Showing posts with label family budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family budget. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Three Proven Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill


Summer utility bills can sting. Between using extra water to keep your yard green and running the air conditioner to stay cool, it can feel like you have to choose between saving money and enjoying your summer. That doesn’t have to be true – particularly when it comes to your electric bill!

Here are three proven ways to save money on your electric bill this month:

1. Avoid “vampires”
As explained by the U.S. Department of Energy, most homes have multiple TVs and computers, which are all connected to various devices, such as DVD players, game consoles, external monitors, and printers. Believe it or not, the energy consumed by all these gadgets in our homes can add up to nearly 10 percent of a household's monthly electric bill! Many people forget to turn off their devices when they aren't using them, and many electronics continue to draw power even after they've been turned off, wasting energy in the form of "vampire loads."

To avoid wasting energy on devices that you aren’t actively using, try investing in a few advanced power strips. There are many different products on the market – some even have timers or activity sensors. Check out this infographic to learn more.

2. Replace old thermostats
If you aren’t using a programmable thermostat, switching to one may make a demonstrable difference in your electric bill. We all know that adjusting your thermostat just a few degrees can improve your energy use. Programmable thermostats allow you to make those slight adjustments automatically, based on your household needs, to ensure you save money.

The experts at CNET.com recommend taking things a step further with a smart thermostat, so that you can control your heating and cooling from your phone or other device. Click here to read their smart thermostat reviews for 2017.

3. Trash old light bulbs
Overwhelmed when you visit the light bulb aisle at your local home improvement store? We are too! But the good news is that all of those new light bulb options exist to help save you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an average household dedicates about five percent of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your home's five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year.

After you are done lowering your energy bill, don’t forget that you can lower your pharmacy bill as well. Regardless of your insurance situation, the Free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card can help you to spend less money on your family’s prescription drugs. Download the free app today.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How To Know If A Prescription Discount Card is Right for You



Have you read about prescription discount programs and wondered if they applied to you? Do you have insurance but are frustrated with the amount of money that you are spending at the pharmacy?

Our infographic can help you! Check it out below to understand if the Free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card can help you to save money on your prescription medication.


Do you have friends or family who could also benefit from the Free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card? Send them to FamilyWize.org to sign up now!



Friday, August 23, 2013

Staycation: Have Fun, Close to Home

Vacation. It's a time to relax, rejuvenate and take a break from the demands of daily life. Some individuals choose to learn new skills, discover different interests and spend quality time with loved ones, according to behavioral health experts www.advantagebehavioral.org. Yet, for many families, summer vacation plans that involve travel might adversely affect the family budget or many not be feasible for a variety of other reasons. A staycation, taking time off for R&R while staying at home, can prove to be a practical, fulfilling answer.

Girl looking at water

How to plan your vacation:


  • Planning a summer vacation and the anticipation that lead up to it are an important part of the fun of time off. It's important to do the same with your staycation.
  • Staying within the family budget, allow each family member to choose at least one activity or outing to participate in.
  • Stick with the plan. Just because you're home doesn't mean you can deviate from the summer vacation ideas.


Staycation ideas:


  • Do something different: For instance, try bowling if your family has never gone before. Summer fairs and festivals offer interesting food options and activities for the entire family, too. Backyard camping is simple, easy and can be great fun for kids of all ages. For additional ideas, check out www.living.msn.com
  • Learn something new: Local craft stores and art studios offer a variety of summer programs. Family members can engage in pottery making, fine art classes or cake decorating for a nominal fee.
  • Get cultured: Local museums and theaters offer a variety of summer programs to enjoy, often at discounted rates.
  • Get wet: If the family budget allows, splurge on a local water park for the day. Or, turn your backyard into a mini water park to enjoy the entire summer. Water slides, sprinklers and water pistols offer great entertainment for hours on end.


Helpful hints for your staycation:


  • Treat the time as you would a vacation away from home. Abstain from checking email or work voicemail and avoid engaging in housecleaning and laundry. Really focus on breaking out of your normal routine at home.
  • Unless it's part of your vacation idea, don't plan house projects or any other task that equates to work or reminds you that you're home.
  • Take pictures just as you would on a vacation away from home. Documenting memories is an important part of getting the most out of your staycation. 


Benefits of a staycation:


Aside from helping to stay within the family budget by eliminating hotel and transportation costs, there are other benefits to a staycation. For instance:

  1. Sleeping better in your own bed
  2. Eliminating the stress of preparing for vacation
  3. Finally getting to explore the local sights often overlooked
  4. Saving money on vacation costs might allow splurging on more expensive restaurants or activities than normal
  5. Enjoying your own home and its amenities-- a pool, a great collection of movies, beautiful landscaping
With a little planning and input from your entire family, this year you can turn your holiday at home into your best vacation idea yet.

Kathy Rembisz 
Contributing Writer