Utility Bills

For most people, their mortgage payment or rent is pretty well fixed each month and there is little they can do about that.

Same thing with their car payment.

As an example, the average rent in this area is anywhere from $850 to $1,250 per month.

My house payment is $946 per month so I’m at the lower end of that range.

But that includes escrow which is insurance and taxes.

If you subtract that out, my actual house payment is only about $666.00 per month, so it would be foolish for me to look for a lower housing cost.

And my pickup is $607 per month plus $95 per month for insurance.

I could save a substantial amount of money once I figure out a way to address that, but for now I need a dependable transportation as my commute is 55 miles one way each day, and my income is not enough that I could pay cash for a replacement vehicle.

My utilities average around $500.00 per month and that is something that I can work on, and I suspect most people have similar stories which is why I’m addressing utility bills first.

My utility bills for 2019 were:

  • Electricity – $2,137.83 or 34.32% of the total
  • ISP – $1,492.46 or 23.96% of the total
  • ATT – $1,153.79 or 18.52% of the total
  • Water,Sewer,Trash – $1,015.01 or 16.29% of the total
  • DirectTv – $323.62 or 5.20% of the total
  • YouTube TV – $106.72 or 1.71% of the total

Finding a way to Eliminate electricity bills would immediately reduce my monthly utility bills by a third or more.

I have already eliminated DirectTV and YouTube TV as I find that I don’t watch much tv since I have CBSNow and the free YouTube videos to keep me entertained.

I also have PrimeTV, but I may eliminate that soon.

I need the ISP to receive all of that, so for now that is pretty well a fixed item, although I can reduce that bill by about $35 per month if I get rid of the VOIP phone that I hardly ever use.

And with ATT sending their jobs overseas, I’m pretty sure that I will be cutting that cord soon now that I’m on early social security.

Can’t do anything with the water, sewer and trash bill.

Which brings us back to electricity.

That is a high cost item and it seems to vary substantially by month depending on the temperature.

  • Jan 19 – $271.22
  • Feb 19 – $235.52
  • Mar 19 – $210.68
  • Apr 19 – $119.57
  • May 19 – $109.22
  • Jun 19 – $149.94
  • Jul 19 – $201.53
  • Aug 19 – $209.67
  • Sep 19 – $207.08
  • Oct 19 – $159.63
  • Nov 19 – $263.77
  • Dec 19 – $227.99

At $2,137.83 for the year that works out to an average of $178.15 per month.

If I can find a way to get it down to $150.00 per month, that will help substantially.

Eventually my goal is to eliminate my need for electricity, but realistically that may not be possible.

As a first step, I have added a nest thermostat and so far, I have been very pleased with it.

It allows me to see my usage which I find interesting.

And it even includes a detailed view for a particular day

But Google, if you’re listening, I need the ability to pick by month, year, date, etc.

You have a long way to go on your history view, or better yet, give me the ability to download a csv so I can analyze it myself.

One thing I will say is they have an economy mode where you can set the heat to come on at 65 and the ac to come on at 75 which I think will go a long way of achieving my goal of $150.00 per month, I just haven’t used it much as being home all day, and I’m getting where I can’t handle the cold like I used too.

Once I start back to work, I will use that 5 days a week and have a better idea on how much it can cut back my electricity usage.

The next thing I want to try because it will allow me to break down my electricity usage by device is this thing once I can afford it.