My husband and I are so excited because we have finally bought our first house. As a working mom, few things could be more gratifying to me than the independence of home ownership.
That said, owning our own home has come to be a big responsibility especially when it comes to our finances. Since the first day we moved in, I have been researching different ways to cut down our expenses. This includes weekly family meetings with the kids about turning off appliance when they’re not in use. I even ran across a website that gave some great ways to save money on our utility bills and conserve energy at the same time.
After a few months of practicing some of these helpful hints, we are saving over fifteen percent on our utilities. I hope these suggestions can prove to be as beneficial and effective as we have found them to be.
Turn out the lights
Turning off the lights is simple and can save both money and electricity. This is the kind of tip working moms can seize upon simply by being vigilant around the house. Be more aware of lights left on overnight, ceiling fans or the television if no one is in the room. Using energy efficient light bulbs can also cut down on electricity usage. These LED and CFL light bulbs use eighty percent less electricity than standard light bulbs.
During the holiday season, energy efficient bulbs are also available for both white and colored Christmas lights.
We even added several skylights to our home to utilize the natural light. We have found that by having these skylights and keeping our windows open, we only need to use our indoor lighting at night, which greatly reduces our energy expenses.
In the kitchen there are several appliances that can be purchased with Energy Star efficiency. For example: the refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and garbage disposal are all relatively cheap solutions to using less water and power.
When using the dishwasher turn off the heat element that helps dry the dishes after they are washed and let them air dry. Another option is to hand wash individual dishes to keep from using the dishwasher at all.
The washer and dryer are big energy guzzlers, but there are solutions for them as well. These solutions involve Energy Star appliances that use less soap, water and electricity. For the washing machine use cold water for all of your laundry loads to save on hot water consumption. For drying, purchase drying racks or hang a line in your back yard to air dry your clothes. By hanging your clothes this saves you money on the electricity used by the dryer.
The hot water heater uses more energy then any given appliance in the house. This is a little secret I like to pass on to female heads of house, as normally the water heater is strictly the domain of dad. Finding different ways of using this appliance will save you money in the long term. Limiting your time in the shower and using cold wash cycles on the washer and dishwasher are great solutions. Most water heaters come with different heating levels; so be sure to dial to the most energy efficient setting.
The Furnace and Air Conditioner
Heating and cooling your home can cause your gas or electric bill to skyrocket. Budget billing with your utility company is a cost effective way of managing your heating bill through the expensive winters. Conversely, when your family is gone in the summer time, consider turning your air conditioner to a higher setting that will still keep your house a bit warmer, but still comfortable enough for your pets. When you come home at the end of the day it only takes about thirty minutes to reset your home temperature to a comfortable level for the rest of the family.
It’s important for working moms to realize that making small lifestyle changes can result in saving money. This puts more money in your pocket for vacations, investments or remodeling. By adapting to these small tips, you will be well on your way to being energy efficient, which is a notable achievement for any family unit.