How to Drastically Cut Your Electric Bill

What if I told you, you could reduce your electrical waste, save money, and actually earn cash in the process? Would you do it? A company that I have been using for the past year is making that a reality for Californians That company is called OhmConnect. I will explain how the company works and how you can Cash in on it.

Big energy companies really do not like using less efficient power plants. These less efficient power plants are not cost-effective, and they make it harder for the company to comply with pollution regulations. Due to these facts California’s energy companies are actually willing to pay consumers not to use energy during peak energy demand times.

OhmConnect is a big data company that harnesses information to save energy and make money. In fact their company won the U.S Department of Energy‘s American Data Challenge. This is where they come into the picture. OhmConnect’s algorithms monitor energy use on a minute by minute basis. When energy consumption approaches peak loads (When the less efficient power plants come online), OhmConnect starts taking action.

What OhmConnect does at these peak times are:

OhmConnect

  • Alerts you during peak loads. Notice can come anywhere from one day to five minutes in advance.
  • You participate in “Ohm Hours” by intentionally reducing energy consumption for one hour. This means shutting off lights, TV, dishwasher, dryer, or anything else using power.
  • OhmConnect sells your reduced energy consumption back to the grid who pays OhmConnect for the reduction.
  • OhmConnect retains 20% of the profit and passes 80% of it back to you. The points you earn can then get cashed out through PayPal.

The key to making money through OhmConnect is cutting back on energy consumption during “OhmHours“. When OhmHours go into effect you want to cut back on energy consumption as far as possible from your baseline energy use. This means shutting off lights, TV, dishwasher, dryer, or anything else using power. Hardcore Ohm users will actually turn off the breaker to their house. Or you can do what I do and leave the house to curb any temptation to turn on the TV or something.

How does OhmConnect determine wether or not you have saved energy? They calculate your home’s average over 10 weekdays or 4 weekend days prior to a OhmHour. Your average is your baseline. If you use less energy than your baseline you earn points. Each point is worth one cent. If you reduce energy use more than 20% below your baseline you will earn double points. If you reduce it by more than 40% below your baseline you will earn quadruple points. Just to be clear, using OhmConnect is no side hustle. But if you are a California resident who gets their utilities from PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, you can definitely make some money for gas in the car, beer in the fridge, or paying down a small bill.

OhmConnect

  • On average you can expect to make 10- 30 points per OhmHour. But there are a few way to get the most out of OhmHour.
  • Connect your smart home devices to OhmConnect: You will earn 300-500 points per device (that’s $3-$5 per device), and OhmConnect will automatically reduce energy consumption for you during OhmHours.
  • Put your refrigerator on a smart plug. One of the biggest energy consumers are refrigerators and freezers.
  • Get on an Ohm Streak. You can earn 25%+ Once you reduce energy within 3 OhmHours in a row, you’re on a streak and your points will increase.

So if you are in California, it makes sense to sign up for OhmConnect.

So my final thought is it’s a great tool to help you become more energy (and financially) conscious. You’re not likely to earn a lot from OhmConnect, but you definitely don’t lose anything by signing up.

Advice To Help Your Personal Finances Flourish

Advice to help your personal finances flourish. Basic personal finance management doesn’t require advanced expertise. All you need is some common sense and a few strong financial management ideas to get you on the right path.

 

Develop a better plan for the future by keeping a journal of all of your expenditures. However, if you forget to keep up with it, it is easy to put it away and let it slip your mind. A better choice may possibly be writing your purchases on a poster or whiteboard that can be placed in a prominent place to catch your attention daily. Since the notes will be constantly visible to you, you will stay aware of your finances. This will help you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget.

 

Keeping a journal of all of your expenditures
Keeping a journal of all of your expenditures

 

Include quality health insurance in your personal financial plan. Everyone is going to face health problems. Good health insurance is crucial in those situations. Doctors and medical bills can climb into the tens and hundreds of thousands. Without insurance, this can be quite a burden.

 

Do not make charges on a credit card that you are having trouble paying off. Cut your extras spending off, and see if there is some other way to make payments on the card so that it does not get maxed out. Finish paying off your balance before using the card again, and then try to pay your credit card balance in full monthly to avoid future troubles.

 

Replace older incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency LED bulbs. If you replace these older bulbs, you should notice lowered energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint. LED bulbs last a lot longer than old-style, traditional light bulbs. The need to purchase fewer bulbs will save you money.

 

Replace older incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency LED bulbs
Replace older incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency LED bulbs

 

Keep student loans to a minimum unless you are confident that you will be in a position to pay them back comfortably. Private schools can be very costly to pay off.

 

Emergencies happen to everyone, so be sure to have savings ready when the time comes. You should also put money away for long term spending goals like college tuition, or a relaxing vacation.

 

If you are under 21 and want a credit card, be aware that the rules have changed in recent years. In previous times, college students were freely given credit cards with no restrictions. When this occurs you must have income that you can prove or have someone to cosign with you. Make sure your well aware of what a card requires before you apply.
Make sure you're well aware of what a card requires before you apply
Make sure you’re well aware of what a card requires before you apply

 

Know the value of things you save or have around the house. People often have things of great value that they think are not worth anything, and they throw it out. People stand to receive a nice surprise when they discover they own something valuable and it is worth significant money.

 

It is only natural that a good money manager can make more money, avoid financial pitfalls, and be free from worry. By carefully thinking things through and following the provided information, you will be in a position to develop a budget, lower your debt and put money in saving; ultimately gain control of your personal finances.

 

Quick And Easy Personal Finance Tips That Work

Quick and easy personal finance tips that work.

Do you desire to make life-long financial changes for the better? All you need is a little know how to make the change. Fortunately, this article provides lots of advice to help guide you make the right choices.

Eat like a local would to save money in a foreign country. Hotel restaurants should only be your last resort. Do some online research, or ask around, and find some great local places to eat. The food is likelier to be more enjoyable and less expensive.

Eat like a local would
Eat like a local would

Writing down your monthly expenditures can help you understand where your money is going. This will help you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget. If you write it in a notebook that gets closed and set aside until you open it again the next day, it might become a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. Instead, create a big chart or board at home and use that to list all your expenses. You will look at it every day and be reminded of what you need to do. I also keep a written monthly budget on my phone (EveryDollar App), and I put every penny I spend into the app.

In order to improve your finances, never pay full price. Don’t be a slave to brands, and don’t purchase anything without a coupon or discount. Don’t buy your favorite brand name detergent if you can save using another brand’s coupon.

Paying in full instead of getting into debt is the better option if you can manage it. Although there may be times that debt is unavoidable, try your hardest not to rack up high balances on credit cards. Loans and credit cards charge interest and fees; therefore, it is important to try not to borrow unless it is absolutely necessary. Also work with cash – once it’s gone it’s gone.

work with cash
Work with cash

Always know when it’s time to file taxes on your income with the IRS. If you anticipate a refund and want your money from a refund faster, you need to file your taxes as early as possible. If you are in a situation where you owe a great deal of money and are not going to be getting a tax refund, you can wait to file your taxes until April 15.

Be patient if you want to retain control over your personal finances. Many people buy just-released electronic devices without thinking about the cost. If you can be patient and wait just a little while, you can get the same products for less. These savings will really add up and allow you to eventually get much more for your money.

Be patient
Be patient

Your car and house are very likely going to be your biggest expenses. Payments and interest on these things will be the thing you spend the most on every month. Pay them off quicker by adding an extra payment each year or using your tax refunds to pay down the balance.

If your credit card is close to its limit, use a different one rather than letting it max out. Interest on multiple cards with lower balances should be lower than the interest on a maxed-out card. This can help you build your score and not hurt it if you manage your credit lines the right way.

If your credit card is close to its limit, use a different one
If your credit card is close to its limit, use a different one

Your perception of financial concerns is probably different now. Now that you have read this article, you will be able to step forward and manage your money successfully. All that is left is your will and determination to have a stable and strong financial future, so don’t let anything stand in your way.

How to you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget

I will teach you today, how to you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget.

How do you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget? For me it’s self control and willpowerI think it’s important to have a strong emotional connection to your goals. Rather than having a goal of I want to stick to X budget or save this much. Why are you saving? For your family? For financial freedom? Keep going with the whys until it’s so clear to you, you can’t see why you would do anything else. This can get you pretty far. 

 
Remember how hard it was to claw my way out of debt. I remember how painful it was being unemployed for 9 months, coasting along for the first 3 thinking I’d be fine since I had 7 months’ savings plus unemployment for 6 months, then the unemployment and savings running out, then the credit cards getting maxed out, finally finding a job and clawing my way out of debt in a year.
 
I also keep a written monthly budget on my phone (EveryDollar App), and I put every penny I spend into the app. Before I buy anything I look to see if it’s in the budget. If it’s not then I either have to not get it, plan to save up for it, or not spend somewhere else and modify the budget accordingly. But I also have “poor kid syndrome” so I’m always horrified of being broke even if I’ve got a good job and money saved up. 
 
Also work with cash – once it’s gone it’s gone for the month. Remembering that you can’t spend more than you make. Remembering I can’t afford it…
 
So let me know how you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget.

How our family saves $10,000 a year!

I will teach you today, how our family saves $10,000 a year!

Are you ready to save some money? Here are a few ways our family saves about $10,000 a year!

 

1. We make breakfast at home.

It is so enticing to hit up the drive through for breakfast because there just isn’t any time. But we began meal-prepping breakfast at home.

Every Sunday Shelly makes a breakfast frittata. It’s basically eggs, diced potatoes and onions. It costs a little less than $1.75 per day to make a nutritious breakfast at home! Saving us $17.50 a week or $910 a year.

frittata
 

2. We pack our lunch’s.

I take leftovers for lunch. Every now and then, I will have to buy lunch. But most of the time I take leftovers from home-cooked meals.

This saves us about $40 a week (or more!) or $2,080 a year. And we are wasting less food.

3. Remove credit cards.

Did you know the typical credit card user embraces about $15,000 in debt? If their interest rate is 14 % that is $2,100 in interest annually. (Source)
 

4. We negotiate our bills.

We simply called our provider and asked, very politely, if they would lower our bill because we are loyal customers. You can negotiate just about anything, credit cards fees, car insurance, and your cellphone bill. In total we saved about $40 a month or $480 a year!
 

5. We started driving less.

We are now saving $65 a week by reducing one tank of gas a week purely by deciding to drive to fewer places.

That means we stay home more, but we find lots of ways to entertain ourselves and save about $2,230 a year.
 

6. We started buying our meat in bulk.

We were able to get boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.89/lb. per pound from Zaycon and 92% lean ground beef for $3.99 a pound. I am not sure on the actual math on what this will save us. But here is a rough analysis of some expenditure.

  • Chicken: 40 lb case for $1.79/lb. Grocery prices: $3.39/lb
  • Ground Beef 93/7: 40 lb cases for $3.79/lb. Grocery prices: $4.29/lb
  • Hickory Smoked Bacon: 2, 15 lb cases for $2.99/lb. Grocery prices: $4.81/lb
  • Salmon Filets: 25 lb cases for $7.99/lb. Grocery prices: $8.99/lb
  • Cod Filets: 20 lb case for $5.29/lb. Grocery prices: $6.99/lb


7. We cut out our cable plan.

Instead, we use Netflix and Amazon prime, factoring out the cost of those two items per month that is saving us $59 a month or $708 annually.

8. We cut the club.

We ditched Costco, which was $55 annually and instead use Amazon to order bulk items like toilet paper and shampoo.

In total, that’s over $10,000 a year! Just by making small and simple choices to eliminate the small things.

What about you? What are some ways you cut out the little expenses?

What’s Worth Buying at the Dollar Store?

I will teach you today, what’s worth buying at the dollar store.
Dollar Tree

Dollar stores can be very hit-or-miss. Sure, there’s loads of stuff well worth a dollar. But there’s a lot of rubbish, too. If you’re a dollar store shopper, tell us what’s worth buying.

Here are a few thing I think are worth a buck cleaning products, micro USB cables, AUX cables, birthday cards, get well cards, really any cards. Cups and plates. They are cheap, fairly durable, and most people won’t even notice (or care). If something breaks, no big deal. Save the fancy stuff for special meals or when it’s just you. Oh and party supplies! What else is a deal?

Tell us: what’s worth buying at the dollar store? If you have any advice on what items aren’t worth it, go ahead and mention those, too.

How to Keep Utility Bills Down

Looking to reduce your utility bills? Well I have a few tips for you! 

Replace your standard bulbs with LEDS


I would replace all the bulbs with LEDs right off the bat. They’re going to last a very long time anyway. Also, you can install dimmers for the main bulbs to reduce electricity. You have to be careful here about product selection, because not all dimmers actually reduce consumption and not all LED bulbs are dimmable.


Dry clothes on a rack or line

Another idea is to dry clothes on a rack or line. It takes a bit getting used to, but avoiding that damn dryer can save you quite a bit, depending on how often you wash clothes.

 

Dry clothes on a rack or line

Change out your shower-head

For shower-heads, you are probably looking for something at 1.5 GPM or lower. Taking shorter showers will help as well.

Get out of the house

The less time you spend in your house, the more you’ll save on heating and cooling. If you have interests that involve being outside, feel free to capitalize on that. During the summer, you can save on cooling costs by cooking outside on a grill. You can also invest in a smart thermostat. Some smart thermostats can automatically learn when the house is likely to be occupied, and when it is likely to be empty. This allows it to automatically pre-heat or pre-cool the house, so that it’s at a comfortable temperature when a resident arrives. If the residents’ lifestyle changes, these smart thermostats will gradually adjust the schedule, maintaining energy savings and comfort.

 

Get out of the house

Find alternative forms of entertainment

Find alternative forms of entertainment that don’t involve running a big TV for a few hours. If you like the news in the morning, you can listen to a similar news program on your phone using TuneIn.

 

Find alternative forms of entertainment

Check insulation 

Check the insulation in your attic and other areas. If there is a lack of proper insulation, take care of that or you’re going to blow a bunch of money in heating/cooling costs. Also check to see if there are air leaks around windows and doors. Get some weather stripping foam to minimize this.

Probably the most universal advice I can give is to just look at everything that uses electricity or water and figure out ways to use it less or find an alternative that uses less or none at all.