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Reduce Utility Bills

August 30, 2007

Cell Phone Savings

Filed under: Phone — Jan @ 8:07 am

I figured out 2 ways to save on a cell phone bill:

  1. Add another line
  2. Take off extra services

Add another line

Do you have someone that you really trust that you can share a phone account with? A second line will be cheaper for someone than to have their own single line. Make prior arrangements how many minutes each person has. In the event of overage, each person will be responsible for their portion of going over. That way if cell phone “A” goes over in minutes and it effects cell phone “B”, they won’t have to pay extra if they stay within their allotted minute.Have the person who has the second line contribute to the main account. Both users will have a lower bill.

Take off extra services

See if you can add roadside assistance cheaper with your current auto insurance as a benefit with a current membership (like Sam’s Club, Costco, etc)

See how long until you can renew your contract. If it is at one year, take off the product guard/protection. When you renew your contract there will be the opportunity to buy a new phone cheap or even get one for free. This option is usually available at one year. So if your phone breaks, just renew the contract and get a new and updated phone! Contact your phone company for the details of your plan and contract.

August 26, 2007

Budgeting

Filed under: Helpful Hints — Jan @ 5:29 am

Within a few weeks the evenings will cool here in AZ. The evaporative cooler that has been running on “high” 24/7 for the past few months will get a break as I can use the “low” setting and eventually turn it off at night and then during the day. We usually have a couple months where the evaporative cooler and the heater remain off.

During this time I like to create a reserve for the high bills of the upcoming winter. I personally create a credit with my gas company by paying more than the bill requests. Other people (who are more strong willed than I) may choose to put it in a savings.

I don’t like to use the utility companies budgeting options. They take the average monthly bill and then charge that amount monthly. Periodically they evaluate the true cost and compare it to the monthly charge and then bill for the difference. I hear they can be slow for the refunds or will just provide credit on the bill if over-charging occurs. For under-charging the bill can be a surprise!

I prefer to keep control myself and then if unforeseen events occur, I’m not locked into a certain payment each month.

August 22, 2007

Cooling Room Down

Filed under: Electricity, Helpful Hints — Jan @ 7:29 am

My office, which is a back room with no vents for heating or cooling, gets pretty hot in the summer. This is the same room I have my redneck evaporative cooler. I was able to drop the temperature 5-10 degrees with two simple and inexpensive changes.

  1. About two weeks ago had was working on an outdoor project and I had extra shade material. I covered 1/2 the two windows in my office. This way I can still look outside! I covered the half that doesn’t open. One window has the homemade evaporative cooler creation.
  2. I put a fan that blows OUTSIDE in the other window. It very effectively pulls the hot air out of the room. With the homemade evaporative cooler on or off, I have another fan circulating the air. It made a tremendous difference in the room.

It is still warm here in the office, but so is my house. This time of year in AZ the weather in hot AND humid and evaporative coolers aren’t very effective. We are still in the triple digits. I can’t wait for it to cool down and get some relief.

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