With the high cost of living combined with a slow economy many people find themselves in though financial positions. In many instances, people cannot afford to pay their utilities in turn they are forced to live without gas, electricity or water. Living without your utilities is tough and is a humbling experience. Should you find yourself in this position don't panic. There are many ways to make due without your utilities.
First, don't panic. Gather some supplies including candles, flashlights, ice chest and, if possible, purchase a low-cost gym membership.
Cleanliness is obviously important and should your water be turned off you won't have means of showering. The solution is to shower at your local gym. Many cities have community centers where you can get a monthly gym membership for about $20 or $30 per month. The gym membership will also keep you busy and get you in shape. The alternative to this would be to shower at a friend or relative's house.
Set up candles all around the house. Be sure to monitor candles in vacant rooms, as it would add insult to injury should your house burn down. If you can afford a battery-operated lantern, pick up a few of those. They cost about $10 bucks and are a safe alternative to candles.
Your power is off, therefore, everything in your fridge is now at risk of spoilage. Take all things perishable out of your fridge and place them into an ice chest along with two bags of ice. This will keep all for food nice and cold for about three days. Once the ice melts, replace it with two more bags for as long as needed.
Heat can be one of the toughest utilities to not have, especially in the winter. Your best bet on this one is to bundle up. Wear lots of layers and be sure to sleep with plenty of blankets. Fortunately, there are laws in certain states that make it illegal for utility companies to turn off your heat during the winter months.
As for entertainment, you have a few options. You could listen to a battery-operated radio, watch a battery-operated portable TV, talk with your housemates. You probably won't want to spend much time at your house so go down to the local bowling alley, bar or spend some time at a friend's house.
Keep busy. Work out a payment plan with your utility company.
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