6 Ways to Save on Your Electric Bill

6 Ways to Save on Your Electric Bill

They're easy and won't require a major lifestyle change.

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Are you tired of looking at a high electric bill every month?

You think you're doing what's best to keep it down but unfortunately, it's not being reflected with your bill. Rather than feel lost, we'll go over a few effective ways to save money when it comes to your electric bill.

Ready to see what they are? Let's get into it!


Wash Clothes on Cold

It takes a lot of electricity to heat water. One small way to decrease your electric bill is to wash clothes on the cold setting. They'll still come out the same way as if they were washed on warm.

Unplug Unused Electronics

That Bluetooth speaker you only use so often and that Xbox collecting dust are major energy suckers. They don't need to be plugged in all the time, especially if you only use them a handful of times.

What'll be even better is if you can turn off all the power strips that host devices and electronics you don't use a lot. When you go to bed, turn off and unplug everything that you can. You obviously don't need to use a lot of the stuff you do during the day while you sleep.

Adjust the Thermostat

Adjusting the temperature up or down a couple of degrees can save you tons. Another way to save is to adjust it for when you leave the house. You obviously won't need to heat or cool your home when you're not there.

For unused rooms, there doesn't need to be an influx of heating or air. Turning the thermostat off in those rooms will allow more air (or heat) to flow to the rooms that need it the most.

Change HVAC Filter Often

A dirty filter can leave you wondering why you aren't feeling cold or warm air coming through the vents. That causes you to then turn up the thermostat, raising your bill to be even higher.

When you clean or change the HVAC filter often, that allows air to be pushed through the vents with ease. There's no debris or dust to clog it up to prevent good air flow.

Invest in Solar Panels

While this is a huge investment for most, it's what'll lower your electric bill significantly. Solar panels are a great option for homeowners as the sun will power most of the appliances. Those who have them installed already enjoy an electric bill that's in the lower double digits.

For most states and cities, there are programs that may qualify you for low-cost installations or to purchase solar panels on the cheap. Some research is needed but if you're able to do it, the savings will be significant.

Turn Down the Hot Water Heater

While hot showers and baths are enjoyed daily, they can rack up the costs. All that energy needed to heat up the water increases your bill by a lot.

To save some money, the hot water heater shouldn't be set above 120 degrees. Keeping it low doesn't mean the water won't be warm, it'll just take less energy.

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Happy National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month, and it just so happens to be the month I was adopted!

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If you didn't know, November is National Adoption Month! It's extra special too because November happens to be the actual month I was adopted! In honor of National Adoption Month, I wanted to share my adoption story.

When I was little, my mom used to read me a book called Horace. The children's book was about a cheetah cub who had been adopted by two tigers. Every night when his mom tucked him into bed, she would tell him "we chose when you were a tiny baby because you lost your family and needed a new one. We liked your spots and wanted you to be our child." (Keller 1991) Horace, the cheetah cub, always fell asleep before his mom could finish his adoption story. Horace feels out of place - he loves his mom and dad but wonders where he came from, so he goes on an adventure to find where he came from.

I have never felt like Horace. I am the only African-American in my family, yet I have never felt out of place. I have never not felt loved and accepted by my family. I have always known this family is my family, and exactly where God wanted me to be. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I have what is called a closed adoption. What this means is, I do not have direct contact with my birth parents. When I turned 18, I was allowed to reach out to Bethany Christian Services, which is the agency I was adopted through, to attempt to meet my birth parents. However, 23 years later, and I have yet to do so. But I will get to why later.

Before I came around. My mom, Constance, had a very difficult pregnancy with my big sister Kathryn. My sister Kate turned out healthy and gorgeous! But her doctors advised her to consider things strongly if she wanted to have another child. My mom and dad both wanted another child, but they kept this in mind. Both my mom and my dad Gary felt called to adopt.

If you are not familiar with how adoption works, first a disclaimer: every story is different! So I am not stating that this is exactly how it works each time, I can only speak to the process my parents went through. For them, my parents were interviewed by Bethany Christian, and then their information was sent to many different people who were seeking to put their children up for adoption. My parents did not specify gender, race, ethnicity, etc. Typically, you do not know who is interested in you until further down the line. My sister was five years old at the time of my adoption. Before I was born, my sister started to pray "Dear God, please let my little sister or brother arrive here safely. Amen." My parents were pretty confused... while they were going through the process of adoption, they had not been selected to be parents yet, let alone would they have told my sister she was for sure getting a sibling. My parents would say "Kate, mom isn't pregnant! You aren't getting a little brother or sister." She would reply "Yes we are. God told me so just trust me." Closer to my birth, my sister decided she definitely wanted a sister. She even then described what I would look like. And she started to give me a name: Anna.

Finally, my parents got the call that they were going to be parents again. My birth mom had met my parents once during the interview process. She said she picked my parents because my mom resembled my birth mom - both are blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and fair skinned. When my parents came to meet me for the first time, I fit the exact description my sister had been praying for - and although I did not have a name, they knew right away that I would be Anna, just as my sister had decided.

I was born on November 11th, 1995, and I was born with a staph infection. This kept me in the hospital for eleven days. Once I was healthy enough to go home, my parents brought me home on November 21st. While I look different from my family and I am not their biological daughter, I have never questioned my place in their family. I love my family so very much. My adoption is the biggest blessing of my life, and every single day I feel so lucky that I get to call my family mine.

Adoption is such a gift, and it is a true sacrifice for those who choose to give their children a better life. This month honors those in need of adoption, those who have adopted, and those who have been adopted. It is such a special thing to be a part of that. I know my parents love my "spots" and I love their stripes. To those who were adopted, Happy National Adoption Month. Share your stories - they are special and so are you.

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How to Plan for Your Financial Future

It's never to late to start.

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One of the best things you can do for your life is to be financially stable. You don't have to be a celebrity, a high-earning influencer or royalty to live a lavish lifestyle when you're older.

It's all about working towards it. The hard work you put into your financial future will be worth it in the end. Here are some ways you can start today.

Make Your Saving Goals Realistic

That house on the corner that comes with a huge infinity pool and marble countertops? Most likely, it's expensive. Like celebrity-status expensive.

However, that doesn't mean it isn't achievable. For saving goals, make sure they're realistic.

Getting that fancy, state-of-the-art dream home won't be grasped in two years. Thinking realistically, five years is a good measurement instead.

You want to give yourself plenty of time to save up accordingly. Instead of giving yourself a headache by trying to figure out the math, it's easier if you break down into increments. To start with, figure out how much you would need to save every month and go from there.

Reduce Expenses

Sure, that cup of coffee from Starbucks every morning is what you need to get the day started but that $8 each time starts to add up. Rather than shell out nearly $10 for a cup of coffee you can make at home, invest in a coffee-making machine.

It's a one-time price and you can buy ground coffee for half the price of a venti latte every day. As for other expenses, see what else can either be axed completely or reduced significantly.

When it comes to a gym membership, think about how much time you can really dedicate to working out. If your work schedule has you busy then maybe it's a good idea to cancel that membership. Instead, start working out from home.

Pay Off Credit Cards

Whether you have one or ten cards, they need to be tended to. And why not?

Think about it: paying off credit cards is one of the best things you can do for your financial future. When you pay that debt off, that money becomes available right then and it goes towards improving your credit.

If possible, see how many bills you can put on your credit cards. That'll allow you to focus on what's important (like paying necessary bills) while improving your credit score at the same time. Doing that doesn't allow for much room to put unnecessary expenses on your cards.

Borrow Money to Invest It

It can be pretty tempting to go to a loan agency to pay for that new handbag or new car rims. Instead of borrowing money for lifestyle gains, use it to invest.

What's one good way to invest borrowed money? Stocks!

The stock market is constantly changing which can make it risky but can also pay off big. You want to be a wise investor so be sure to read this article when it comes to the debate on whether to invest in Kellogg stock or General Mills. The answer will surprise you.

The future may seem far away now but focusing on it today will better help you financially later in life.

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