Top tips to reduce your household bills
Managing payments across your utilities, services, and subscriptions can be a tricky business, especially if they don’t all align. Fortunately, we’ve outlined a plan of action to help you save money on household expenses. Reading on, discover both how to reduce your bills and ensure you never overpay.
Household bills you could be saving on
A lot of us spend more on routine payments than we’d care to think about. However, by taking a little action and initiative, there’s often ways to save money on household bills.
If you’re wondering how to save money on bills, your utilities might be the best place to start. Your monthly payments for electric and gas could easily be trimmed, by taking the following actions into account:
- Switch off appliances at the plug. If you often find yourself forgetting, consider installing smart plugs that can be controlled from your mobile.
- Install a smart thermostat. This allows you to take control over the way your house is heated, including choosing specific rooms rather than your whole home.
- Invest in energy efficient appliances. You might be put off by a potentially steeper cost initially, but the savings to household bills in the long run will be well worth it.
- Wash your clothes at a lower setting. By reducing the temperature of your cycle, you can reduce your energy consumption and, in turn, save money on bills.
Broadband and Wi-Fi is something many of us simply can’t live without, so you should be looking to save money on bills where possible. When speaking to your provider, consider whether you really need the deluxe package that they’re trying to sell you.
Realistically, if you’re living alone or with a partner, you may not need the fastest or most dynamic broadband speed; these packages are usually most beneficial for families and large households
Secondly, it’s important to haggle with your supplier; if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Stand firm and try to negotiate a price reduction or an improved service, or see if they’ll throw in a TV package if you commit to a certain period of time.
Council tax is one of the trickier household bills to reduce, because it is determined by where you live. However, there are certain criteria in which it may be possible to reduce monthly bills:
- You’re on low income. Similarly, you may be eligible if you receive Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, Pension Credit, or Income Support payments.
- You, or a member of your household is a student.
- You’re the only adult within your household. This entitles you to a 25% council tax discount.
- You, or another member of your household, suffer with a physical or mental disability.
Water is something that most of us, largely, take for granted. But did you know there are several simple steps for reducing monthly bills? Before going into details, though, you should establish how it is you pay for your water; you will either pay a standard monthly or quarterly tariff, or you will pay via a meter reading.
If you feel like you’re getting great value for your fixed tariff, feel free to stick with this method. However, if you want to save money on bills, consider switching to a water meter, and track your usage. Simple ways of cutting down on water consumption include:
- Only using the washing machine when it’s fully loaded.
- Using the dishwasher, rather than washing up at the sink – but only when full!
- Using a washing up bowl if you don’t have a dishwasher.
- Spending less time in the shower.
- Turning off the taps when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Try to limit how often you flush your toilet – try not to use the toilet as a bin for tissues and wipes.
Food and drink
Food and drink can account for between 25-42% of your weekly household bills, which, especially if you’re in the upper band, is a huge chunk of your earnings. However, because we’re dealing with such a large figure, there’s plenty of scope to save money on bills.
Instead of visiting the supermarket day-by-day, plan out your meals for the week ahead and do one big shop to cover everything. Spread basic ingredients over numerous meals, ensuring nothing goes to waste. Similarly, preparing portions in bulk allows you to freeze several servings for other days.
How to save money on bills
Sometimes, you might feel like you have so many household bills, it can be difficult to keep track of payments. To combat this, we’ve outlined our two top tips for cutting household expenses that come about through late payments.
Save money on household expenses by comparing suppliers
A tried and tested method of reducing household bills is comparing your current supplier with similar options on the market. Unfortunately, a lot of companies can be sneaky and introduce additional costs or price hikes without you realising, because they’re banking on your loyalty.
To get the best deal, head to a price comparison website. These are specifically designed to help you save money on household expenses. Whether it’s cutting the cost of your gas and electric, broadband and TV, or car insurance, the chances are that there’s an opportunity to start cutting household expenses by considering an alternative supplier.
Similarly, if you do find an equivalent product on a price comparison website, don’t hesitate to call your current provider to request a price match. They’ll likely have a series of discounts and incentives at the ready, so try not to back down until you’ve got the very best price!
Make sure to pay your household bills on time
If you’ve hunted high and low for the best possible deals for each of your household bills, you don’t want to be undone by a late payment fee. This is especially important if you’re paying your monthly bills by credit card, as late payments could impact your credit score and managing debt can be stressful. Fortunately, though, there are a few simple ways to keep your monthly payments on track:
- Establish a direct debit plan with your provider. This ensures that your monthly bills are all locked in. Make sure to check your bank statement regularly, though, in case you’re paying household bills you thought you’d cancelled.
- If you like to pay for your monthly bills manually, make sure you set up reminders ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss a date.
- Line your monthly bills up with your payday. Coinciding your outgoings with the day you get paid allows you to enjoy the rest of the month without worrying about any nasty surprises. This is particularly helpful if you have a savings goal, as you know that any leftover money is ‘disposable’.
There are so many ways to save money on bills, so hopefully you’re able to begin cutting household expenses. For even more household advice, enjoy exploring the latest on our blog.