There’s no doubt that running a home is expensive. From cleaning products to toiletries, groceries, and bills- it can leave you without much disposable income at the end of every month. However, there are ways that you can cut down costs. Read on for more information on cutting costs when it comes to the bills.
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Energy bills are expensive but of course impossible to live without. But there are ways you can cut down your gas and electricity bills at home. The first requires some upfront spending. Renovations such as new windows, cavity wall insulation and loft insulation will all help to trap warmth in your home meaning you’re not spending as much heating it. A solar energy solution such as roof solar panels can drastically reduce (or even completely eliminate) your electricity bills. Many homeowners across the globe are getting on board with this now, as not only is it good for your pocket but also the environment too. Other ways you can slash bills is by using energy saving bulbs, these LED bulbs use significantly less power and also last for up to twenty-five years (so they’re cheaper to power and you’re not constantly spending on bulbs too). You can set your heating to come on using a timer, or set it to a lower temperature is another thing to try. Instead of putting it on full blast every evening, buy some cozy pajamas and throws to relax on the sofa with. Then turn the heat down a notch. Every bit helps, and will contribute towards lower bills.
If you plan out your money each month (which you should definitely be doing!), you’ll notice that a huge chunk of it goes towards food. While we all have to eat and eating well should be a priority, there are lots you can do to slash costs. First, start meal planning. When you know exactly what you’re going to be eating you know exactly what you need to buy. There’s no grabbing things at random, food waste or being suckered into deals which seem like a great buy but aren’t really.
Secondly, having a pantry or store cupboard stocked with long life staples allows you to make tasty yet budget friendly meals. It means that once you run out of fresh ingredients, you’re not being tempted with unhealthy and expensive takeaways. Pasta, rice, couscous, jars of sauces, tins of vegetables and lots of herbs and spices are great additions. When you have a week that’s a little tighter with money, you can whip up tasty and healthy food using ingredients from the store cupboard and meat and vegetables from the freezer.
Finally, keep an eye on other spends when it comes to food and drink. A night on the town can cost a ridiculous amount, daily coffees from Starbucks all add up, and the odd takeaway can put a dent in your monthly budget when you add it all up. It’s not to say you should stop enjoying these things, but be wary and set a budget for them.
Cutting down your water usage will save you money on your bill, you don’t need to overhaul your lifestyle to do this but just use common sense. Make sure you have no leaks around the home which could be wasting water. Taking showers instead of baths can help to save water (providing your shower is less than ten minutes), so you could have showers during the week and treat yourself to a relaxing and pampering bath at the weekends.
Filling up your dishwasher and running it actually saves water compared with handwashing, so perfect for saving cash and keeping on top of your household chores with minimal hassle. Just make sure you’re not running it for a few items and that it’s being filled correctly every time.
Phone/ TV/ Internet Bill
Having a full tv, phone and internet package can set you back a significant amount each month. Take a look at your package and exactly what you’re paying and see where you can go from there. For example, you might be paying a fee for unlimited calls to certain numbers, but only ever use your mobile to call. You could be paying for channels you don’t use much, or paying for tv in other rooms in the house which is unnecessary. When everyone has smartphones and laptops these days, it’s just as easy to watch Netflix or use another streaming service to watch programs in the bedroom.
You might feel like you can completely get rid of your tv and phone service and stick with basic broadband. After all, you can do just about everything online these days. Instead of forking out for expensive contracts on brand new phones every couple of years, once your next contract is over consider putting in a pay and go sim and topping up a set amount each month. Modern smartphones last for a lot longer than two years so this one way you can save money. The only issue they tend to face is reduced battery life, but you could pay for a new one to be fitted in a phone repair shop. This will be significantly less than taking out a brand new phone each time one is released.
If you have any debt in the form of credit cards, loans, and store cards, these will be costing you a significant amount each month just on the interest. Paying off and closing as many accounts as possible is your best bet. If you’re not in a position to do that, you could consider taking out a consolidation loan. That way you pay off and close multiple accounts, and only have the one lot of interest to worry about. Be careful taking out further credit, consolidation needs to be done properly, or you can end up in more debt and cause yourself even more stress. Speak to a debt agency for advice if you’re unsure. There are also helplines and charities who can give you impartial advice on what to do regarding your debts.