52 Week Save Money Challenge Week Five

save money on utilites
It was a tough week when it came to the saving challenge. I had high hopes that with the first month’s bills coming in, I would have good numbers which would net me savings with my water, gas and electric bills. Unfortunately that didn’t work out, and all three bills were more this month than they were for the same month last year. The result was that I failed to save any money in these areas, and I had planned this to be the majority of my savings this week.

Water Bill

The water bill came to $129.49 this month, while it was $102.32 in January 2013. That’s about $27 more, which is a pretty significant increase, and it’s certainly not where I would have liked to see it end up. I’m not sure there is a whole lot more I can do to reduce my water consumption, but I will put together a water reduction checklist and see if I’m wasting water somewhere where I don’t realize it.

Saved: $0.00

Electricity Bill

This month’s electricity bill was $45.71 while the electricity bill for the same period last year was $39.16. While only about $5 in difference, it was in the wrong direction. I’ll have to spend some time looking if there are some other steps I can take to reduce the amount of electricity I have been using.

Saved: $0.00

Gas Bill

The gas bill came to $89.61 this month while it was only $41.36 for the same period last year. This was a huge increase and one that I’m not happy with at all. I can’t remember if the weather has been colder this year than it was last year, but I was definitely not pleased to see this big of a difference when comparing the bills.

Saved: $0.00

At first, I was perplexed at how this could happen since I had been going out of my way to save in all three areas. I had also been gone a number of days house sitting which should have helped as well. I then looked back at my calendar last year and realized that I had a long house sitting stint in January 2013 which kept me away for three of the four weeks. Considering how much more I was around this year, the increase in the bills was actually a lot less than might have been expected. Since this billing period is kind of like comparing apples and oranges, it’s still a toss-up as to whether or not the utility conservation is working. Hopefully next month will make this a lot clearer and there will be a reduction this year compared to the same month last year so I can claim some savings for the challenge.

Money Jar & Pay to Use My Car

Due to the failure of finding savings from utilities this month, the only savings I was able to add to my total came from the money jar and using the car. Because I had such a good week last week, I didn’t count either of these toward the total. That decision was a good one considering what transpired this week. There was $5.15 in the change jar, so I’ll put $5 toward the savings this week. There was also $8 for the driving fund over the two weeks.

Saved: $13.00

Total Saved Week 5: $13.00

$1 $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 $10
$11 $12 $13 $14 $15 $16 $17 $18 $19 $20
$21 $22 $23 $24 $25 $26 $27 $28 $29 $30
$31 $32 $33 $34 $35 $36 $37 $38 $39 $40
$41 $42 $43 $44 $45 $46 $47 $48 $49 $50
$51 $52

Goals for the Coming Week

What happened this week is exactly why I like the alternate version of the 52 week challenge as compared to the standard version. The unexpected sometimes happens and I was able to save far less this week than I’d anticipated. Still, I crossed off a number on the chart so I’m still in business.

I have a busy week coming up, but what I’d like to do is put together a checklist for at least one of the three utilities (water, gas and electricity) on ways to better save money.

How did you do in your week 5 challenge?

The 2014 Challenge
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four

(Photo courtesy of KOMUnews)

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4 Responses to 52 Week Save Money Challenge Week Five

  1. Paulette says:

    Slightly weaker than you. Big suck of semi-annual insurance, mortgage, utilities and car loan. Thirteen dollars were returned to me from public market deli shopping, decided to keep two for psychological comfort (to have something to deposit perhaps on Friday, if the sixth week turns out disastrous) and deposit the rest, all eleven dollars, woohoo. “That’s all there is, there isn’t any more.”

  2. We have a bit increased for our electricity bill last month and hopefully it will decrease this month. I’ve upgraded my internet subscription because of the new policy and I badly needed a limited internet connection.

  3. Lee says:

    Hi! I’m enjoying the savings challenge. And my husband is actually going right along with it and helping by reminding me to do the savings jar. So far, we are going from the smallest to largest, but we’ve had it each week to save, so that’s a big step for us.
    I believe everyone’s utilities are more this year. I don’t think it has to do so much with your conservation in these areas, as it is how expensive utilities have gotten. They are probably charging more for the usage. That’s what I think. Check it out.

  4. Jo says:

    Lee definitely has a point re: the high cost of utilities, especially those hard hit with winter weather and using natural gas. My house is all electricity and I KNOW that bill will be through the roof, higher that it has been in a long time. It’s going to be a no-win for many living in the path of all the storms that have come through. And it’s only the beginning of February. :-( Ah well, life goes on.

    I do believe that getting ahead will indeed be very tough for many this year.

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