Don’t Let Your Electric Bill Zap Your Budget
This post will focus on your electric bill. Electricity can be one of the biggest expenses that you will discover as a home owner. Here are a couple of tips that will help you be more energy efficient in your home. I will go over the personal finance basics regarding one of your larger utility bills. Hydro bills can be very high in the summer, with air conditioners raging. If you’re in the north and use baseboard heaters, you will discover that hydro bills skyrocket in the winter as well. Here’s 3 tips to help reduce your hydro bill.
Are You Using that Computer? – I work at a place where the computers are always on. They don’t even get turned off on the weekends. A little research in personal finance basics will reveal that a computer uses as much electricity per hour than a 14 watt compact fluorescent lamp for a full day. My work’s last hydro bill was $700 for one month. They could lower their expenses by at least 27% by switching the computers off for evenings and weekends.
Is Your Home Energy Efficient? – Easy tasks like putting a plastic heat barrier on your windows in the winter can significantly lower heat waste, and for goodness’ sake, keep your door shut. Ever heard your parents say “I’m not paying to heat the outside?” Sounds like they understood a common sense thought to personal finance basics. find other ways to make your home more energy efficient. You’ll not only leave less of an environmental footprint, but you’ll save tons on hydro.
Sometimes I Swear We Live in the North Pole – When you are looking to further your practical skills in personal finance basics one way is to look at how much energy your air conditioner consumes and reduce it if you can. For instance, try to use a fan instead of the air conditioner. Another excellent way to reduce consumption is by setting the thermostat up by 2 degrees. With heating for example, if you lower the heat by 2 degrees you can reduce the home heating costs by 5%.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful. I’ll mention it again, that as a financial consultant I teach a lot of personal finance basics to people looking to reduce living expenses. It’s important to maintain a comprehensive budget so you know where your living expenses are and to motivate you on ways to reduce those costs. If you haven’t searched Google for budget tools yet, you can now, or try the one in our resource link. See you in Part – 4.
As a financial consultant and I have coached a lot people as to why emergency funds are critical. In an earlier post you learned crucial personal finance basics with regards to creating an emergency fund like budgeting, goal setting and automation. Today I’ll discuss a few quick tips to help you pick where to invest your emergency fund.
Convenience – If you are like lots of people, you want to make saving into an emergency fund as fluent and simple as you can. Coaching personal finance basics has also shown me that if it’s not easy, chances are it won’t get done. You likely have a checking account. If so, you probably have a savings account in place too, if not you could open one with your bank on the Internet or at your branch. I recommend using this account to park your emergency funds. Chances are the interest rates aren’t great, but it’s an a simple account you probably have, or you could set up in a jiffy.
High Interest Savings – You shouldn’t worry too much about the interest rate you get with your emergency fund as it’s considered a short-term investment. A personal finance basics way of thinking is that you’ll probably use the fund within the next five to seven years, it’s short-term. ING is avery popular savings vehicle, as is PC in Canada. There are plenty of high interest savings accounts available to create online, just be careful of their fees, terms and conditions and legitimacy. Money market funds is one other choice, and can even provide higher interest than savings accounts, but they aren’t guaranteed. I have personally used ING for my emergency fund and think its excellent.
Liquidity – How quick can I get my money? Another important factor you need to think about is how accessible are your emergency funds. The simple rule with this is that it should be available by less than five days at the very most. You should try to get a fund that could pay out your money within 24 hours of when you need it. The personal finance basics question to ask yourself with this when choosing an account is “Can I get the money when I need it?”
I hope these personal finance basics regarding convenience, high interest savings and liquidity will help you make your emergency find into a reality. Check our resource link for free budget spreadsheets and other financial calculators to give you the head start you may need. We go more in depth in our e-book as well. The best tip I can give is to get it started. Even if you only got a 0% rate of return, you will still have money tucked away for those unexpected expenses that you wouldn’t have otherwise.