When in retirement, the vast majority of the population have to live on a lower income compared to when they were in full-time employment. This can mean some retirees having to pay a keener eye on what they spend each month, and in particular, looking for ways to save money on household bills. Assuming the mortgage has been paid off, one of the next largest outgoings after any vehicle related costs are utility bills. The principal utilities in most homes are gas, electricity and water but in many parts of the US it will of course include air conditioning usage. Whilst it is impossible to eliminate these costs altogether, there are a number of ways to reduce them through being more frugal and in many cases more energy efficient. Here are five things you can do to help get your bills down.
Unplug electrical items when not in use
This is really simple, turn things off when you are not using them, especially light bulbs. Bathroom lights, hallway lights and outside lights are normally the most common lights to be left on unnecessarily. However you can also save money by unplugging appliances as just switching them off means they are still using a small amount of power. OK so you can’t turn everything off e/g your fridge or freezer but items such as a TV or DVD player can be turned off when not in use.
Buy a water butt for the garden
If you like gardening then you will know how often you need to water your plants and vegetables, especially when it is hot. This uses up a lot of water which is why some authorities imposed hose pipe bans during dryer periods. Regular watering of your plants or sprinkling of your lawn will increase your water bill. To reduce water usage you instead can horde rain water using a water butt. These can be bought from most DIY stores and will collect rain water for future use.
Compare utility providers
Utility companies continually want new customers which is why they offer discounts for switching your utilities. Shop around for the best deal and ensure you are always on the lowest paying tariff. Some providers offer further discounts for dual fuel tariffs where you switch both your gas and electricity. This principal of comparison can also be applied to other utilities such as your home phone line and broadband.
Turn it down
This rule applies to both heating thermostats and air conditioning units. Just by dropping your heating by one or to degrees can make a substantial saving over a 12 month period. Likewise having your air conditioning slightly higher will mean it uses less power which is also better for the environment. Another tip in the winter, instead of immediately turning the heating on when it becomes cold, why not put extra clothes on first. If you do need to turn the heating on, remember to turn it off 1/2 hours before you goto bed.
About the Author: This post was compiled by Simon, the owner of seniors website Annuity City, the place to get the best annuity rate possible.
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