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How are you managing your finances to pay the utility bills during the current situation of rising prices and sagging economic condition?

March 14th 2017
Question of the week: Question of the week is yet another effort by the debtcc team to enhance the community knowledge bank. It’s a weekly contest and every week a challenging question will be thrown before the members for responses. The best answer will be chosen collectively at the end of the week by the debtcc members and the admin panel of the site. The winner of this contest will receive a handsome reward of a $50. The purpose behind this idea is to encourage the members to share their real life experiences in dealing with the financial challenges. Though different financial issues are being discussed across the debtcc board, but it doesn’t leave much scope to the members to share their personal experiences. Here is the place where it can be done, and also that the new members can get the innovative ideas to deal with their debts along with the conventional ones.
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Question 7: How are you managing your finances to pay the utility bills during the current situation of rising prices and sagging economic condition? Prices of fuel along with our daily necessities are rising. It is becoming that more difficult for us to pay the utility bills on time. How are you managing your finances to pay the utility bills? Share the ways that you have devised to pay your utility bills on time. Winner PostTrophy emoticons

Answer 1: Because I am sure that our utility costs will surely be higher this year I have done several key things. First, I sat down with my husband and explained our financial situation with him thoroughly. The other adults in the home need to be fully aware so they can more clearly understand the situation. Second, we both sat down with my daughter and explained WHY we need to conserve, and that she is just as much a part of saving money and resources as we are. The little things like turning the lights out when leaving a room, keeping the door shut when the AC is running, turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, not washing clothes unless they are dirty, et cetera. Explain which utilities are expensive and which are more economical. Maybe the stove takes longer but costs less than the microwave? Does the thermostadt REALLY have to be 70 degrees? Does the computer and TV ALWAYS have to be on? Unplug appliances. Wash laundry before going to bed, or first thing in the morning. So much can be with conservation, being frugal, and doing without rather than causing yourselves a bigger problem down the road. Once all of the members of the household are on board with the goals, you can make a game of comparing last years utilities with this years, and working on making each months or years bill being less expensive, or at least having less usage than the prior month and year. Paying down my credit cards now will free up an emergency fund if the time comes and we simply HAVE to use that available credit to cover bills. But that is a last resort. Actively answering paid surveys online is another "easy and free" way to earn a few dollars here and there. And posting on DebtCC of course!

Answer Posted by |smo65d11

The other answers worth mentioning are:

Answer 2: I have had to change my budget all around in order to make ends meet. The first thing I did was cut out the luxury of eating out. It saves a ton of money. We keep it as a special treat about once a month (and that depends on how the month ends). There are a lot of restaurants that offer discounts or even free kids meals, so we try to hit those.

Then I started shopping at the dicount grocery store. Aldi has been a life saver. I cut my bill by more than half by doing my shopping there. The only thing I purhcase elsewhere is some of the fresh veggies and some of the meat.

I got set up on a budget plan with the electric company and make sure my son turns off all his lights before we go anywhere and shut down the computer when Im not using it. Looking at what you need as opposed to what you want has been helpful too. Weve cut back on many extras.

Simplicity is the key to happiness. Instead of "vegging out" in front of the tv, we play card or board games, take walks, and read stories together. Many of these changes have not only helped cut my bills, but helped me lose weight too!!! :D

Answer Posted by |jennifer_bailey75

Answer 3: We have learned to cut back on everything and also look at our daily life habits. Here are some examples we have been doing to help, and cutting back on others to save money to pay the utilities such as :

Made a list of all the weeks errands and try to make only a few trips to save on gas

Set our thermostat higher and closed off rooms we dont use. We also caulked around windows and doors since we live in an older house.

Bought a pull-down window blind for our front window outside, to keep out the West sun

Cut out going to the show, and even renting movies for a while. We got together with some friends and now we all share each others movies. This has saved us rental fees.

We dont water our lawn now. The heat has burned alot of it up anyhow and alot of it will come back. I do occasionally water my shrubs and roses so I wont have to buy new ones.

We cut out bottled water. Bought a pitcher that has a filter on it and we keep it in the fridge. I bought some insulated bottle-type things that we fill up when we go anywhere.

We quit going out to eat. I can buy 2 roasts and make three meals off them easliy. I have roast, carrots and potatoes one night. I shred up the rest of the roast and make hot beef sandwiches some other night and then one night I use the veggies for another dish. I make a list and stick to it at the grocery, and only allow so much time in the store to keep from impulse and looking at other things I may just pick up.

These are only a few of the ways we have been cutting down so we can pay our electric and other utilites. Our electric for this month was over $550.00, so we have to cut back. Oh yeah, the reason we arent paying the over five hundred on electric is that I also got us on the average payments each month, as well as some of our other utilites. This way I have an idea what I will pay each month.

Answer Posted by |Bossy4455

Answer 4: The main thing I have done is trying to reduce my utiity bills not only to be able to pay them but also to help the current energy situation. One of the easiest things to do is to put all appliances and TVs on a power switch and turn them off when not in use. If you see a light on when appliance is not in use, it is using power when not turned on. You would be surprised how much you can save. Hang up your clothes instead of using the dryer. Walk, carpool, ride a bike, take the bus, drive a car that gets good gas mileage. Another thing I have done to help pay the bills was to set my bills on the budget payment. I pay the same amount each month instead of paying what I owe. This way I dont have huge bills in the winter. It is spread out throught the year. Lets all think green and it will help not only you but the entire planet.

Answer Posted by |spatterson_40

Answer 5: WELL, I BURN MORE CANDLES TO SAVE ON ELECTRICITY, PLUS IT ADDS SOME ATMOSPHERE AND AMIBIANCE TO MY HOME. SINCE ITS SUMMER, IVE BEEN GRILLING A LOT MORE, TO SAVE ON GAS. PLUS ITS HEALTHIER. TRY TO CALL YOUR UTILITY COMPANIES AND SEE IF THAY OFFER A BUDGET PLAN. AND IF YOUR MARRIED, HAVE THE HUBBY/WIFE SPLIT THAT BILL RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE. YOU PAY HALF HE/SHE PAYS THE OTHER HALF, AND PRAY THAT WE GET A RELIABLE NEW PRESIDENT IN 2009 WITH FRESH IDEAS AND A GOOD, STABLE HEAD ON HIS/HER SHOULDERS TO GET US OUT FROM UNDER G.W.BUSHS BIG ASS DIBILITATING THUMB.

Answer Posted by |TINA BOWIE

Answer 6: "Cut Backs" is the answer. I cut back on everything. From air freshener to zippers and everything in between. I am also loosing weight that I wanted to do by doing this. I have to live below my means, and to be honest I like it. It is less stressfull and I am also getting out of debt this way. The old saying of "Less is More" is VERY, very true.

I am going to make, we all can make it. Give this a try and remember I love you all.

Answer Posted by |Lukeskywalker

Answer 7: I have changed my lifestyle. Fortunately, I live by myself so it wasnt very hard. I dont use my airconditioning, I use floor fans. I light one light at night and use a flashlight if I need to go into another room for a minute or two. I try to cook up several things over the weekend when I have the oven on and eat on them during the week. Ive changed my hours at work so I miss most of the early and evening rush hours. This allows me to take it slower driving (every 5 mph lower results in saving gas) and since I live in an area with hills when I come to a decline I take my foot off the gas and coast down. Almost like the hybrid concept.

Answer Posted by |cparks1948

Answer 8: I am lucky in this environment that my job is still booming. My boss pays for my job travels & I drive a fuel efficient truck. My wife has a large vehicle so we have started planning out her travels to maximize the number of stops for groceries & supplies. If she is not shopping we leave her truck parked as it is a gas hog. We have also installed a clothes line outside to cut down on energy costs associated with our electric dryer.

Answer Posted by |cajunbulldog

Answer 9: i called for entergy they have a program for people on a buget i applied now i only 50 a month on my entergy bill and my other bills also. i put my needs in front of my wants. some entertainment can be avoided its not a need.....you budget your money u sit down and you set how much u want your bills to be set your thermostat to 78 degree and that lowers your bills (entergy) and water if u have a washing machine dont run it as much only do so many loads oout in a week

Answer Posted by |www.diamondprincezz000000

Answer 10: Due to the high cost of energy these days, its been a rough road trying to keep up with my utilities, and it seems when they come due, I never have the entire amount. Ive figured out a system which seems to work for me though. I get paid bi-weekly, so what Ive been doing is purchasing a money order for half the amount of my power bill on each payday, I immediately write the money order out to the power company so I wont be tempted to cash it in myself before my power bill comes due. I also apply this method to my rent, cable, cell phone, etc., but for the most part, I use this mostly for the higher cost bills.

Answer Posted by |Shazzers

Answer 11: Utlities are a necessity. You should always pay your necesseties first, then figure out a way to get the non necessities paid.

Answer Posted by |goudah2424

Answer 12: I know that it hard in economy, but this will pass. I would suggest to take a look at your expenses for each month. If there are too many luxury expenses, cut them off. This will only be until you are able to build up a fund that will allow for you to assist in emergency situations. Also, look at where you save money on other necessities such as food, clothing, etc. Clip coupons, carpool. Also speak with your utility company. My company has a plan called Average Pay in which they take a look at your average usage the previous year. This have me a savings of over $200.00 each month! Talk with your family and see what they can do to assist. I also have sold items on Ebay. One jacket sold for over $200.00. DO NOT GO THE PAYDAY LOAN ROUTE. It is more trouble than it is worth. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!! Good luck!

Answer Posted by |ddg99

Answer 13: UMMM YAH.....I have been fighting with my utility company, so I dont know if that counts as "managing" Basically they say I owe them like 1200.00 for only 2 months of electric. They say i owe them a deposit...which I already GAVE them...and they are wanting me to pay this HUGE bill, when I see that there is obviously something wrong, either someone is tapping into our electric or the piece of crap air conditioner that my complex has for my unit was wasting a WHOLE BUNCH of electric which we complained about for over 2 months because it was 95 outside and about 90 inside for over a few months!! My sister and i both had to go to the hospital bc we have heat induced asthma and we have an intolerance to heat...our bodies dont know how to cool down! Yah, so besides that and these PDLs life is GREAT...not! I was fired from my job of 3 yrs because I was a "whistle blower" and Im trying to figure out how i can fight back (being broke and all) and my car is most likely going to get repod bc i am BROKE! YAY!

Answer Posted by |stone19fl

Answer 14: We have raised the thermostat on the central air unit. Have combined wash loads to save on water and electricity. Have combined trips to town to buy groceries, etc. (We live 30 minutes from a town in either direction). This year we also tripled our garden, so I have been canning and freezing for the first time in my married life. Did it years ago with my Mother when I still lived at home.

Answer Posted by |Linda

Answer 15: I been paying my utility bills a month late and I havent had any problems. just make sure to pay them at the end of the month. I get a monthly bonus every month from my employer and thats how I been managing my utility bills.

Answer Posted by |I.ALVARADO

Answer 16: I pay Utility bills first. I prioritze by importance to living. If I have to make a bill wait it will be a credit card bill.

Answer Posted by |Eric1218043686

Answer 17: I am managing my finances to pay the utility bills by doing without some personal things such as getting my nails done and getting my hair done only once a month or longer. I am now riding the bus to work to save on gas as much as possible. To pay utility bills on time, I have placed each one in my date due file book at least 5 days ahead of payment due date - then call and may the payment through phone by pay. I am praying for some relief.

Answer Posted by |Sylvia Shackelford

Answer 18: I have really just became more consious of how much energy I use. I try to turn off lights and keep the air off. This makes the bills lighter. I also try to pick up any extra jobs or overtime to try to increase my income.

Answer Posted by |jodymarie1979

Answer 19: I have made sure that I am on a budget plan for all of the utilities that allow it (gas and electric). This way, it comes out to the exact amount in my budget each month and there are no summer and winter surprises. Thus far, I have never ended up owing any extra at the end of the year. Additionally, I cut back on cooking in my oven by using my propane grill as an oven whenever I can. I have gone through one $16 tank of propane this year and noticed a marked decrease in my cooking gas bills over previous.

Answer Posted by |drburr

Answer 20: I am managing my finances during the current situation of rising prices and sagging economic condition by paying my utilities bills online to cut travel cost. Using more plug-in lights instead of the panel switches to save on electrical lights and on AC by plug in fans for home cooling. For appliances for cooking using slow cooker and microwave. This cut utilities in my household by a lot.

Answer Posted by |divineurbangroup

Answer 21: Not having enough income to pay all my monthly expenses, Ive started going to garage sales to buy de-humidifiers cheap, then turning around and selling them for a profit of $25-$30. Its called "Making your own extra income". So far its working. I already work 2 other part-time jobs. This is the third. Youve got to do, what youve got to do. Sincerely, Gary Sommerville

Answer Posted by |Gary Sommerville

Answer 22: Its very hard but I sometimes find myself askin fam 4 help and that gets old always askin people when they have bills themselves. Mininum wage needs 2 b 10 dollars. Cuz thats all they want 2 pay u iz 6.25 and dats not enough even wit 40 hrs.

Answer Posted by |mbryant2

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