Saving money in the home is easier than you think
Published Tue, Apr 10, 2012 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021
Saving money is an important subject for many of us, but rest assured it is easier than it sounds. The home is one of the first places to start on a money saving quest.
Bills generated from running the home are inevitable; electricity, gas, water, broadband, television – the costs involved make up a significant percentage of most outgoings. So it makes a lot of sense to pay attention here first and, if the numbers add up, switch your provider.
Check you only have the channels you really want in order to take advantage of in your bill. Most suppliers allow customisation of packages and few pounds a month soon adds up. If you have, say, a Sky TV package – do you really use it? Remember Freeview is the cheapest form of television – and all TVs come already equipped with it. If you’re not into the regular TV channels then all you really need to do is sign up to Netflix for a small fee a month and buy a one-off HDMI cable so you can watch your favourite TV shows and movies on the big screen.
A lot of people have BT Broadband because they think it will be too much hassle to change providers. For some this may indeed be the cheapest suitable option – but don’t be afraid to shop around, especially if you do have a television package as well. Broadband, phone and TV deals are offered by most of the major suppliers so have a good read of what is offered. You can end up saving a good chunk of money each month.
Compare energy prices
This is perhaps the largest tool in the money saving armoury. There are several ways to do this, the easiest being a comparison site. When you log in to compare energy prices you will need to have a recent bill to hand. Before you switch there are a few things to be aware of.
It is standard practice to get better prices if you have both gas and electricity with the same company and to be honest easier for you too. Don’t be put off if you only have electricity, there are still savings to be had. Comparison sites have tried to make comparing energy prices as easy as possible, and offer a very simple form filling exercise to establish who can supply your energy at the cheapest rate. You can go direct to each company but need to be much more aware of how bills are created and prices worked out.
When you switch energy suppliers you will find the best prices come with online tariffs. This means you will no longer receive paper bills and must pay by direct debit. You will be expected to log in and update your meter readings periodically. These are still double checked by the door to door meter readers so keep it accurate. Readings are used to keep your predicted energy use as close to your actual use as possible. Forgetting to update your readings can lead to a hike in your direct debit amount as companies will err on the side of caution and assume you are a heavy user.