FALLBROOK – As many Americans are taking second jobs to fight inflation, cutting costs on bills is a necessity this winter.
According to a recent survey conducted by TopCashback.com, over three-quarters of Americans or 76% are decorating their homes this holiday season – likely increasing their electricity bills, too.
The survey polled a cross-section of 1,634 U.S.-based adults, aged 18 and over.
To help manage utility costs this season, try these four tips from Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback.
Review your budget regularly.
“Since utility bills fluctuate monthly, it’s important to ensure your finances are in check on a regular basis,” Landau said. “Every three months or so, review your budget to determine if there’s anything you’re paying for that you’re not using. For example, you may have a few subscriptions set to auto-pay. By canceling these extra charges, you can free up more of your income to put towards savings or paying off debt, if needed. Also, you increase your budget’s flexibility in case the utility bills spike at all this winter season.”
Opt for greener living.
Consider opting for energy-efficient appliances when purchasing new ones or replacing items like burnt-out light bulbs. It not only helps reduce your utility expenses but also contributes to environmental well-being. Additionally, use power strips to conveniently manage the electricity flow for your appliances, enabling you to easily turn them on or off with the push of a button, rather than plugging them directly into the wall socket.
Switch to blackout curtains, which act as insulation for your home to keep out extreme cold in the winter. If you’re able to manage a daily schedule with your curtains, try and keep them open while it’s sunny. And when the sun sets, make sure to close the curtains to maintain the insulation. It will also decrease your reliance on a heater and can greatly reduce the cost of your utility bill.
If you put up holiday lights, try getting a smart plug with a timer. This lets you decide when your lights should be on or off. It helps you enjoy the holidays without stressing about extra electricity costs from your decorations.
Keep your settings steady.
To cut down on winter heating expenses, try keeping your thermostat at a cozy indoor temperature of 66-68 degrees F. The small adjustment reduces the amount of gas your heating system uses to reach the temperature you want. Stay warm by using blankets and wearing layered clothing or sweaters if you feel a bit chilly at home.
“If you haven’t already done so this year, get your HVAC system serviced as soon as you can to make sure it’s functioning properly,” Landau said. “Problems with the system might make it work harder than necessary, leading to higher costs and increased energy bills.”
Prevent heat from escaping and keep cold air outside by ensuring that your windows and doors are well-insulated. Homeowners can pick up inexpensive insulation kits at home improvement stores.
Repurpose old items.
“Don’t toss your worn-out clothes – get creative instead,” she said. “Old tees can be transformed into quilts, and thicker fabrics like wool socks can be repurposed into winter hand warmers. To help with drafty windows, consider using old towels or sheets to help keep the cold air outside if you don’t already have proper insulation.”
Submitted by Topcashback.com.