How often do you get your monthly payslip only to see your salary go straight back out on household bills? Whether you’re living on your own or you have five kids, keeping your home warm, clothes clean and food properly cooked requires energy – and covering the cost of all this energy doesn’t come cheap.
Or does it? While we’ve seen household bills go up in the last year, it is possible to save money. Cutting costs can be done on several levels, from making some simple changes around the home to rethinking who you pay for your energy.
To help you review your bills and look at ways to reduce how much they come to each month, here are some ways you can start saving.
Before you begin assessing how much energy you use around the home, it’s worth taking some time to work out how much your bills currently come to. By working out what you’re currently spending, you can consider the best ways to save.
Have a read through your bank statements for the last 12 months and make a note of your spending on energy and water across the year. Work out what the average amount is that you’re paying and have this in mind as you start to consider how to reduce costs.
Do Some Research
While many of us still have one of the ‘big six’ as our energy supplier, it can be a simple switch to a different supplier that can make all the difference to our finances. As you start to research alternative suppliers, keep in mind the average amount you’re spending and have that figure clearly in your mind as you compare what the other energy providers offer.
This may take a bit of time to weigh up the pros and cons of alternatives, but the results are worth it. According to Ofgem, you could save up to £300 annually.
If you’ve already switch supplier, it’s worth making sure you’re on the cheapest tariff they offer. Also, check whether you’re being charged for paper bills and switch to online if so, and pay by direct debit to potentially make some further savings.
Keep Costs Low
There are lots of tweaks and changes you can make around the home in order to keep bills low. These range from making tiny tweaks to buying items to improve energy efficiency.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, by reducing your room temperature by just 1ºC, you can potentially reduce your heating bills by £75 a year. Similarly, if you can set up a programme for your thermostat that lets you only heat the rooms that are being used and alter the temperatures in different rooms around the house, you can make further savings.
Other updates include:
- Swapping your lightbulbs to LED ones as these cost less to run than traditional bulbs and remembering to turn lights off in rooms that aren’t being used.
- Turning off any electrical appliances with a standby light.
- Rethinking your washing. Make sure you’re washing full loads and avoid using a tumble dryer as much as possible.
Also, check your home for draughts and take steps to stop heat escaping. To do this, buy draught excluders for doors and window sills and invest in a thick rug to cover your floorboards if you don’t have a carpet.
As well as investing in a rug, buying some thick curtains is a sure-fire way to keep your home toasty. Choose ones like these from Direct Blinds and keep them closed when the sun goes down.
If you make some of these simple changes, you should start to see your bills come down. Spend some time assessing your current energy-using habits and take it from there.