If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother. Every month our hard-earned (well, earned) cash gets sucked out of our bank accounts in the name of god knows how many companies and causes and there’s nothing we can do about it. Or is there? Obviously, we have essentials that come out of our accounts every month, which we can’t really change, but we can change the amount that comes out. A large portion of the British public is overpaying on the majority of their utilities purely because they aren’t aware they have the option to switch. It’s not only that, but we also pay for things that just simply aren’t necessary. Read through this guide and see if there are any changes that you can make to your household expenses.
Switch your energy tariff
In terms of money saving techniques, this is certainly up there with the best. Since 1990, people in Great Britain have been able to switch their energy provider freely, creating a competitive marketplace with huge price disparity. At any one time, the average uk household will generally save in the region of £350 per year if they have never switched before. Even if you have switched in the past, you should always keep an eye on what deals are out there. If you were on a fixed tariff and it has expired, you will have been automatically reverted onto your provider’s standard variable tariff, which will generally be there most expensive.
You should not need much more than your name, address and bank details to switch your tariff with most companies, but it can be useful to have a few other bits to hand, such as:
- Yearly usage estimate
- Current tariff information
- MPRN / MPAN number
This may sound complex, but if you have a previous bill or online login, you have all three. You can find your MPRN and MPAN on any bill, this relates to your unique supply number. It can be useful for suppliers to accurately identify your supply.
Media packages: Internet, TV, etc.
Just like your gas and electricity, there is a plethora of options for your mobile, internet and other contracts. Just by switching from one internet tariff to another, you could be saving tens of pounds per month for exactly the same product. If you are not using your internet for anything high-speed, either, you may want to consider downgrading from fibre optic to standard ADSL. To the average internet user, there is absolutely no difference in load times, you would only notice if you were gaming or downloading large amounts of data.
In reference to your television subscriptions, it may be time to assess if you really do watch everything you are paying for. Alternative streaming services such as Netflix can provide you with an, arguably, better selection of movies and series’ than standard television subscriptions such as Sky and Virgin Media now too.
Do you really need that second car?
Cars are perhaps the most expensive luxury item you could possibly have. They hemorrhage money on breakdowns, insurance, breakdown cover, petrol, MOTs and much much more. If you live in the middle of a city, there will surely be public transport options that could more than make up for you having a car, especially if this is a second or third motor. Trying to make it work with one car for your family could perhaps be a struggle at first with your family, but if you are looking to reduce your household expenditure, it may be a reality that you have to face.
Stop eating food wrong!
Batch cooking and buying fresh from markets, and even supermarkets, can be a great way to save on your expenditure. Eating healthily doesn’t have to be expensive, you just need to buy fresh and cook things yourself instead of relying on fast food and ready meals. It is estimated that eating fast food and processed supermarket meals can cost you up to 193% more than eating a fresh, home-cooked diet.
Not only is eating unhealthy bad for your wellbeing, but also bad for your bank balance. You may not think that ready meals from the supermarket are expensive, but in reality, there is a huge markup on them, even within the ‘deals’ they have on. You could save huge percentages of the price, with larger amounts of food if you were to cook it all yourself. You may not think that you’re the best cook but there are some great online resources such as BBC Good Food to give you plenty of ideas.