We have been in our house for 4 years this coming April. As a result, I felt pretty confident about budgeting our utility bills.
$ 300 a month was a safe bet between electricity, water, sewer, trash and gas. Our air conditioning is electric and our heat is gas. Depending on the season, one or the other bill was higher. Cool. No problem.
For my budgeting table, I split the monthly costs evenly for each month and knew they would end up even out … at least I thought.
Then, last fall, we had the water in the bathrooms. Fixed and County Water awarded a portion of the extra. Avoided misfortune.
But then winter came! It’s actually our first winter here. It’s been so mild over the past few years that most of us don’t have a real winter coat. And now we are weeks in our 30s. We even had a fixed snow day, just one. (My family lived through the Texas winter in spades and all the effects it brought with it.)
My gas bill is escalating! It was $ 315 this post month. Fortunately, the utility bill was only $ 57. But ooh!
I do everything I know to keep costs down … program the thermostat, lower the temperature significantly at night and during the day when I’m the only home, and always wear gloves (my hands are always cold at work ) and not to heat the rooms that are not used during the day, i.e. children’s rooms.
Other things we did:
- I cook dinner right when the kids come home. It helps to heat up the house before they get home.
- Place blankets at the base of the front door. There are definitely gaps under the door so that helps a bit.
- I usually don’t heat the laundry room, I keep the air vent there closed, but when I run the dryer I open the door to let the extra heat into the house. It’s also our main entry point, so closing the door prevents the drafts of air as the outside door opens and closes from dissipating our heat.
- All children have programmable electric blankets and extra blankets.
- We all have warm socks and slippers.