When I was a kid, I never thought twice about leaving a light on while I went into a different room. This didn't stop my mom from chasing after me nagging me about it of course (love you, Mom!).
The electric bill was an elusive concept that I believed didn't truly pertain to me. But now that I have my own apartment and my own bills, I'm shocked at how easily an electric bill can rise.
In order to help other 20-somethings in their first apartment save money, I've collected this list of tips to keep your electric bill down.
1. Let's start simple — turn the lights off when you leave a room
This was the very thing my mom nagged me about as a child, but she had every right to do so.
Only keep the light on in the room you are in! There is no reason to leave lights on in rooms that aren't currently occupied. It's a waste of electricity!
2. Use as much natural light as possible
Keep your blinds, and if the weather is nice enough, your windows too, open during the day. This eliminates the need to turn the lights on during the day.
I have made it a rule to only turn the lights on after the sun has gone down and have saved a lot of money doing so! Why not use the sunshine to your advantage?
3. Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they are FULL
When I first moved into my apartment, I formed a bad habit of running my washing machine and my dishwasher before they were full. Now I have made it a point to only run them if I can't possibly fit in another dirty dish or piece of clothing.
This saves on electricity and water, and is better for the environment!
4. Unplug devices when you are not using them
This may sound annoying at first, but a little bit of effort goes a long way. When you are done using your hair straightener or blow dryer, unplug it! When your phone or laptop is done charging don't just unplug the charger from your device, but unplug the charger from the wall, too.
Keep doing it until it becomes a habit — then you won't even have to think about it.
5. Find the right temperature for you and keep your apartment at that temperature
For me, I like to keep my place at 70 degrees. This means I won't turn the heat on unless it gets 67 degrees or lower, and I won't turn the air conditioning on unless it gets 74 degrees or hotter.
By following this rule, I've gone weeks without putting my heating or my air conditioning on. You don't need the heating or air unit to keep your apartment at that temperature for you. You can easily do it yourself.
Just doing one of these things probably isn't going to make all the difference in the world. But if you do all of these things together and consistently, over time it will make a difference. It's the little things that add up to save you money in the long run!