Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cutting Electric Bills and Gas Bills- How Low Can it Go Challenge...

2017 is going to be an interesting year because of everything that I will be doing that so many people are probably going to think I'm nuts.  I wouldn't call it nuts, I'd call it determined.  :)  I'm one of those people that is willing to temporarily change things and do things that will benefit me for the rest of my life.

The Ebay challenge will not be the only challenge that I have set.  The other challenge, the one that I'm telling you about today, started on November 1st and will only last until the weather warms up in April.

This challenge is what I like to call "How Low Will it Go?"  It has to do with the utility bills.  How low can the electric bill and the gas bill go?  I'm about to find out.

My dank, dark cave is a 4 bedroom home with 2 full baths, living room, dining room, kitchen, full basement and garage.  It's a lot of space to heat and cool every year.  One of the bedrooms has a wood burning fireplace in it (so does the living room) and that's the bedroom that is used in the winter months,  In the summer months I use one of the larger bedrooms upstairs.  I call them the winter bedroom and the summer bedroom.

The winter bedroom is HUGE as far as bedrooms go.  The way it is now set up, it resembles a studio apartment.  With the fireplace, it has built in heat.  Why not take advantage of it?

The heat in the house will be set to between 55 and 60 degrees and that's where it will stay for the winter.  I recently bought a small, $13.00 space heater for the bathroom from Amazon and I'm well aware of how much electricity those things can eat up but 15 minutes before shower time, the heater is turned on to warm up the bathroom so when I exit the tub, it's not going to feel like I'm stepping into the arctic tundra.  When I'm done in the bathroom, I'll turn the heater off.  It won't be running 24/7 so it will add minimal cost to the electric bill.

Activity in the kitchen will be business as usual, I rarely eat out because the food is crap, it takes up too much time and I know how to cook some amazing things.  The stove and oven will let off heat when they are in use.  No, I will NOT be using the stove just for heating the kitchen because that would defeat the challenge, it's dangerous and it would wear out the stove faster.  The oven is currently toast anyway.

There is a space heater in the kitchen just in case I want to use it but I really doubt I'll be using it much.

In a nutshell, this winter will be interesting.  The Ebay challenge has started and that will make money.  I'll be spending my winter nights snuggled up in my bed with a nice fire burning in the fireplace eating great food and watching whatever I choose to on Amazon Prime streaming, working on the computer or watching regular old antenna television.  The activity won't change, only the location in the house.

No, I don't HAVE to do this.  I'm doing it for a few different reasons.  Reason 1 is simply because I can, this isn't my first rodeo with choosing to do this.  Reason 2 is that I'm curious exactly how much can be cut off of those bills.  The last time I did this I didn't have a target but the bills were surprisingly low.  Reason 3 is because some people may learn a few tips from watching me do this challenge that could help cut their bills with minimal effort.  I'm taking it to the extreme but not everyone will be willing to go as far as I am going and that's understandable.  I have the set up and type of house to do these things.  Not everyone does but everyone can cut their spending in some form if they choose to.  It's all on personal choice.

The ultimate goal is to take an electric bill that averages $175 a month in the winter time and get it down to where it is in the neighborhood of $60 a month.  The gas bill averages about $150 a month in the winter and I want to see if I can get it down to around $60 a month too.  A lot will depend on the weather of course.

Another thing that I have to do is decide what I'm going to do with the money that is saved.  If I reach my target goals, the amount saved will be about $575 on the electric bill and around $450 on the gas bill for a total of $1,025.00ish over this 5-month challenge.  I haven't decided if I'll stack it, invest it, save it or spend it frivolously on things that I don't need like new roller blades, another drone, an obnoxious landscape lighting set up, the newest gaming system that will be obsolete in a year or a Gucci sweater collection for Spudward.  Spudward wants a never ending supply of antlers to chew on and dog food but what he doesn't realize is that he already has those things guaranteed for the rest of his life.

I love these money saving/making challenges.  They are like playing games that have excellent rewards.  They also continue my original purpose of the channel.  Not everyone makes a six figure income every year but everyone CAN successfully invest their money to live comfortably into their retirement with a bit of work, knowledge, determination and goal setting.  I'm currently showing you where to find and save the money that you already have and how to hold onto it instead of being forced to spend it away.  What you do with this information is ultimately up to you.