Every month I carefully set aside the bills until they all arrive. Then I ignore them for as long as I can. Eventually my conscience starts to get the better of me. “Don’t let the checks be late. You’ll be assessed late fees which will hurt your credit score. You’ll never be able to get a loan, all the banks will reject you and you’ll end up living in the streets.” My conscience is a bit dramatic, but very persuasive.
When the bills are finally in the mail, I’m left with a sense of relief and a significant pile of leftover junk mail. I dutifully recycle the small mound of paperwork often without paying it much attention. A few months ago, I actually read some of that extra paperwork and was pleasantly surprised by the many gems of “free” advice.
Beat the summer heat
Our gas and electricity billing statement had the following recommendations:
• Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty.
• Wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing.
• Stay out of direct sunlight.
• Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine.
Prepare for an emergency
Our phone company acknowledges that phone lines get bogged down following an emergency because of the volume of calls. They recommend:
• Choose an emergency contact outside your area and provide this person with a list of people to call on your behalf–that way you only need to call one number and have them call everyone else on your list to tell them you are OK.
• Get a battery-powered radio and lots of batteries.
• Call 9-1-1 for help, but not for news.
Our water company has a deluge of water conservation suggestions such as:
• Water during the early morning or late evening.
• Use mulch around plants to hold in moisture.
• Install drip irrigation when updating your landscaping.
• Use a broom to clean sidewalks, driveways and pavement areas instead of a hose.
This month when you pay your bills, take a few minutes and scan all the extra paper. There may be great tidbits of information to make your home safer and more environmentally friendly.