Want to reduce your household costs? Then follow our seven easy tips to help save money.
- Understand your bills
First and foremost, when looking to decrease your household bills, make sure you understand whats you’re currently paying for. Make a list of everything you’re spending money on, decide whether you need it at all and if you do, whether there are any cheaper options for either payment or supplier. Sometimes, simply changing the way you pay for a service can make a difference. Ensure you go through every one of your direct debits too, and check you know what they pertain to and whether they’re for a service you’re still using, as it’s so easy to let a small amount go unnoticed month after month. Aside from your household bills, consider if there are any other costs such as memberships or subscriptions you’re not getting the full benefit from, like a gym membership you’re not using for instance.
- Draft-proof your house
Draft proofing your house will help cut down on your energy bills and make your home cosier too. Consider installing double or triple glazing if you don’t have it already, as not only will this help make your home warmer and cut down on your energy bills; it will also make your home quieter too. So if you live in a busy urban area, on a main road or under a flight path, you’ll reap the benefits. In addition to your windows, check the rest of your house for gaps and cracks. There are lots of DIY solutions available, and you’ll be able to tackle many of these jobs yourself, from installing draft excluders on your letter box to making chic draft excluders for the bottom of your doors. If you have an open but unused chimney, don’t forget the draft this permits and fill it with a chimney draft excluder.
- Insulate your home
As part of your draft proofing, ensure you insulate your home. If you don’t have loft insulation, the Energy Saving Trust calculates that you lose 25% of your heat through the roof of your house. Installing loft insulation is perhaps the biggest difference you can make to your energy bills, lasting on average 40 years, loft insulation is well worth the investment. If you want to find out more, consumer champions Which? has published a handy guide to the different types of loft insulation available. If you live in a flat and don’t have access to a loft, consider if it’s possible to install fibre insulation under the floorboards of the flat above you – your overhead neighbours may be amenable to this as it will make their flat warmer too. In addition, there are some other types of insulation you could install in your home, from cavity wall insulation to insulating wallpaper – all of which will make your home more energy efficient and help cut down on your household bills.
- Be appliance smart
A fourth tip for saving on your household costs is to be smart about how you use your household appliances, be sure to switch them off, rather than leave them on standby. In the kitchen be especially careful, only fill your kettle with the water you need, don’t keep opening your oven to check on your latest batch of baking and cut down on the number of times you use your washing machine if possible. Check to see if your washing machine or dishwasher have an economy or ecological programme. When it comes to replacing your household appliances, look out for the most energy efficient models and for those that are well built, that are likely to last and come with a guarantee.
Be insurance smart, shop around for your insurance policies and don’t just automatically renew them out of ease or a misguided sense of loyalty. Remember that not all price comparison websites show all suppliers, so consider talking to an experienced insurance advisor about the options available to you. In addition to those relating to your home, don’t forget your cars, consider if there is a better deal out there for you. A multi-car insurance might be ideal for your family if you have 2 or more cars associated with your household.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
Sign up to the principles of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’; and you’ll be helping the environment, as well as helping to reduce your household costs. Steer clear of disposable goods and change to reusable ones instead – like cloth napkins instead of paper ones. Make your household paperless as much as is possible, cutting down on printing and copying; while also reducing the amount of paper that comes into your house, from bills you could receive electronically (for which there is often a slight reduction in price) to unsubscribing from junk mail. Where you can, reuse products such as plastic bags and boxes. Repair items that are broken rather than automatically replacing them. Declutter and follow the Marie Kondo principle of keeping only those things that give you joy, donate the rest to charity or sell them on eBay for a little extra cash. If you have clothes which are too warn to sell as individual items on eBay, consider selling them by weight for cash. When you have things you really can’t repair, reuse or let someone else reuse, then recycle them wherever possible.
- Keep on top of your maintenance
Keep on top of your household maintenance and don’t let small repairs go unattended or get out of hand. A small repair that has gone unattended, like a dripping tap, could eventually lead to a more expensive household bill and perhaps one that includes a premium call out fee at an unsociable time too. Keeping on top of seasonal maintenance like refreshing your window woodwork, will help these expensive to replace elements of your home to last as long as possible, give a better first impression of your home and help cut down on your household costs.
There you have it, our seven tips for reducing your household bills; we hope you’ve found them useful.