This is a guest blog on how to save money on household bills from Compare The Market.
Sometimes it can be difficult to avoid debt if your expenditures are greater than your income but making small changes to your lifestyle and shopping around for better deals can help you to save some money.
Compare The Market has provided PayPlan with some helpful tips to assist you in saving money on household bills.
One of the biggest household expenses can be energy bills, that’s those for gas and electricity. Peter Earl, Head of Energy at comparethemarket.com said:
“When it comes to saving money on your energy bills it pays to switch tariff or supplier regularly. Switching from a standard variable rate tariff to a one or two year fixed-term tariff can save the average household hundreds of pounds per year.
Comparing prices online is an effective way to bag a great value energy tariff. The good news is that cost savings don’t have to end even if you switch supplier annually.
With the mercury in the thermometer plummeting over winter, there are a host of steps households can take to keep their energy bills low. Using energy saving light bulbs, boiling just the amount of water you need in a kettle rather than a pan, and taking showers rather than baths are just three tips that can make a meaningful reduction to the cost of household energy bills.
If household bills and other life expenses do get on top of you, please seek professional help as soon as possible.”
Electricity bills and how to save
In 2018, the average electricity bill in the UK was £699 per annum, which is £58.25 per month. Cutting your electricity usage is a good starting point for saving money. Making a few small changes can help you save money on your electricity bill:
- As suggested by Peter Earl, switch to energy-saving LED lightbulbs; these use much less energy in comparison to halogen or fluorescent bulbs.
- Make sure to switch off appliances and electronics at the mains socket when they’re not being used, instead of leaving them on stand-by.
- Use a price comparison site like Compare the Market to help find the best electricity deal for your home and start the switching process.
- Get a smart meter from your energy provider. These are installed for free, and help you track your electricity usage and provide accurate meter readings directly to your supplier.
Gas bills and how to save
In 2018, the average gas bill in the UK was £676 a year, or £56.33 a month. Save money on your gas bill with these simple tips:
- Batch cook meals to eat throughout the week. This way you can save on gas by cooking several meals at once.
- Have your central heating on a timer and turn it down by a degree or two. You can have it on for morning and evening, without leaving it on all day to heat an empty home while you’re out.
- Put on extra layers and warmer clothes during the winter. Wearing more and warmer clothes means you don’t need to use the central heating all the time.
Water bills and how to save
Water bills in each area of the country are covered by a single supplier. You can find out who your local water supplier is here.
There are two different ways of paying for water. Standard tariff, where bills are a fixed amount, or water meter, where you pay for what you use. A water meter can help you to reduce the amount you use, especially if you make a few changes, thus saving you money.
Below are some simple tips to help you save:
- Limit showers to five minutes; you can invest in a waterproof shower timer to help you stick to this.
- When running the tap for hot water, fill pots, pans and the kettle with the cold water, instead of letting it run down the drain. You can always use this water later, for drinking, cooking and watering plants.
- Always remember to turn the tap off when brushing your teeth!
- Make sure to fill the washing machine, instead of putting on a load that is half full. This way you don’t waste water, and energy.
TV and Broadband and how to save
There are multiple ways to save on TV and broadband. Although some providers such as Sky and Virgin charge monthly fees, you can get a Freeview box, which have a wide selection of channels for free!
When it comes to broadband, a broadband-only contract is likely to be the cheapest option. Following the tips below can help you to get the best deal:
- Use a price comparison site to find the best broadband deal out there.
- Decide what type of broadband you really need. Ultra-fast or fibre-optic broadband will speed up your uploads and downloads but will be more expensive. Often the fastest broadband speed advertised isn’t an accurate representation of the true speed you will get.
- Remember to keep an eye out for discounts and offers that may come available.
TV licenses can also be an extra and unnecessary cost. You are legally required to have a TV license if you watch or record TV programmes on your TV or online or watch on demand. Without one, you can be fined up to £1,000.
However, if you need to save on the £154.20 a year that a TV license costs, there are many alternatives to help you save:
- Use a streaming service such as Netflix. These don’t require a TV license. At just £5.99 per month, a basic subscription works out at £71.88 per year – saving you £82.62 compared with a TV license.
- Watch documentaries, series and more on YouTube for free.
- Pay for the TV license by direct debit. This will allow you to spread the cost throughout the year to make it more manageable.
If you are struggling to budget and need help getting out of debt, call a PayPlan adviser today on 0800 316 1833 .