Expert advice to combat extreme weather’s impact on your wallet

Nearly 25% of people said higher-than-usual electricity bills ‘significantly’ strained their finances this summer

(InvestigateTV) — Nearly three in five U.S. adults said they’ve incurred costs because of an extreme weather event over the past ten years, according to a Bankrate survey.

Per the study, it’s not always catastrophic events such as wildfire, earthquakes, flooding or heavy snow that cause damage to homes and put people under financial stress.

Ted Rossman with Bankrate said a simple weather event like a heatwave can really set people’s budget’s back.

“I think what people don’t realize is that higher energy bills are a big deal. Losing food to power outages is a big deal,” Rossman said. “Just look at this past summer, most Americans had higher electric bills this summer because it was a hot summer.”

Ted Rossman said 72% of U.S. adults said they experienced higher than usual electric bills over the summer and more than half said the higher bills this year strained their finances.

He said higher energy prices and higher insurance costs all lead to problems. Although the weather can’t be controlled, Rossman said there are things we can do to protect ourselves.

“One would be to build that emergency fund. I know it’s easier said than done, but to the extent that you can sock money away every paycheck,” Rossman suggested. “Maybe have it automatically transferred to a dedicated savings account. You’re less likely to miss what you don’t see. I think automating that process can help.”

Rossman also said energy prices and insurance costs are probably going to continue to rise faster than inflation. He recommended consumers to shop around for a better deal every year when it comes to your car insurance or homeowners’ insurance.

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa is Director of Investigations and a mid-day anchor for NBC12.