Are you looking for ways to save on household expenses? With risings costs on everything from energy to foods, household budgets are being squeezed more than ever, which is why it’s important that you’re able to minimise your expenditure and maximise the return that you get from your hard-earned money. Whilst having a financial sort out is always a good thing, we get that more often that not, life takes over. Here we share a few simple tips that should help you make savings on your home expenses, whether that’s on the food bill or on car insurance, with minimal effort required.
Do A Bank Statement Audit
It sounds simple, we all know everything that goes out of our bank accounts each month, right? On the whole I’m sure it’s a yes, but if you were to take a real look at things, the chances are you’d find subscriptions that you’ve forgotten or small charges that slip by without you noticing. In the days of digital statements, many people don’t even check their monthly statements, just relying on themselves to notice it on their online banking as the payment goes out. So, print it out, grab some pens and work through it line by line for each bank account you have. By giving yourself visibility of your expenditure over the month, you’ll have more awareness of where the small costs are adding up and where you can make savings. You may even find subscriptions or standing charges that you’d forgotten about!
Always Look For A Voucher Code
When it comes to online shopping, you shouldn’t buy anything without first doing a check for a promotional or discount code. But did you know that that can also be the case for things like car insurance as well? That’s right, when it’s time for renewing your insurances, it’s worth checking out voucher sites to see if you can find an extra saving along the way, for example, did you know there’s an ala promo code that can save you money on your car or bike insurance? With a couple of extra clicks each time you’re looking to buy anything online, from clothes to insurances, you can quickly save substantial amounts of money, just like that! Which leads me nicely onto…
Don’t Auto Renew
We’ve all fallen into the trap, a renewal reminder comes through and we either forget to do anything with it or just accept that it’s not worth the hassle of looking around. However, failing to set aside ten minutes to go through other possible providers can have big monetary consequences. Often companies will reserve their best rates for new customers in order to entice them to them, and by switching between providers you can access those deals with minimal fuss, especially if you use a comparison site to do the hard work for you. We’re talking insurances, phone and internet providers, even energy companies. Many providers will also help handle the switching contracts as well, making the whole process far quicker and simpler.
Always Take Meter Readings
If you’re on a metered supply for any utilities, always ensure that you take regular meter readings. This applies even to those on smart meters, as errors do happen and calculations are based off of your usage in the past period. By submitting regular meter readings you’ll be able to ensure that your bills are as accurate as possible, which is particularly important if you’ve made a change in usage recently. If you’re not on a metered supply, it’s always worth looking at getting one put in. Unmetered supplies for utilities such as water work out well for some households but not for others, and it can mean you’re paying more than you should for your household usage.
Check Your Council Tax
Did you know that under certain circumstances you can get your council tax banding reviewed? With council tax predicted to rise again this year, it’s worth checking your banding and that of your neighbours. You can review your council tax if you hit certain criteria, for example if you’ve had substantial building work done, if your areas has changed significantly or if part of the building is now used for business. You can also ask for it to be reviewed if you’ve just moved in (within the last six months) or if you feel there’s sufficient reason that it should be adjusted. Using the government website you’ll be able to see the various bands for other houses around you, allowing you to compare and see if you feel that yours has been ranked too highly. Council tax bands are based off of valuations from over 30 years ago so it’s always worth having a look and seeing if you can get yours brought down.
Save On Water
If you’re on a mains water supply and mains sewerage then your water bill will have two components directly linked. The first is your water supply, which is based on the meter readings you submit. The second is your sewerage charge which is usually calculated as a percentage of the water supply rate. This is because it’s assumed that what comes into the household, must go out! By reducing the amount of water you’re using, you can therefore affect both elements of the bill (you’re paying for both less in and less out!), but how can you do this without having a huge impact on your lives? This is where it’s worth looking at your water providers website as many will offer free or heavily discounted products to help you save water. This could be anything from inflatable ‘hippo’ bags that go into your toilet cistern, thus reducing the amount of water needed to fill it for each flush, through to water butts for the garden to collect rainwater from your gutters for use in the garden or for things like cleaning your car or bike. There are even valves you can get to put into your shower or sink tap to reduce the flow slightly so that you’re using a little less every time. Whilst it might not feel like much, those small changes can lead to a big saving over time!