Reducing your household bills is an efficient way of boosting your disposable income and increasing the amount you’re able to save every month. Whether you’d like a few more luxuries in your life, or you’re putting money away for a rainy day, slashing your household budget gives you the flexibility to achieve your financial goals. To get started, take a look at these five household costs you can cut right now:
1. Utility Bills
You need energy to power your home, but are you paying too much to your gas or electric provider? New customers often get great deals but it’s not unusual for bills to creep up over time. If you’ve been with the same utility company for some time, it’s likely you’re being charged more than you once were.
Talking to your existing utility provider and asking for a better rate can be the easiest way to reduce your bills, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with them. Alternatively, you can compare utility providers in your area to find a better price. It takes minutes to do and the savings can be significant, so it’s well worth checking to see what’s available.
2. Car Insurance
If you own a vehicle, you’ll need to keep it insured while it’s on the road. For many families, car insurance can amount to hundreds of pounds a year, but you might be being overcharged. If you’re looking for car insurance NI, why not find out how much you could reduce your insurance by right now? With CompareNI.com, you can search for the best price from over 80 car insurance companies and get the lowest quote. As a completely independent comparison site, you can be confident that every quote you receive is totally impartial and objective.
3. At-Home Entertainment
With much of the country in lockdown throughout 2020, we’ve relied on home entertainment more than ever. While there are some great deals out there, it’s easy for your at-home entertainment costs to add up, particularly if you have multiple subscriptions or memberships.
Begin by finding out exactly how many subscriptions you have and cancel the ones you no longer want or need. For those you do want to keep, contact the company to find out if they can offer you a better deal. Often, a quick phone call can secure you a much better price. In some cases, you even grab a bargain by cancelling your membership and signing up again to take advantage of the latest offers.
Don’t forget – many companies offer reduced prices for family or household subscriptions. If more than one member of your household uses the same streaming service, for example, a joint subscription could work out cheaper.
Whether you do your food shopping online or in store, chances are you regularly spend more than you intend to. Fortunately, there are simple ways to cut you weekly spend. Meal prepping can be a great way to reduce waste, for example, and it means you won’t spend as long in the kitchen every evening either.
Alternatively, there are plenty of apps which enable you to compare prices from major supermarkets, so it’s worth checking to see if your weekly shop is available cheaper elsewhere. If you find that you’re regularly topping up your weekly shop with trips to a convenience store, try to create a more comprehensive list so that you can buy items in bulk instead.
Most supermarkets issue loyalty cards and these can be an effective way to claw back some money in the long run. However, don’t be tempted to spend more than you need to simply to get more points. By using the card to collect points on your standard shop, you can access money off vouchers in the future without spending anything extra at all.
5. Existing Debts
On average, every adult in the UK has approximately £3,901 in unsecured debt, while the average total debt per household is £60,449. Although it’s not unusual to owe money to creditors, debt can quickly escalate if it becomes unmanageable. Even if you’re meeting your monthly repayments, only paying the minimum could mean that the total amount you owe actually increases over time.
With a realistic financial plan, you can enjoy a debt-free lifestyle sooner than you think. By negotiating lower interest rates or consolidating your debts, for example, you can pay your creditors off more quickly and free up some of your income.
Creating a Household Budget
A household budget is the most effective way to manage your finances, particularly if you want to stay on top of your expenditure. Download a free app, open a spreadsheet or grab some paper and a pen to create your own custom household budget. By doing so, you can monitor exactly where your money’s going, cut unnecessary costs and take control of your finances.