Oct 23, 2014

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7 Ways Abuelita Saves Money On Utilities

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Abuelitas make for some of the toughest, feistiest, spiciest Latinas around.  And you better believe that they know how to save some money.  Here are some money saving tips from the old school the help you make the most of you budget!

Old School Money Saving Tips

  1. Pontes un suéter.  Did you know that for every degree adjust (up in the summer, down in the winter) you can save 1% on your energy bill?
  2. Put a brick in your toilet tank.  This is an old school trick to new school water waste issues.   The tank will reach its capacity threshold faster reducing the amount of water used with each flush.
  3. ¡Es una ducha, no una piscina!  Do you float off into LaLa Land when you’re getting so fresh and so clean, clean?  Keep your shower to 10 minutes or less!
  4. ¡Pagas la agua!  As much as I love the spa treatment of gentle running water and steam, if you turn off the water while you scrub your body, hair, teeth, and hands…of course turning the water back on to rinse, you can save a nice chunk of change on your water bill.
  5. Wear your clothing more than once.  Yes!  Wear once and throw it in the was sucks time and money!  Now I’m not talking underwear, that’s gross. I mean shirts, pants, shorts and the like.
  6. If it’s yellow…let it mellow.  Some of you know what I’m talking about.  Some of you have first hand experience with this.  Gotta love visiting the family back on home turf!
  7. Dump your own junk. Save money by hauling your own trash and recyclables to your local dump and recycling center!  You can save almost $200 per year with this DIY tip.

New School Money Saving Tips

No doubt that the old school definitely know the importance of stretching your dollar.  The new school has some great tips and tricks, too!  Here are some new school money saving tips for utilities and reducing your housing expenses:

  1. Buy a programmable thermostat. Take the guess work out of adjusting your thermostat while you’re out at work or school.  I’ve found some between $20-60 on Amazon.  Totally worth the investment.
  2. Buy a comforter for your water heater.  Adding insulation to your water heater can help you preserve hot water and reduce electric/heating costs  by 25-45%
  3. Become Buffy the vampire appliance slayer.  Vampire appliances eat away at electricity even when you’re not using them!  If the appliance displays a light or clock it’s sucking your hard earned money away.  Plug your vampires into a power strip with a power button you can easily turn off when not using these appliances.  Oh, and unplug your phone/pad chargers, too!
  4.  Use your dishwasher.  Not only will it save you money, but according to Energy Star, it will save you 230 hours of personal time a year!  I know you can all use some more “me” time!
  5. Install water saving shower heads.  So you’re not going to shut the water off to scrub and you refuse to let your refuge in the tub go, so do yourself a favor and grab a low flow fixture shower head to save 25%-60% more water.
  6. Change Your AC Filters.  When your filters are full of dust and junk, your AC has to work way harder to cool your home.  Make sure you inspect your filters and change them out regularly.  You will also find that the air quality in your home increases and the dust decreases.
  7. Enroll in Budget Billing Programs.  This might not necessarily be a money saving tip, but it is definitely a money SMART tip.  Electricity and heating costs can vary season to season.  Rather than find yourself slammed with a huge electricity bill in the summer and a tiny one in the spring, enroll in budget billing and get a more predictable monthly bill.  Energy companies will analyze your annual usage for the year and determine a fixed montly payment amount based on that average.  

What has your ‘Lita  or ‘Lito taught you about saving money?  Share their sage money saving tips below!

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Adrianna Domingos-Lupher

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher, MA, is an Accredited Financial Counselor and proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a military spouse and mami of two who is constantly reinventing her approach to career and family life. She is the owner and writer at Military Money Chica and the Co-founder of Military Spouse Bloggers. On her personal blog, Military Money Chica, she seeks to empower military spouses to make the most of their money, family, and the military experience with a sprinkling of Latina sabor. Military Spouse Bloggers is the first professional network and agency that seeks to help military spouses build a portable and sustainable career in new media.

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