Have you ever put on a jacket and found a twenty-dollar bill in the pocket? It’s a pretty great feeling, to find money you didn’t even know you had. Imagine if you could do that intentionally, and on a regular basis. One of the key pillars to being successful financially is limiting your expenses and cutting costs. For many, that might sound like canceling your streaming subscriptions or skipping out on your morning cup of coffee. These simply aren’t necessary- there are far more effective ways to help save you and your family a few extra bucks this winter, without having  to sacrifice any of the finer things in life.

Energy costs can quickly add up, especially during the chilly winter months. Staying warm is important, but there are ways to help keep those costs down. Here are a few ways you can help combat those high heating bills:

  • Start simple, and lower your thermostat by a few degrees. Start by decreasing your temperature by a single degree, and then keep working your way down until you notice a difference. In many instances, the difference may be entirely imperceptible to you, while helping save.
  • Utilize time of day to your advantage. While programmable thermostats and even smart thermostats you can control from your phone are great, you can manually change your temperature before leaving for work in the mornings, or before you go to bed at night. There’s no need to heat an empty house. Worried about it being too cool when you get back? You’ll still be fully dressed from the day when you return, so leave your jacket on for a few minutes while you wait for it to get comfortable inside. Alternatively, take a nice hot shower while you wait- the air will feel nice and warm once you’re finished. The same applies to when you’re going to sleep- when you’re bundled up under blankets, there’s no reason to keep the same temperature you would as when you’re moving around the house.
  • The best way to save money is to hold onto what you already have, and that principle applies to heated air as well. Target drafts throughout your home- even if it’s new construction. Your toasty warm air can easily leak out around windows and doors, ad don’t forget about around the outlets on outside walls. The next time it’s cold and windy, take a tour of each of your rooms and look for trouble spots. If you can, have them professionally repaired. If that’s not an option, temporarily plug or fix them yourself.
  • Don’t forget larger areas where heat could be being lost. Heat rises and can often escape through an uninsulated attic. Make sure you check for thin or bare spots in attic insulation. The same applies for garages- while these may not be heated, an attached garage may be sapping heat underneath a doorway. Make sure it’s sealed off from the rest of the house.
  • If you have unused rooms, close the vents to help limit circulation to these areas. Rec rooms, basements, and guest bedrooms are common spots you may want to seal off.

Staying warm shouldn’t cost an arm or a leg, and with these hints, it can be painless and affordable.