We taught our kids to save money on electricity … and everything else. When we received this question from a website visitor from Australia, we thought we’d put our ideas in writing.
Question about how to get my kids on-board with saving money
Do your kids save electricity? How do you get your kids to appreciate ever-increasing electricity costs and to turn off lights and appliances? Mine just seem to walk away and have no care that Australian electricity costs are rising and rising and we now pay a carbon tax on top of this. I nag them to turn off lights and appliances at the wall, but it is a battle. Our kids need to save electricity.
What we’ve done to involve our kids in the household management process
We have encountered this problem on a much smaller scale and have had a regular conversation with our kids about what we’re doing to save money on electricity – it hasn’t gotten to the nagging stage though.
Here are 11 ways to save money on your electric bill with kids.
Show them the Electric Bill
As a suggestion, have a family meeting and let everyone see the electric bill from the previous month and from that same month last year.
Make A Game of Saving Money
Make a game of reducing costs by saying that if you as a team, find a way to save 10% or 20% on the bill in the next month, you’ll pay for a pizza party, or some other one-time fun event, with part of the savings.
Nagging doesn’t work, but incentives and rewards probably will.
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Related Article: Retail Arbitrage: How to Make Full-Time Income Bargain Hunting
Involve the Kids – Energy Czar
Another option would be to allow one of your kids to become the energy czar and let him pay the electric bill and be responsible for reporting to the family how his department is doing – again an incentive for performance could be a special treat for the czar if he is able to manage the usage and reduce expenses.
RELATED ARTICLE: More Ways to Save on Electricity
Use LED Lights
As a last thought, install LED lights wherever possible. They use much less energy and put off less heat, both of which can help you save.
We buy LED bulbs when we find them for about $1 each. Check out Amazon’s best selling LEDs. We’ve seen packs of 24 non-dimmable bulbs for about $24.
Use Rechargeable Batteries for Toys
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are a great way to save money on running toys. They do cost more initially but can be recharged countless times. At MoneySmartFamily we use these AA NiMH batteries for camera flashes, wireless mice and toys.
We use these Amazon Basics AAA NiMH Batteries for TV remotes. They are best sellers on Amazon.
Use Self-Closing Hinges on Doors
If you install these self-closing hinges on the doors you’ll never have to tell your kids to close them. We’ve installed these on the door to the back yard and the patio and have never regretted it. All you need is one self-closing hinge per door. Amazon has them for less than $10 each.
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Install Ceiling Fans in Every Room
We installed ceiling fans in each of the kids’ rooms and the family room too. They keep the cool air circulating and allow us to keep the thermostat in the summer a little warmer, but comfortable.
Turn off Electronics Earlier
Shutting down computers and TVs about an hour or two before bed-time can save electricity. Play games or read books or just sit and talk.
Use a Timer for Showers
We instituted a 10-minute shower rule. To help our kids stay focused we set a kitchen timer outside of the bathroom door. It worked pretty well.
We also encouraged them during warmer weather to run the water in the shower to get wet, then turn it off while they lathered up. Then turned it back on to rinse off. These are called sailor showers and save lots of water.
Turn off the Water
Teach your kids to turn the water off while they’re brushing their teeth.
Teach them About Vampire Power
Do a test for a month and put all of your electronics on power strips. Turn off the power to clock radios, cable boxes, routers and any other constantly running electrical device.
Watch these two videos to learn how to minimize vampire power loss in your home.
Let us know how these ideas fly in Australia.
For more ideas on how you can teach your kids to save money, consider our third book, The MoneySmart Family System: Teaching Financial Independence of every age!
Also, check out our MoneySavings Tip page about Kids!
Check out our Pinterest page for more tips about kids and utility savings!
How do you get your kids to save on electricity? Post your comments below so we all can learn.