Utility costs often feel like a ball and chain strapped around your ankle. Every month a big portion of your hard earned cash has to be put aside to pay for things that you consider essential for living, such as hot water and electricity. Most of us are so used to paying out for these things that we don’t realize that we are paying too much. Like everything else in life, there are deals to be found for utility costs but you just need to know where to look.

  1. Keep a record of all your Utility Costs

The first thing you need to do is to get organized. This is especially important if you are living on your own in an Ottawa apartment rental for the first time. Finally moving out of the family home and renting your own apartment is a wonderful feeling, but this can get overlooked by the stress of dealing with utilities. Do yourself a favour and get organized. Keep a comprehensive record in a file folder, on the computer, or even on your smartphone. Track everything you are currently paying out, when you are paying it, and how much you are spending.

  1. Clothes are Your Friend

With frigid winters in Ottawa, the first thing you want to do when you come in from the cold is to crank the heat. Likewise in the summer, you want to come home to a chilly apartment with the A/C or fans turned to max. You’ll regret it when the utility bill comes in though. Before you reach for the thermostat, make sure your outfit is appropriate. Bundle up in a sweater, thick socks, and blanket in the winter. In the summer, peel off the layers before turning on the A/C.

  1. Car Share

If you drive to work and back alone every day, then why not see if any of your co-workers would be interested in a car share. Even the cost of riding the bus every day can be quite pricey in Ottawa. This will be financially beneficial for both of you as you will both share the amount you spend on gas and parking.

  1. Change Your Phone Contract

Do you really need unlimited mobile data when you have Wi-Fi at home and at work? Probably not. Do you need hundreds of minutes each month when you haven’t made an outgoing phone call since 2009? Have a look at your current contract and really see whether it’s worth the price that you’re paying. If you can get a cheaper deal then you will save a lot of cash over the course of a two-year contract.

  1. Revisit Your Insurance

Insurance is definitely an important expenditure and having it is the responsible thing to do. You should certainly have tenant’s insurance for your Ottawa apartment rental to protect your belongings and give you peace of mind. However, it may be that you are paying for coverage that you don’t actually need. Do some shopping around and find yourself a better deal.

These are five different ways to save money on bills so you can start saving…or redirect your newfound funds to the entertainment portion of your budget.