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Posts tagged with: electricity

Utility Savings…


My cable company sent me a letter last week. They have a new way for you to monitor your usage. Before I tossed it in the shredder, thinking ‘Why should I care how much I use the internet?’, I noticed the bold print at the bottom that said, ‘Why should you care?’

Gotta give them credit for reading my mind.

Turns out, you should take a look at your internet usage. Some cable companies are introducing limits AND extremely high usage could be a sign of unauthorized usage on your system. Uh Oh! So, being a natural optimist (Haaaaa ha ha ha ha), I ran to my computer, immediately assuming my usage would be high because some wacko had hacked in. A few seconds later, the usage popped up.

2 gigs.

No, not 2 gigs a day or 2 gigs in a week. I’ve used 2 gigs this month. And I’m pretty sure both those gigs are from downloading finance podcasts from iTunes. So much for my hacker. But it’s good to check every once in a while and remember to make sure my firewall is protecting me.

Naturally, I became fascinated with other utilities that let me live out my OCD *er* I mean, ‘monitor my usage to save money’.

Our water company offers ways for you to see how you compare to the average user. Their software allows me to monitor my water usage hour by hour so I can tell if I have a water guzzling washer or if my slab is leaking and I don’t know it.

My electric company uses ‘Smart Meters’ so I can monitor by the minute if I choose. They will also help you figure out where your energy drains are coming from. Old TVs? Energy sucking light bulbs?

OK, so maybe this new found power won’t help free up any time, but it will help cut down my utilities by zeroing in on where the biggest power/water/internet abusers are. And for all the sweet hubby’s out there, maybe you can convince your wife that the old tv is sucking all the power and you could save money if you bought a fancy flat screen.

Or not.

Normal by the Numbers?


I’ve been asked to reveal my actual monthly budget numbers. I was reluctant at first and then realized it may be a learning experience and I should see if I am normal in my expectations of my money.

No, I am not going to reveal my housing costs. Asking a San Diegan to reveal her mortgage payment is like asking a New York housewife to reveal her age. The only thing likely to happen is a giant string of lies.

I’m also not going to reveal our charitable giving amounts. What we decide to give is a very personal decision and it’s not an amount I’m willing to change just to pay more on bills.

Savings: $50
Electricity/Gas: $105
Cell Phones: $100
Cable/Internet/Phone: $100
Grocery: $300
Gas: $260
Laundry: $10
Toiletries: $11
Clothing/House Repairs/Animal Care/Spending Money: $200
Water: $70
Trash: $18

All remaining money is used to pay our mortgage, our credit card, our student loans, and my husband’s truck.

So. Am I normal by the numbers? What does your budget look like?