Keep track of your spending. At least once a month, use credit card, checking, and other records to review what you’ve purchased. Then, ask yourself if it makes sense to reallocate some of this spending to an emergency savings account.When your budget is tight, one random expense has a huge impact because it’s harder to come up with the money.
You can save on bills with this simple house rules:
- Cellphone Charger
How much energy do your smartphone, laptop, and tablet chargers really use? Should you unplug them when you aren’t using them to save power and money? We measured exactly how much power a variety of common chargers use, and how much keeping them plugged in will cost your each year.
You’ve probably heard of “vampire power” — the amount of power a device uses in standby mode when you aren’t using it. But just how much vampire power does a charger use, and is it worth the hassle of unplugging them when you aren’t using them?
- DVR Set Box
Most set-top boxes in homes today continuously operate at near full power, even when no one is actively watching or recording a show. Households with one HD DVR and a second HD set-top box may use more than 440 kWh per year on these devices alone — that’s more electricity than it takes to run a new, average-size ENERGY STAR® refrigerator.
The electricityflowing to a TV that’s been turned off or a coffeemaker programmed to brew in the morning is extremely small, but together, these sleeping devices may account for as much as 10 percent of household energy use.
- Stereo System
One of the worst offenders of wasting power is your entertainment system. Think of all those little LED lights blinking at you from the stereo system. These are all wasting energy. While unplugging all your devices each time you’ve finished your favorite show just to plug them all in again and wait for them to reboot may not be very practical, unplugging them all when you leave for vacation is a smart idea.
- Audio Receiver
Cluster these devices on a smart power strip when you can. Many Energy Star-approved devices maintain their clock settings even when they’re powered off.
- Desktop Computer
Other power supplies are concealed within the chassis of the equipment, as found in microwave ovens, large TV sets, or desktop computers. Wisely designed power supplies sometimes include a secondary on/off switch which allows disconnection of the transformer from mains power; many PC’s include this feature.
- Coffee Maker
Youcan save up to 20% by unplugging all of those little appliances when they are not in use.
- Video Game Console
You’re probably not thinking about the amount of energy your video game console is using when you’re trying to make it to the next level in your secrets ops mission, but maybe you should. Video game consoles use a substantial amount of electricity and can offer great opportunities for lowering your utility bills.
- Cable TV Receiver
Some manufacturers sell so-called “smart power bars” or “smart power strips.” These can tell when your TV is turned off, and then turn off your other devices. Again, these can be problematic for the recording functions of most PVRs. They’re less of an issue for non-PVR cable or satellite boxes, but depending on your television provider, you could experience delays after you turn your device back on.
In the case of a microwave in standby mode with the door closed, that’s 3.08 watts. 3.08 watts is the same as 0.00308 kilowatts.