How Climate Change Can Affect Your Wallet

Published on: Mar 2, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round

Devastating natural disasters tore through the US in 2020, destroying more than 16K square miles and setting records for the most tropical storms and hurricanes in one season. And experts predict things will get worse. Carbon emissions have crept back up and, as of December 2020, were 2% higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to one estimate

Here’s what that means for your wallet.

The deets that matter for your money: Changing weather patterns can impact what you pay for insurance, food, and utilities. Since more severe natural disasters could cause insurance companies to spend more, your premiums could go up. Your food bill may not be far behind if farmers can’t deliver on as much produce or meat if weather becomes more unpredictable and water is less available. If everyone’s cranking the AC, electricity could get more expensive, too.

What you can do about it: Make changes to slash your bills. Some ideas:

  • Know your insurance options. Get quotes from a few different, reputable insurance providers to find coverage you need at the best price. Then see if bundling policies, paying a certain way (think: annually vs. monthly or quarterly, enrolling in auto-pay) and/or raising your deductible could save you more.

  • Grocery-shop smarter. Make a list to avoid impulse buys. Compare prices based on volume. Scan the shelves for deals. They tend to stock the priciest products at eye-level. Oh, and after you eat, try turning kitchen scraps into new food. Sustainable and delicious.

  • Go green(er) at home. Only running a full dishwasher, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, and unplugging electronics when you aren’t using them are low-lift ways to minimize your footprint and trim your bills. Go the extra mile by biking, carpooling or taking the train to work.


theSkimm: The environment isn’t the only thing that’s going to pay for climate change. Do your part to protect the planet – and your finances.

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Skimm'd by: Ivana Pino, Stacy Rapacon, and Elyse Steinhaus