Hot weather can bring big utility bills throughout the summer as we try to stay cool, wreaking havoc on a family’s budget. However there are ways to keep cooling bills lower, while still maintaining a comfortable living environment. By using a few energy savings tips, there can be a substantial savings on your summer utility bills.
Ways To Save On Cooling
The first step is making sure everything is being done to reduce cooling costs. Maintaining and managing the cooling system is one good way to lower cooling bills. Air conditioners need regular maintenance to run efficiently. Having the unit serviced with a tune-up before the hot weather hits can reduce energy costs. In addition, using a programmable thermostat is a good way to save on daily energy use. Set it to allow the heat to rise slightly, no more than ten degrees, while the family is away each day and set it to begin cooling down again when everyone is due home.
Another way to save on cooling is to use Mother Nature. Investing in whole house fans that can draw in cool air at night through open windows can be a big money saver in humid climates. Another way to keep the home cool is to consider planting trees that offer shade on west facing areas of the house that get the most hot afternoon sun.
Protecting The Cool Air
On top of saving on cooling the home, there are large benefits to protecting the cool air from escaping. Windows and doors can both allow cool air out and let hot air in. Weather stripping around doors and windows is one way to keep in the cool air. Another energy saver is closing drapes and blinds to keep the hot sun from warming air inside the home.
By making just a few small changes in daily cooling routines, there can be a large difference in the energy consumed and the amount of cooling bills through the hot months.
For those who are approaching retirement in the next few decades, the recent recession has changed many goals when it comes to retirement saving. While building a substantial savings for retirement through high earning investments was once the goal of many of baby boomers, a new value has been placed on the peace of mind that comes from stable, safe ways to ensure income for their retirement years.
Security Builds Peace Of Mind
The recession hit many hard, shrinking the size of their accumulated wealth and taking away the financial security that they thought was already theirs. This shock to the economy has made retirement investors more focused on keeping what they have, versus building a monumental retirement savings through higher risk investments. The change has lead to more baby boomers considering fixed rate annuities and other guaranteed investments that will protect their assets and slowly grow their retirement savings.
The quick reduction in investment values in the past decade has changed the entire mindset of those both young and old.For those approaching retirement age, there is no longer the illusion that money lost in high-risk investments can be quickly recouped. Protecting savings to ensure a steady and reliable income for retirement is more important to many than trying to grow nest eggs quickly for a more comfortable lifestyle. Younger generations have seen the backlash that has happened to their parents and grandparents, and many will proceed more cautiously when planning their own investments.
Although the lesson was financially painful for many, it was a valuable lesson to be learned for all investors. High-risk investments can be lucrative and have their place within an investment portfolio; however, the peace of mind that comes from having stability and security for retirement can be even more valuable.