Simple Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills

Whether you’re a homeowner or you rent an apartment or condo, the costs of your utilities is probably more than you’d like to pay. Here are some helpful hints and money-saving tips to help you keep your home, and wallet, cool.

H2-Oh!

Clean up your bad water habits by:

  • Switching to low-flow showerheads and reduce your water bill by 25 to 60 percent.
  • Watering your lawn in the early morning so it has time to soak into the soil before the sun comes out in full force.
  • Switching to a high-efficiency washer. Water companies often offer rebates to customers who make this upgrade.

Change it Up

Make a few small installations and put the extra money into savings:

  • Choose energy-plus light bulbs and low-wattage bulbs in rooms with more natural light.
  • Check your furnace filters every month and replace them at least every three to four months.
  • Add ceiling fans and cut back on the A/C when it’s hot outside (the fan should spin counterclockwise to push the hot air up and out. In winter, have the fan turn clockwise to keep heat indoors).

Into the Night

With these adjustments, you can even save money in your sleep:

  • Invest in a programmable thermostat. Turn down the A/C during the workday and program it to kick back on in the evening.
  • Run appliances during off-peak or nighttime hours. Use delay settings on your washer, dryer and dishwasher.
  • Unplug electronics at night! Some of the biggest electric energy waste sources are televisions and gaming systems. Use power strips to unplug all of your electronics at once.

You may also consider asking your utility company for a home inspection to check out window drafts and make sure your water heater or furnace is in good working order.

Looking for more money-saving tips? Talk to your Missouri Credit Union personal financial officer today.  

Keeping Your Credit Healthy

You eat fruits and vegetables to stay healthy and go to the gym to stay in shape. Having a credit card is no different and requires the same steady participation. Once you’ve established a line of credit, it’s your responsibility to stay actively involved. However, your diligence has its own rewards, such as lower APR rates and bonuses like cash back. Here are a few ways you can make sure your credit scores stay healthy.

Stay on It

Pay attention to what you’re spending. Too often, credit cards can feel like a free pass. Stay mindful of what and how much you purchase. When you get your statement, look it over and check for any inaccuracies to avoid being double-charged or becoming the victim of fraud (especially if you use your credit card for online shopping). Remember: you’re entitled to a free credit report once a year. Set a reminder on your calendar and stay informed.

Rethinking Repayment

A credit card isn’t for spending more than you earn. Think of your card as a 30-day loan that you need to pay back at the end of each month, and save accordingly. Of course, carrying a balance isn’t necessarily a bad thing but carrying a large balance can be. If you make a big purchase on your card, know how much you’ll need to repay each month to avoid additional interest charges.

Right on Time

One of the simplest and most effective ways you can keep your credit healthy is by making timely payments. Aside from hurting your credit score, the additional late fees can add up rapidly over the course of a year, costing you upwards of $300. For many, making more than one payment each month helps keep their credit in check, while helping sustain a steady cash flow for other expenses.

Thinking about opening a card or transferring a balance? Missouri Credit Union offers members a line of credit cards from Elan Credit Card Services. For more information, click here.