Guest post by Zoe Price
The cost of living in London is extortionate. What you pay for a two-bedroom flat in the city could easily buy you a big house in another part of the country. Regardless, you likely don’t want to move away from the area, either because your friends and family live there or you’re pursuing a career. So, you need to find alternative ways to reduce your living costs.
One of the best ways to do this is by cutting down on how much you pay for your household bills. Aside from mortgage or rent, these take the biggest chunk out of your monthly budget, meaning you’re having to scrape by whilst waiting around for your next paycheque. But it doesn’t have to be like this. In this article, we’re going to covering all the different tips and tricks that anybody can take advantage of to reduce their household bills. Read on to find out what they are and start saving your money for better things.
1. Quarterly Direct Debit
Instead of paying your household bills every month, it might be better to pay them every three months using a quarterly bill scheme. You should also do so using your debit card as opposed to cash or cheque. This little change saves you roughly £100 every year, so it’s well worth the effort of switching up your current arrangement with utility companies. However, do be mindful that a larger sum of money will be taken each time it comes to paying your bills.
2. Price Comparisons
It’s essential to compare energy prices for different utility companies. This ensures you’re not being lured into a false economy and paying extra for a provider who’s doing the same job as another, cheaper company. It’s not unusual to find that the most expensive utility companies aren’t necessarily the best, either. For this reason, you need to compare energy prices across the board and ensure you’re getting the optimal cost-effective deal. Usually, you can do so by using a price comparison website or quote-giving website. Make the very most of your money by being proactive and not just sticking with the easiest option.
3. Council Tax
There are hundreds of thousands of people in the United Kingdom who are paying for the wrong council tax bills. You must check that you’re paying for the right council tax band to make sure you’re not being overcharged each month. This will save you nothing short of a fortune. It’s also worth investigating whether or not you qualify for a council tax reduction. This is available if you’re unemployed or on low-income, plus if your children or other adults live with you. Just remember that different councils have different policies.
4. Electricity Wastage
You can easily waste electricity without even realising it. This means you could end up paying a massive energy bill at the end of each month, even if you haven’t technically used the electricity. Therefore, it’s important to educate yourself and each household member on some different ways to reduce your energy consumption. Some basic tips include; turning off the lights whenever you leave the room, switching everything off at the plug as opposed to simply using the power button, not leaving your devices on charge when their battery is full, and avoiding using energy-guzzling appliances. The biggest consumers of electricity include kettles and tumble dryers, so we use them sparingly when you can. It might also be worth installing a smart meter if you can afford one. These help to track how much power your household is using at any given time. Not only does this prompt you to switch off some appliances but also helps you to identify which appliances are using the most electricity and therefore might be due for a replacement.
5. Smart Heating
During winter, the temptation is often to leave the heating on full blast all the time. This is the number one way to send your energy bills through the roof. Instead, you should set a timer for your heating system, turning it on at certain points of the day when the sunlight can no longer provide warmth, such as the early morning and mid-evening. Don’t ever let yourself go cold for the sake of money, though. You can also reduce heating bills by investing in better insulation for your household if you can afford it. This includes double-glazed windows and roof insulation. They keep warmth inside which means you don’t have to have to keep turning on the heating. What’s great about these things is that they significantly increase the value of your property, too. Overall, insulation is a cost-effective investment.
Put these different tips and tricks to the test and watch your household bills significantly decrease. Anyone can afford to live in London if they’re smart, savvy and proactive.