When it comes to saving money, cutting corners and sticking to a budget, it is always a good idea to see if there is a way to save on things you can control in your environment. We all have to pay utilities for our basic needs at home, but are we spending more than we should? Here is a list of 10 ways to help make sure you are spending what you need to on monthly utility costs, rather than spending too much!

1. Make sure your home is properly insulated:

Insulation is a very important part of keeping your home warm if you live in an environment that gets cold during the year, or tends to be cold all year round!  It is not only a safety concern to have your home warm, with heat and no frozen pipes that can burst and flood your house, but it can also cost a lot of money to heat a house that is not properly insulated. It is difficult to know if you have proper insulation in your walls when you buy a home, but you can make sure to check any exposed areas in the attic and basement. You can also make sure if you are doing any work on your home to check any newly exposed walls to make sure there is proper insulation. It will not only cost more money to heat a home with poor insulation, but the cost of construction after a pipe burst makes it well worth it to check this as thoroughly as possible as the opportunity arises.

2. Use a smart thermostat:

I know its hard to think about spending more money on a thermostat than you would need to buy a basic one, but think of the money it will save you in the long run! Not only do these thermostats make it easier to monitor your home’s temperature when you are not there, which makes it much easier to know if something is wrong, but it will also regulate the heat and air conditioning temperature when you are not home, to make sure you are not over spending on heating or cooling your home.

Thermostats such as the Nest, allow you to set an “Eco” temperature for when you are not there. It also monitors what you set the heat to in each area you have a thermostat in your home, and learns what temperature and what time of day you need it to be at.

 It is not only convenient, but it is also cost effective. You also get an email update of your overall usage and cost, so you can monitor how you are doing each month, which can be very helpful.

It also helps for safety in your home. It happens, you go on vacation and its not too cold, so you have the temperature set lower at home, if the temperature outside drops unexpectedly and you don’t have a smart thermostat there is nothing you can do about turning up the heat to keep your home from freezing while you are away! With a smart thermostat you often have the use of an app to adjust the temperature wherever you are. This will save a lot of money for you, if you are able to save your home from incurring damage from frozen pipes while you are on vacation.

3. Wash your clothes in cold water and on a quick cycle:

Washing your clothes on a cold cycle does not only stop your colors from running, but it also saves money on monthly utility expenses. Heating the water for your wash uses extra oil and gas. This cost more on the monthly bill. Using cold water does not cost any extra and it washes your clothes just as effectively as hot water does.

You can also save on your water bill by washing your clothes on a quick cycle. Unless you have a heavy stain to get out, there is no reason to use the long cycles that use up a ton of water. You can have clean clothes and a lower water bill.  It’s a win-win situation!

4. Purchase energy efficient appliances:

No one walks into an appliance store without doing at least a little bit of research on what they are buying before they buy it. Investing in new appliances can be a pricey experience, and you want to make sure you are buying the best product you can for the money you are spending. A smart thing to look into before buying a new appliance, is energy efficiency. The last thing most homeowners want is to buy all new appliances and have them run up the utility bills each month. Make sure you look into how efficient your new purchases are, and try to look out for energy star products. This will save a lot of money in the long run.

5. Use energy efficient light bulbs:

We all know how important it is for the electric bill to make sure we don’t leave lights on all over the house. Along with making sure the lights are off when leaving the room, make sure to use energy efficient bulbs in your home. LED bulbs not only save on the energy bill, but they last longer too! This way you won’t have to worry about changing them as often as you would a less efficient bulb.

6. Install energy efficient windows:

When replacing the drafty windows in your home, you can cut down on heating and cooling costs by making sure the new windows are energy efficient and keep the warm/cool air in your home, rather than letting it leak through the holes.

7. Plug any leaky spots in windows, doors and outlets:

On the hottest of days and coldest of days, it can be hard to get your home to the temperature you want it to be. It is even harder when your home is not secure from air leaks in windows, doors and outlets. It can be very costly to heat and cool your home. There is no need to spend extra on letting the air out through unsecure areas in your home. Save money by plugging holes, covering your windows with plastic if you have to and using weather seals to keep the cold and hot air in your home where it belongs. Your family and utility bill will thank you later!

8. Monitor your use of the thermostat:

Try not to set your house to be too warm in the winter or too cool in the summer. It is possible to be comfortable in the most extreme weather by keeping your house at a neutral temperature. This will keep your comfy and you can keep the bill down each month.

9. Check  for rewards:

Sometimes paying your utilities on a credit card can be helpful. There are often rewards programs for paying your utility bills on credit, but make sure to pay off the card in full each month, so you don’t start accruing interest!

10. Cut the services you don’t use:

When trying to set a budget for utilities, it can be helpful to look at all of the subscriptions you have to make sure you are still using them, and that you are getting the best price for them. It may be useful to cut unused utilities such as a landline or cable service. Most people use a cell phone and their landline goes unused! The same goes for cable! The internet is all you need in most cases. You can even get live feed by using a streaming service such as Sling or Hulu. This will save money for you over time as well.