch to make sure that your TV, computer, or lamp doesn’t suck up energy when it isn’t in operation.
3. Try the dryer balls
While you might think that dryer balls are simply a fad, these tennis ball-sized laundry accessories can actually help you reduce your electricity bill. By keeping your damp clothes from clinging together, dryerballs help your clothes dry faster. This simple trick reduces the time you’ll need to run your dryer. In addition, dryer balls eliminate the need for fabric softener, which helps you save money in another category.
If you don’t want to buy the pricey wool dryer balls that are touted by bloggers and TV hosts, you can make do with some chunks of balled-up aluminum foil.
4. Install energy-efficient ceiling fans
If you install a ceiling fan in every room, you’ll have less to worry about when summer comes along.
While your central air conditioning unit does a good job of keeping your home cool, this convenience comes at a cost that shows up on your monthly electricity bill. By cooling your home with simple air circulation, ceiling fans can take on some of the responsibility that your air conditioner bears for keeping your family cool.
Just remember to purchase newer, more energy-efficient ceiling fan models to maximize your energy savings.
5. Use cutting-edge appliances
You may have been putting off replacing your dishwasher or refrigerator for a while, but replacing old home appliances sooner than later can help you monthly save on your power bill. In fact, older appliances use more electricity while newer appliances are designed to use as little energy as possible.
So, upgrading soon can help you save tons of money in the long run.
6. Consider installing solar panels
While equipping your home with solar panels requires a steep initial investment, this choice can pay off in a big way in the long run.
For every solar panel you install, you’ll be able to save more on your electric bill every month, and in some locations, your local power company may even pay you for excess energy that you send back to the grid with your photovoltaic array.
Installing solar panels can also be an effectiveway to prepare for disasters. Instead of rushing off to buy an expensive generator when the power goes out, you can rely on your solar panels to keep your devices running until the grid is back online.
While solar panels aren’t the right solution for everyone, the benefits of solar energy are worth considering as you determine ways to monthly save on your electric expenses.
7. Install a timer switch for your electric water heater
If you have an electric water heater, you’rewasting money when you leave this appliance on all the time.
With a quick trip to the hardware store and about an hour of labor, you can equip your electric water heater with a timer switch that will turn your water heater on just when you need it.
For about a week before you install your timer switch, keep close track of the times throughout the day when you use hot water. Then, set your new switch to only turn your water heater on when it’s needed. While you’re at it, flush your water heater to remove any sediment; doing so will increase its efficiency.
How to Monthly Save on your Gas Expenses
Although gas in homes is used less and less, it is still one of the most expensive energy resources. Therefore, as you determine how to monthly save on your gas expenditures, keep these simple pointers in mind:
1. Use your dishwasher more
If you have a gas water heater, keep in mind that it takes more hot water to do dishes by hand than it does to do them in your dishwasher.
While you might think that it’s more energy-efficient to wash your dishes yourself, if you have a newer dishwasher, the increased electrical cost ofrunning a load won’t overcome the savings you’ll enjoy by using less hotwater.
2. Put on some layers
It’s everyone’s instinct to crank up thethermostat as soon as the weather starts getting cold in the winter.
If you rely on your gas furnace as your only tool for staying warm, however, you’ll beconfronted with a monumental gas bill at the end of the first chilly month of the year. That’s why there are plenty of hacks that you can use tostay warm even if your thermostat is set to a lower temperature than you’d like.
For instance, try layering up when you’re inside…as follows:
An extra pair of socks and a sweater can go a long way toward keeping you warm even when the air inside your home is relatively chilly. If you want to stay warm at night without raising your gas bill, you can try making a blanket fort around your bed. Canopy beds and four-poster beds are ideal candidates for this energy-saving hack.
Anyway you can transform practically any bed into a balmy winter paradise by simply trapping some of the heat that you emit while you sleep.
3. Invest in a smart thermostat
Gone are the days when a basic slider thermostatcould solve your home’s heating and cooling needs. Smart thermostats are the wave of the future, and these high-tech devices keep track of your habits and activities to make sure that you are delivered an ideal environment whenever you are at home.
Where smart thermostats show their value from a money-saving perspective, however, is in their ability to turn off the heat when you aren’t home.
In fact, by reducing the energy you waste on heating when you aren’t around, smart thermostats can lower your monthly bills substantially.
4. Have someone else do the cooking
While eating out might seem antithetical to saving money, having someone else cook your food for you will certainly result in gas savings unless you only have electrical appliances.
For those of us who appreciate the power of a good gas cook top, ordering Chinese every once in a while can reduce the amount of money we spend on cooking meals at home. Even if you don’t eat out every night, keep track of the amount of gas that’s needed to make your favorite foods. Meat loaf, for instance, requires a lot more energy to make than a spring salad.
Keep in mind that cooking frozen ingredients requires more energy than cooking ingredients that are closer to room temperature, which is all the more reason to eat fresh foods whenever possible.
How to Monthly Save on Water Expenses
Saving on water should be a priority nowadays in order to respect the environment. A part for this, still water is a bill on which you can save. Here are some of our best tips on how to monthly save on water bills:
1. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth
While most people have already been thoroughly conditioned to turn off the tap while they’re brushing their teeth, this simple water-saving tip still bears mentioning.
When you brush your teeth in the morning and the evening, the best practice is to get your toothbrush wet, apply toothpaste, and turn off the water while you’re brushing. Then, rinse off your toothbrush after you spit to make sure that it stays clean.
2. Take shorter showers
The more you curtail the length of your showers,the more water you’ll save.
You may even want to try the so-called “navyshower“. And if it might sound weird, here you have a quick explanation on how to do that:
With this method, when you get in the shower, get yourself wet, and then turn the water off while you soap up. Then, turn the water back on to rinse, and repeat as necessary. Also, it’s easy to install a simple shower shutoff switch that will save you the headache of turning the tap on and off multiple times during a single shower.
Even if you don’t do anything extreme, limiting the time you spend standing in front of your showerhead doing nothing can significantly reduce monthly your water bills.
3. Install a water-saving showerhead
If the navy shower is simply too much for you,you can still conserve water by installing a water-saving showerhead.
In fact, these types of showerheads lessen the pressure of the water that’s emitted while you shower. This evolves in a reduction of the number of water’s gallons you use during your daily self-cleaning session.
Once you acclimate, you’ll find your water-saving showerhead to be just as luxurious as your original water waster, and you’ll have the added benefit of looking at a lower water bill at the end of the month.
4. Fully fill your washing machine and dishwasher
It’s simply wasteful to leave your washing machine partly empty before you start a load. The same goes for your dishwasher; the more dishes or clothes you can stuff into your cleaning appliances, the better.
Just remember not to overload your appliances.
Monthly Reduce your Expenses: the Bottom Line
To recap, here are some of our top tips for reducing your bills as you save up for the vacation of your dreams:
- Switch out your CFL or incandescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED alternatives
- Use dryer balls to make drying your clothes more efficient
- Remember to unplug electronic devices when you aren’t using them
- Use ceiling fans to reduce the strain on your air conditioner in the summer
- Upgrade your appliances to energy-efficient options
- Consider the costs and benefits of solar panels
- Use a timer switch on your electric water heater to turn it off when you aren’t using it
- Save hot water by using your dishwasher instead of hand washing
- Turn down the thermostat during the winter
- Use a smart thermostat to make heating your home more efficient
- Go out to eat and order takeout to use less gas for cooking
- Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth
- Reduce the amount of water you use by taking short showers
- Install a low-flow showerhead to spend less water on your showers
- Fill your washing machine and dishwasher all the way when you use them