We have been in our house for 4 years this coming April. So I have felt pretty confident in my budgeting our utility bills.
$300 month has been a safe bet split between electric, water, sewage, trash and gas. Our A/C is electric and our heat is gas. So depending on the time of the year, one or the other bill was higher. Cool. No problem.
For my budgeting spreadsheet, I divided the monthly cost equally for each month and knew it would balance out in the end…at least I thought.
Then last fall, we had the water leaks in the bathrooms. Fixed and the county water did forgive some of the extra. Calamity avoided.
But then winter came! We are actually having a winter here for the first time. It’s been so mild in years past that most of us do not have a true winter coat. And now we are weeks in the 30s. We even had a solid snow day, just one. (My family has been experiencing the Texas winter in spades and all the repercussions it has brought.)
My gas bill is escalating! It was $315 this post month. Thankfully, the electric bill was only $57. But yikes!
I’m doing everything I know to do to keep the costs down…programming the thermostat, dropping the temperature significantly at night and during the day when I’m the only one home, wearing gloves constantly (my hands are always cold when working) and not heating the rooms that aren’t used during the day ie kids’ bedrooms.
Other things we have done:
- I cook the evening meal right when the kids are getting home. It helps heat up the house before they get home.
- Put blankets at the base of the front door. There’s definitely gaps under the door, so this helps a bit.
- I don’t typically heat the laundry room, keep the vent closed in there, but when I am running the dryer I open the door to feed the extra heat into the house. It’s also our main entry point so keeping the door closed, helps keep the draft of the exterior door opening and closing from draining our heat.
- All the kids have programmable heating blankets and extra blankets.
- We all have warm socks and house shoes.