It can feel like the cost of living is always on the rise, and your wage might be struggling to keep up. If you want more disposable income at the end of the month, one of the ways you can achieve this is to reduce your outgoings. Your landlord or mortgage provider probably won’t be willing to negotiate on your payments, but there are often ways you can save on your other monthly bills.
Simple steps such as switching your energy deal can drive down costs significantly without having any impact on your service. If you’d like to drive down your monthly bills and have more money to spend on the things you really love, read on to find out some incredible money-saving tips.
Switch to the best deal
Most energy deals are agreed on something known as fixed price tariffs. This type of agreement ensures that you will stay on the same energy deal for a specific period, usually 18 or 24 months. This can be a great way to budget as you’ll know exactly how much to expect you’re going to pay every month.
Once this period comes to an end, most energy suppliers will switch your account to a standard tariff if you don’t take action. This is the perfect time to assess your situation and find out if you could be paying less with a different company, or on a different tariff. Use a price comparison website to find the best deals in your area.
Request a smart meter
If you live in a household with children, getting them interested in saving energy is no easy task. By bringing a handy bit of tech into the mix, you might find they are more receptive to your requests for them to turn off the TV when they have finished watching, or to turn off lights when they leave a room.The jury is still out on whether smart meters are really that effective at saving money. But if you simply need a visual cue in your home to remind everyone that electricity isn’t free, this could be just the thing you need!
Questions on lowering your household bills
Some ways that can help you reduce your household bills include: changing or lowering your mobile phone plan, switching energy suppliers for gas and electricity, consider cheaper childcare options, insource everything, reduce regular spending such as on clothing, and reducing grooming expenses.
If you desire to better manage your monthly expenses, you should start by setting a monthly budget. You should understand your monthly expenses and income, consolidate any debts you may have, and proceed with cutting down on unnecessary expenses. You should prioritise paying off your most expensive debt first, and create an emergency fund, if possible, so as to avoid the need to borrow money in urgent situations. Frequently reviewing your credit report can help you assess whether you are managing your finances correctly.
If you have difficulties budgeting your income, you should start by calculating approximately half of your after-tax income, which should cover groceries, household bills and expenses, transportation, your minimum loan payments, child care or other critical expenses, as well as insurance. By following the above method, you would be in the position to set money aside and live comfortably while covering your basic living expenses.
Check your appliances
Many of us aren’t even aware of how much energy our household appliances use. If you have a really old washing machine or tumble drier, this could be costing you a lot of money in wasted energy. A newer and more energy efficient appliance could be all you need to drive down your energy bills.
An unserviced boiler can be very inefficient, which can lead your energy bills to potentially skyrocket.
Your boiler is another device that should be checked at least once a year. An unserviced boiler can be very inefficient, which can lead your energy bills to potentially skyrocket. With a home central heating cover, you can get annual boiler services and if anything breakdown, you will get help with repairing it. This adds up to double savings as your energy costs will be lower and you’ll also benefit from lower repair costs.
Another great way to save money on home appliances is by repairing them yourself when they break. This can save you the expense of repair costs or even replacing the appliance. Click here for a comprehensive guide on DIY home appliance repairs.
Ditch the AC
In the UK, we are far less reliant on air conditioning than other parts of the world. That said, when the mercury starts creeping up, it’s not uncommon for stores to sell out of fans and other cooling devices. Rather than having a fan in every room working inefficiently to push hot air around, use natural ventilation to keep your home cool.
Start by stopping the source of heat. This usually means keeping blinds and curtains closed when the sunlight is directly on your windows. Second, create a breeze through your home by keeping windows and doors throughout your home open. Use door stops to prevent doors from slamming. You can read more about lowering your electricity bills in summer here.
Insulate your home
It might be the last thing you want to think about in the summer months, but now is the time to prepare your home for winter. Upgrading your loft insulation can help to make your home much warmer, which will allow you to keep your thermostat at a lower temperature. Other small steps you can take include blocking off draughts around doors and windows and putting rugs down over wooden floorboards.
Cancel unused subscriptions
Many households are ditching the big TV packages like Sky in favour of more modular subscriptions services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video thinking that they are saving money. In reality, you could end up paying exactly the same amount every month for a service you hardly use. If you find you aren’t watching as much TV – particularly in the summer months – make sure you cancel your subscriptions. It might not seem like huge savings, but a Netflix subscription costs a shocking £95.88 per year. If you have two or three of these services, you could be paying a lot of money for something you don’t use.
Cut down on food waste
Food waste isn’t only bad for your wallet, it’s also bad for the planet. You can cut down on food waste by planning your meals for the week instead of just heading to the supermarket and grabbing whatever you like. You can dedicate an afternoon at the weekend to cooking for the week ahead. This will not only help to stop you from reaching for a takeaway menu, but you’ll also save money by not wasting any food.