The Ultimate Guide To Saving Money In Your Home
In this day and age, it can often be difficult to make ends meet. Prices are rising yet few of us have an income that is rising as quickly. Being frugal when it comes to arranging services and managing your home is crucial for many people when it comes to balancing the budget. This guide is designed to help you manage your money and save money in your home. It will cover how to get the best deals on all your utilities and household services, as well as home insurance, before going on to help you reduce your bills through a range of simple measures that will help you to reduce your energy use and lower your other bills.
If you are ever strapped for cash, then this is the guide for you. While much of the information included below is common sense, sometimes it can help to think through all the problems in a logical and common sense way in order to find all the solutions, large and small, that are right for you. While some of the measures described below may not apply to you, you are sure to find plenty of information that will be of use when you set out to save money in your home.
Getting the Right Deals On Your Mortgage
- If you own your own home then of course your mortgage is likely to be one of your major monthly expenses. While most people do not think about reviewing their mortgages, doing so regularly is a very good idea. You should really review your mortgage situation at least once a year to see whether you can or should switch to get a better deal. Switching mortgage provider could be a sound financial decision and could save you a lot on money each month, and potentially also longer term.
- Whether you can switch mortgage will usually depend on whether you are locked into a fixed rate or discount rate deal with an early repayment charge. If you are not tied to any such deal, you should check around for other deals on the market to see if you can get a better deal when buying your home.
- If you are on a fixed rate deal, it is important to make sure you are aware of exactly when that fixed rate deal will come to an end. When it does, be sure to compare prices from other mortgage providers to see whether you can save. Start shopping around a few months before your contract comes to an end, so you are ready before your deal reverts to the lender’s standard variable rate.
Getting the Right Deals On Household Energy
Energy is often one of the major expenses we have in our homes. We use energy to heat and light our homes, as well as to run our appliances and keep everything plugged in. Almost every home in the UK will have a mains electricity supply, and many will also have mains gas to the property.
Consider Switching and Compare Deals Regularly
Whether you have electricity and gas or just electricity, the number one way to save money on your household energy is to consider switching supplier. To many of us stick with the same supplier and forget that we could get a much better deal elsewhere. It almost always pays to shop around to find the very best deal for you. Remember, deals do not stick around forever and prices from different suppliers can change, so it is a good idea to compare electricity and gas deals every now and then to see if anything has changed, as you might be able to get a better deal than when you last checked.
Consider Duel Fuel Deals
If you do have gas as well as electricity, you can often save money by getting both electricity and gas on the same contract from the same supplier. Often, you will find that getting both utilities from the same place can save you money on your monthly bills. It can also save you time and cut down on the paperwork too, so could be easier all round. That said, be sure to compare separate suppliers too – it could be the best option for you so it pays to do your homework and shop around to find the very best deal.
Consider a Fixed Rate Tariff
If you are on a standard (variable) tariff from your current supplier, you might like to consider switching to a fixed rate tariff in order to save money on your household energy. Prices for fixed rate tariffs are usually cheaper than on a standard tariff. Under this sort of tariff, however, it is important to remember that you will be locked into a 12 or 18 month contract and will pay a fixed rate for your energy for a set period of time. You will usually have to pay a cancellation fee (usually around £30, if you want to switch before the end of the term of the contract, but this can sometimes be worthwhile paying in order to get a better deal should prices drop during your contract. In spite of being locked in and having to pay a cancellation fee should you wish to switch, however, fixed rate tariffs can still be the most economical option and can help to keep your monthly bills down.
Consider an Online (Paper-free) Option
Sometimes you could also save money on your utility bills by opting for an online tariff. Due to lower admin costs, these tariffs can also often offer better value for money, with lower monthly bills. Online tariffs are often the cheapest option, though without customer call centres or paper bills, you should bear in mind that it could be more difficult to deal with the company if you have an issue.
Consider Economy 7, Economy 10 or Time-Of-Use Tariffs
These tariffs are a good idea if you feel you can be disciplined enough to use energy at certain off-peak times, when the energy you use will be cheaper. Check into the details of each deal to see when the off-peak times will be and whether those times will work for you. If they will do, then these tariffs could save you money on your gas or electricity bills.
Getting the Right Deals On Broadband, TV & Phone
Other expenses in your home might include deals for broadband, phone and TV. Many of us now consider each of the above to be a necessity. But while we may need to pay for these services, it is important to make sure that we are not paying over the odds.
Consider Switching Broadband, TV & Phone Suppliers
Again, it is important to shop around to make sure that we are getting the very best deals for our Internet and Phone connections and for our entertainment in our homes. It is important to check your deals regularly and to compare the deals available on the market to see whether you can save by switching.
Consider Getting Broadband, Phone & TV Deals From the Same Supplier
Often, the best deals combine two or more of the above services. You can often save money by getting broadband and your landline from the same provider, and sometimes, you can combine all three services for excellent savings. No matter exactly what you are looking for, it often pays to consider combined deals and to shop around for the very best offers and prices.
Don’t Pay for Added Extras That You Don’t Use
Many broadband, phone and TV providers will offer extras that will cost you more each month. These can include international calls, or specific TV channels, for example. When looking at ways to save money on your household bills, it is important to look carefully at what exactly you are paying for and whether or not you really want or need those extras at all. Make sure that you are not paying more each month for added extras that you do not really use.
Getting the Right Deals On Home Insurance
Another expense in your home is home insurance. You may well have both buildings insurance and contents insurance – or a home insurance policy that combines the two. It is important to make sure that you are adequately covered, since it would be counter-productive to have a policy that does not cover you should the worst happen. While home insurance does come at a cost, if something goes wrong and you are not properly insured, you will end up shelling out a lot more. So it makes sound financial sense to have good home insurance in place. That said, it is important to make sure that you are not paying over the odds for your home insurance policy or policies.
Consider Switching Home Insurance
As with the other services and financial product mentioned above, it is important to check the market on a regular basis and compare deals to make sure that you are not paying more than you need to for the level of cover that you need. Often, switching home insurance could save you money on your monthly bills.
Make a Claim Only When Absolutely Necessary
Making claims can raise your monthly premiums, so it is important only to make a claim when you absolutely have to in order to make sure you are not paying more than you need to on your home insurance.
Add Extra Security Measures
You can often reduce home insurance costs by adding certain security measures such as better quality locks on your doors and windows, or installing burglar alarms on your home. A small investment now could save you money over the coming months and years.
Fit and Regularly Test A Smoke Alarm
A good fire safety system can also help to keep your home insurance costs down. Make sure that you have smoke alarms fitted and that these are properly tested and maintained over time.
Increase your Excess
It is a trade off, but sometimes it can make financial sense to voluntarily increase the amount of excess that you will have to pay if and when you make a claim. Doing so can reduce the amount you have to pay on your monthly home insurance bills.
Limit Holiday Time & Don’t Go Away For More Than 28 Days
You can usually get better deals and cheaper home insurance if your home is considered occupied. Make sure that your home is in this category to make sure that you can take advantage of the best deals.
Buy Buildings and Contents Insurance from the Same Supplier
Getting both buildings and contents insurance from the same supplier, rather than from two separate companies will not only make things simpler, it can also often save you money on your monthly bills.
Consider Paying Upfront Rather Than Monthly
Another way to save money on your home insurance is to consider paying in one lump sum up front at the start of a year rather than paying each month. Paying in this way will often reduce the overall amount that you have to pay.
Reducing Energy Use Around Your Home
In addition to thinking about how you might be able to save on all your monthly outgoings for your home, another way to save money is to actually reduce the amount of energy that you use. Reducing your energy use will not only save you money – it is a good thing for our planet too! Great news all around. So to help you go greener and save cash, here are a range of different things that you can do to save energy around your home:
If you have an initial amount of money to invest in your home, you could save money on your ongoing monthly bills by:
- Installing Solar Panels or a Wind Turbine & Generating Your Own Renewable Power
- Investing in Insulation
- Improving Your Glazing (To reduce heat loss and improve passive solar gain.)
- Replacing Older Appliances With More Energy Efficient Ones
- Replacing Lighting With Energy Efficient LED Bulbs
- Switching Out Your Shower Head For an Eco One
- Switching to a More Energy Efficient Boiler
- Installing an eco-friendly stove to heat your home naturally.
Even if you do not currently have the cash to make improvements of this sort to your home to save money on your household bills, there are still plenty of other low-cost or cost-free things that you can do right now to reduce the amount of energy that you use in your home, including:
- Using draft excluders and good curtains or thermal blinds to old windows. (You can even make your own to keep costs down.)
- Remembering to switch off lights etc. when you are not in a room.
- Heating rooms only when they are in use and switching off radiators elsewhere in your home.
- Bleeding radiators and making sure your central heating system is in good working order.
- Turning down your thermostat and putting on a jumper instead.
- Cleaning behind your fridge. (Dusty coils will make it work less efficiently.)
- Positioning your fridge sensibly. (A fridge will have to work harder if placed to close to hear sources like radiators or ovens, or in the sunlight from a south facing window.)
- When using a kettle or pan, fill it with only the amount of water you actually need.
- Use an efficient electric kettle to boil water rather than bringing water to the boil on your hob.
- Use lids on pots and pans when cooking on your hob to reduce the energy needed to bring food to temperature and cook it.
- Washing clothes only when it is really necessary.
- Washing clothes at 30 degrees.
- Drying clothes on a line or rack rather than using a tumble drier.
- Taking fewer, shorter showers rather than deep baths.
These are just some of the simple measures that you can take right now to go greener and save money on your household energy bills.
Other Ways To Save Money At Home
In addition to being a savvy shopper when it comes to your mortgage, utilities, broadband, phone and TV services and home insurance, and taking measures to reduce your energy use, there are also some other ways to save money in your home. Some things you might like to consider include:
- Growing at least some of your own food from seed to save money on food bills in your home.
- Buying second hand items instead of new and upcycling or recycling/reusing where possible.
- Reducing your consumption and only buying items such as clothing, furniture, appliances or devices that your really need.
- Let Money Pug help you take the first steps on your journey to lower household bills. Compare with us today and you could quickly see the savings begin to mount up.
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