California Climate Credit- It’s Back for August and September!

What is the California Climate Credit? This August* your utility bill will include an electric credit identified as the “California Climate Credit.” Your household and millions of others throughout the state will receive this credit on your utility bills.

In the past years, the electric credit was applied in April and October, and the gas credit was applied in April. For 2020 and 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission authorized SDG&E to temporarily shift the electric credit to be applied in August and September.

If you have any of the following utilities: PG&E, SDG&E, SCE Pacific Power, and Liberty Utilities, your August and September bills will have a credit.

Changing the distribution months will not change the total value of the climate credits you receive in a year. The shift will provide bill relief for customers – during the typically hottest months of the year – and reduce bill volatility.

The gas credit will continue to be applied in April. In 2022, the climate credit will be distributed back to its original timing of April and October unless the Commission directs otherwise. The California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. This credit is from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas providers, and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases, to buy carbon pollution permits.

The credit on your bill is your share of the payments from the State’s program. The Climate Credit is one of many programs resulting from landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

The California Climate Credit is one way Californians are working towards a zero-carbon state. Find other ideas for energy and money-saving upgrades for your home while reducing your carbon footprint at energyupgradeca.org/the-movement.

And if you are looking for more ways to save energy and money, check out Ohm Connect! We’ve been using Ohm Connect for 5+ years and we’ve saved thousands of dollars on our power bill, and earned thousands of dollars in gift cards and cash via paypal!

I cashed out some of our points for a $25 Amazon Gift card last week, and we almost have enough for another $25 Amazon Gift Card!

April is Financial Literacy Month! Budgeting and Savings Tips

Today I learned that April is Financial Literacy Month. Which is just in time for tax day (which has been extended this year, but it traditionally April 15th).

One of my favorite topics for this blog is how to save money. So I thought I’d put together a post with links to some of my best ways to save money and throw out some tips and tricks that work for me.

Last year I wrote a three-part series about making a practical budget that a family can adhere to and how to get some extra help if you need it. This was written during the pandemic, so there is a lot of information and resources especially for those feeling the financial panic that many felt during the height of the pandemic last year.

If you already have a budget or feel that your spending is out of control and you aren’t to the point yet where you feel that you need a budget, I did a series of posts in late 2019 about how to reign in the out-of-control spending.

  • Part One- Start in the Kitchen
  • Part Two- Entertainment Some of these tips may not be applicable right now, as so many public places are still closed or have limited services (Like gyms and libraries).
  • Part Three- Shopping Around to Save. Internet, cell phones, health insurance (and that’s just three examples), a lot of times you can save money with a few clicks or a phone call.

Keeping an eye on your Credit Score is another great way to be financially literate. I wrote this morning about Credit Sesame, which I personally have used for at least 9 years.

And finally, if you feel like you need a little more help than the posts above to get a handle on your finances, check out Simplifi by Quicken. To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, Simplifi is offering a 30-day FREE Trial of Simplifi by Quicken.

  • Simplifi by Quicken was named the Best Budgeting App & Tool by the New York Times’ Wirecutter!
  • The app helps you stay on top of your money in less than 5 minutes per week.
  • After your free 30-day trial save 38% off the regular price. That’s $29.99 billed annually for the first year. For the cost of one lunch date, you can have a year of budgeting at your fingertips.

Talkback: What are your tips and tricks to saving money and staying on budget?

Free Credit Score and Monitoring with Credit Sesame!

April is Financial Literacy Month. Part of being financially literate or aware of your financial situation is to make sure that your credit report is correct. If you haven’t taken a look at your credit report lately,  it’s time to give your finances a fresh look and get your credit in tip-top shape.

Did you know that the recent FTC study found that over 20% of Americans or 40 Million credit reports have reporting errors that are costing consumers money in credit card interest rates and loans? These reports aren’t always indicative of something nefarious like your personal data being stolen, sometimes information on your credit report may belong to someone with a similar name as yours, or someone with a social security number close to yours. Whatever the case, it’s important to check your credit report once a year at a minimum, and make sure it’s correct.

Start by making sure that your credit report does not contain erroneous information that could be impacting your credit score. Keep tabs on your credit report activities and your score by signing up for free credit monitoring and score services like Credit Sesame, so that you can easily protect your financial good standing.

Credit Sesame is 100% free and offers-

  • Receive daily credit monitoring alerts
  • Get your FREE Credit Score Monthly
  • Limit ID Theft Damage
  • Find Potential Errors Sooner
  • Access to Better Loans and  that Can Save You Money

What are you waiting for? Click here to register for free in under 2 minutes. You’ll get your free credit score and a complete view of your credit and loans. Plus, when you turn on the Credit Monitoring feature, you’ll be notified of changes to your credit profile, along with $50K identity theft insurance and live agents to help you restore your identity in case of theft. All for free. All in one place.

Get your Free Credit Score and More With Credit Sesame!

Recently, we refinanced our home. Our lender was super impressed that our credit scores are so high (oh hi 800 club). One of the ways I’ve been able to keep my credit score so high is that I use Credit Sesame to monitor my scores with all three agencies.

I can check to see if there is anything on there that doesn’t belong and clear up any issues as soon as I see them.

Did you know that the recent FTC study found that over 20% of Americans or 40 Million credit reports have reporting errors that are costing consumers money in credit card interest rates and loans?

Make sure that your credit report does not contain erroneous information that could be impacting your credit score. Keep tabs on your credit report activities and your score by signing up for free credit monitoring and score services like Credit Sesame, so that you can easily protect your financial good standing.

* Receive daily credit monitoring alerts
* Get your FREE Credit Score Monthly
* Limit ID Theft Damage
* Find Potential Errors Sooner
* Get Access to Better Loans and Save Money

And unlike those “free” credit report offers that you see on TV with the catchy jingles,Credit Sesame is 100% free. You don’t have to enter your credit card number.

Good Credit is important- it’s the gatekeeper to so many things in life! Good credit gives you better access to better APR’s for credit cards, mortgages, car loans, lines of credit.

Looking to Build Credit History? Check out Self!

It’s important to have a good credit score. 

So many things depend on your credit score: Car insurance (really), renting or buying a home, even getting a job.

If you’ve never given your credit score a second thought, or maybe you don’t have credit, check out SelfSelf offers an accessible and responsible way for consumers to establish payment history and build credit, while saving money, through a credit-builder account.

  • Apply for a loan that is held by our bank partners. Your money is secured and protected in a bank account
  • Pay off the loan in 12-24 months^. You can choose a repayment plan that fits your budget.
  • Each payment builds credit history and adds to your savings. Your payments are reported to all three credit bureaus.
  • Get money back at the end after building credit history. Your paid off loan unlocks and you get the money back, minus fees and interest.

If that sounds like something that interests you, check out Self here.

I’ll have more posts coming up about credit and credit scores.

California Utility Bills Receive a Credit in April!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Climate Credit that we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing on our April and October bills has been moved to August and September when most Californians have higher utility bills due to the weather.

However, the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) is giving every California ratepayer a credit of $21.11 on the GAS portion of their utility bill this month.

In August and September, there will be a credit each month of $32.28 on the Electricity portion of each ratepayer utility bill.

Changing the distribution months will not change the total value of the climate credits you receive in a year. The shift will provide bill relief for customers and reduce bill volatility.

If you’re having trouble paying your utility bill and to learn more about the available resource to help you and your household, please visit sdge.com/coronavirus.

Visit Energy Upgrade California to learn about ways to lower your energy usage.

And if you want to save energy and earn money, check out my post about Ohm Connect.

 

 

Tips to Reign In and Out Of Control Family Budget: Shopping Around to Save!

683459ee810703fe032903d2443bf58d.jpgToday I’ll be sharing some ways to save money that takes a little more work but can definitely pay off in the end.

For some of us, this may seem like too much work, and that’s ok. Just because it’s something that my family does, doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Insurance: Most companies offer a discount if you have more than one kind of policy. Example: State Farm offers a Multi-line discount. If you have your cars and another type of insurance (homeowners/renters/condo insurance, or a life insurance policy).

Some insurance companies serve a specific audience- for example, USAA is an insurance company for active duty or retired military. Because they serve a specific audience, they offer very competitive rates.

When you shop for insurance, have copies of all of the policies that you want to compare. That will help you see apples to apples. You can’t compare and try to save money if you don’t know what you’ve got. This is also a great time to go over all of your coverages and see if you need to increase or decrease coverages.

Due to state and federal regulations, you usually can’t shop for health insurance unless it’s open enrollment or you’ve had a qualifying life event (married, divorced, had a baby, retired, lost your job, etc.). Luckily, Tis the Season for open enrollment! We purchased insurance through the state exchange a few years back, before we had employer-sponsored insurance. It was not too difficult to navigate, and there are discounts available for a lot of people!

Cell Phones: This is my least favorite activity, but it can a money saver. Once again- have a copy of your contract or a copy of a recent bill that outlines everything your plan covers before you get started. If you are looking for a pre-paid plan, Tello has some great money-saving plans!

Internet: I hate dealing with our internet service provider. I always feel like they are trying to upsell me, no matter why I am calling in. We’re looking at changing our plan soon. The big kids school recently sent home information regarding a program that Cox offers called Connect2Compete. For those families that have qualifying social service(s), Cox can provide internet service for $9.95/month! That’s a great deal.

 

Talk Back: I’d love to hear your success story! Share how much you’ve saved by shopping around for your insurance, cell phone service, or internet service.

Earn Cash Back with Groupon+!

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 4.44.48 PM.png The other day I wrote about Mogl, which is an appt that helps you earn cash back at restaurants. Today I’m going to tell you about another Awesome way to earn cash back when you eat out: Groupon+!

It’s as easy as 1, 2,3!

  1. Sign up for free to get cash back at participating restaurants.
  2. Nothing to print our or bring in!
  3. Get automatic cash back on your credit card statement. (You can also use debit cards too, and the money will be credited to the account)

Cash back amounts vary from 5% all the way to 30%! And here in San Diego, there are some pretty awesome choices:

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 4.58.37 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-08-31 at 4.59.26 PM.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And these are just two of the great deals. There are tons of choices in various cuisines and locations!

And you can load multiple cards to Groupon+! I loaded all of our debit and credit cards, so regardless of what method we may with, we’ll be covered! And I know my data is secure because it’s Groupon and I’ve used their site to buy all kinds of deals in the past.

Free Credit Score and Monitoring with Credit Sesame!

Just like your home, your finances need to be cleaned up regularly. If you haven’t taken a look at your credit report lately,  it’s time to give your finances a fresh look and get your credit in tip-top shape.

Did you know that the recent FTC study found that over 20% of Americans or 40 Million credit reports have reporting errors that are costing consumers money in credit card interest rates and loans?

Start by making sure that your credit report does not contain erroneous information that could be impacting your credit score. Keep tabs on your credit report activities and your score by signing up for free credit monitoring and score services like Credit Sesame, so that you can easily protect your financial good standing.

* Receive daily credit monitoring alerts
* Get your FREE Credit Score Monthly
* Limit ID Theft Damage
* Find Potential Errors Sooner
* Get Access to Better Loans and Save Money

What are you waiting for? Click here to register for free in under 2 minutes. You’ll get your free credit score and a complete view of your credit and loans. Plus, when you turn on the Credit Monitoring feature, you’ll be notified of changes to your credit profile, along with $50K identity theft insurance and live agents to help you restore your identity in case of theft. All for free. All in one place.