Buckle in because if you thought getting four feet of snow dumped on you last winter was rough, get ready for something else that is going to be rough for the average person - a surge in the price of gas, natural gas, and electricity.

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Energy prices are climbing across the board, squeezing money out of wallets that are already pretty thin and New York State officials warn that residents will most certainly be paying quite a bit more to heat their homes this winter.

The cost to heat your home this winter could increase by 21 percent compared to last winter according to the New York State Department of Public Services. The culprit? Officials say an increase in natural gas prices is partially to blame.

The utility companies that operate in New York have contracts for natural gas that are quite a bit higher than last year which helped to jack up the price for the average consumer. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, Last winter, the average household in New York spent $770 on heating their home from November to March but if what the state is forecasting, the average person will spend about $935 this winter. However, if temperatures stay mild, that amount obviously would be less.

Either way, if you haven't already thought about doing everything you can to get your house ready for winter to keep as much heat inside your house as possible, you might want to start and fairly quickly because temperatures are only going to go down from where they are now.

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These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

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