[Fox Business] Personal finance expert reveals tips to cut back on energy costs

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Americans are facing the heat this summer – not just in temperatures, but also in their wallets. 

The average power bill for an American is expected to surpass $176 per month for June, July and August – an increase of 2% from the same months the prior year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

One personal finance expert says if the high energy prices are causing you to “bust and break the bank,” she has tips to help you chill on those costs.

“If the gas prices, the energy prices are causing you to bust and break the bank, that is a symptom of a larger problem,” said “The Ramsey Show” co-host Jade Warshaw on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria,” Wednesday. “We’ve got to get on a budget, and we’ve got to prioritize our utilities.”

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a press release in July of this year, forecasting record-high natural gas consumption in the United States for electricity generation in July and August as another hot summer increases demand for air conditioning – expecting more electricity generation from natural gas in July and August 2023 than that of those months in 2022, according to their July Short-Term Energy Outlook. 

Warshaw commented on the rollercoaster of energy prices and the impact on the consumer’s budget. “Look, if you’ve been on this planet for 10 minutes, you know, these prices are constantly jumping up and coming down and jumping up again. This has got to be something that’s part of your monthly budget.”

She advised consumers to prioritize and budget their utilities as part of their “four walls” – the walls being rent or mortgage, utility bills, food and transportation. 

The expert also shared advice when it comes to saving money on electric bills following an inquiry posed by FOX Business’ Kelly O’Grady. 

“You can invest in things like smart thermostats,” she explained. “Those will help lower your bill, and at the end of the day, you are going to have to embrace, if you want a lower energy bill, you’re probably going to have to set the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees higher than what you typically would. So in the summertime, you’re going to have to embrace being a little bit warmer. And in the wintertime, you’re going to have to embrace being a little bit colder throughout the house.”

“There [are] so many things like that, that you can do, and if you don’t want to upgrade to a smart thermostat, then just walk over there yourself and set the dial for a lower or higher temperature,” Warshaw added.

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The expert also addressed that Americans are feeling pressure at the pump, and offered how they can maximize their cash’s mileage. 

“We can try to bundle all of those tasks that we need to do daily, all of those errands that we go taking the kids, try to bundle those all at once… And, of course, you are always going to save money by taking the freeway instead of that stop and go traffic.” 

Warshaw noted that there are ways to search for nearby cheap gas prices through services like GasBuddy and Waze, citing an example of a trick she uses:

“I just have a Costco membership and I can go in there and get the cheapest gas prices because of my membership there.”

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