The Cost of Comfort
It’s often said in jest that nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. It’s a funny line though hardly true! Something else in life is certain, every month you’ll shell out quite a bit of money for utilities. We usually think of utilities as fixed expenses. But when you realize what you’re paying for them you might begin to question how fixed they really are. Kingdom Advisors President Rob West has some numbers.
• When you add up the cost of electricity, gas, water, Internet and cable, the average monthly cost is $400. But when you multiply it by 12 to get the annual cost, it’s much more—around $4,800. This will vary depending on where you live and all kinds of other factors.
• Install a “smart” thermostat to regulate your home’s temperature. Also, begin replacing light bulbs with ones that are more energy-efficient. They cost more but pay for themselves over time. And if your water heater is more than 10 years old, replace it with a higher-efficiency model.
• Anything else you can do to reduce water usage will help lower your costs. Do you leave the water running when you brush your teeth? If so, you’re wasting about four gallons of water. That means a family of four brushing twice a day would waste almost 1,000 gallons a month! The average shower lasts 8 minutes using about 17 gallons of water. The average family of four will use more than 2,000 gallons a month. Shaving just one minute from the average shower could save about 100 gallons a month.
• Mobile phones. Plans may cost around $120 a month. A typical family of four could pay up to twice that, $240 a month! To cut the cost of your cell phone, stay on top of each mobile carrier’s promotions; they tend to change often and you can take advantage of introductory rates.
On today’s program we also answer your questions:
• We have a 21-year-old son who’s been out on his own for a couple of years. He’s made a couple of mistakes but now wants to manage money God’s way. What resources can you recommend?
• Do you recommend credit repair companies?
• Can Social Security ever be garnished?
Ask your questions at (800) 525-7000 or email them at email@example.com. Visit our website at moneywise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, purchase books, and even download free, helpful resources.
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Featured Resources From MoneyWise
Author Art Rainer has managed to bring an entertaining element to learning about money management. A fun read for ages 8 – 12, this early-reader fiction provides math problems to solve and giving lessons to learn. It gives parents a solid foundation for talking about money principles and things kids like to be grossed out about, like used chewing gum and stinky body odor. Rainer even congratulates readers halfway through and rewards with unusual money facts. An excellent three-book series, The Secret Slide Money Club will bring fun and laughter as the agents race to save their friend from the stinky Albies, agents of Albatross, while learning how to Give, Save & Live God’s way! Request your copy with your gift of $25 or more to MoneyWise. Your generous donation helps expand our outreach to share God’s financial principles with others.