How to Manage Your Family’s Rising Utility Bills

How to Manage Your Family’s Rising Utility Bills

What would you do if your next utility bill is twice the amount it is normally, besides panic? If you aren’t sure how to handle this unwanted expense of rising utility bills, this guide is here for you. 

How to Handle One-Time Spikes in Your Bills 

You can usually rely on a line of credit when you have a momentary spike in usage — like, let’s say after your kid turns on the tap in the middle of the night, and you discover it’s still running in the morning. 

If you experience a one-time surge in your utilities, divert some funds from your savings to pay for it. 

If you run into an emergency expense that you would usually pay with savings, a lender like Fora may offer lines of credit for help in these unusual, unexpected, and one-time situations. You can draw cash against your limit to make sure you deal with your emergency expense right away, then worry about paying off your line of credit later. 

Inflation is Causing Your Utilities to Rise, Permanently 

The good news is you can prevent a running tap from happening again with the right kid-proofing tools and rules in place. The bad news is one-time spikes aren’t the real enemy of your budget. 

Today’s soaring inflation has an impact on your utilities, even if your usage hasn’t changed. Depending on where you live, you might be spending 10% to 100% more than usual. 

Most line-of-credit lenders join Fora in saying you should never rely on a line of credit for monthly bills, which means you can’t expect to rely on your line of credit to cover inflation’s ongoing effects.

How to Lower Your Utility Bills 

Here are some winterization tips and money-saving tricks to help you lower your bills before they become a problem. 

1. Pull the Plug

Unplugging appliances and other tech when you’re not using them is one of the easiest ways to save money. Electronics use phantom power, even when they’re in the offsetting, so you could save up to $150 with this simple trick.

2. Replace Your Furnace Filter

Replacing your furnace filter every three months can reduce your energy consumption by 15%. A clean filter means your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard to force air through your HVAC system, saving energy and wear and tear on the appliance. 

3. Insulate Your Windows

Most of your energy costs come from keeping your house hot and cool, and your windows don’t do you any favors. The typical house loses 10% of its through poorly insulated windows. 

Until you can replace your windows with triple-pane, energy-efficient models, purchase a cheap plastic film insulation kit to add a layer to your windows. Seal any cracks or damage to weatherstripping around your windows and doors. These little chores could cut your energy costs by 20%. 

4. Use Energy at Off-Peak Times

Most utility companies split their prices between on- and off-peak times. If you wait to run energy-sucking appliances like your laundry or dishwasher until off-peak times, you’ll spend less to get these chores done. 

5. Set Your Furnace Lower

The next time you’re cold, don’t reach for the thermostat. Grab a sweater instead. Lowering your home’s temperature by two to three degrees for eight hours a day could lower your annual heating bills by 10%.

Take Control of Your Utilities

These tips can help you lower your consumption so that you’re charged less on your monthly utility bills. But if you’re still having trouble affording utilities, reach out to your providers for guidance. They might offer financing plans that offset your rising costs.

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