This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo with tips for saving money on your monthly bills.
We’re all looking to spend less, whether on our car insurance, the mortgage, or the food shop. Our utility bills are one of the best areas to try and save some money. If you can lower the cost of these bills, you can get better service without spending more, and save a lot of money which you can then spend on other things. Here are some top tips to lower your monthly outgoings on the bills.
Tips For Saving Money On Monthly Bills
Change broadband providers. Many of signed up for our broadband provider thanks to a good offer for new customers. After a while, those savings, deals, or incentives run out, but we don’t bother to change providers because we think it will be a hassle. This could mean that you’re paying out more than you need to. Change the provider to get a new deal, a cheaper rate, or get access to more new customer incentives. Check prices with companies like Rise Broadband to save more.
Shop around. Whether you need someone to supply your water, or you’re looking for contents insurance, take some time to shop around for different prices. Get quotes from a range of places to find the best. Price comparison websites can be an easy way to do this, but remember that not all providers will be on these sites. Sometimes, you can save even more money by checking directly with the suppliers. Start with the price comparison sites and note the best prices. Check these against the price for those not listed, and choose the best deal for you.
Call your supplier. Sometimes, your supplier has more power than you might think to offer you a deal. If you think your electricity, car insurance, or anything else is too expensive and you’re thinking about changing supplier, call them and tell them. They want to keep your business, so they might be willing and able to offer a better price or some other incentive to encourage you to stay with them instead of changing to someone else.
Match your phone package to what you actually need. A lot of us are lured in by mobile phone packages that sound like a great deal, but they often have a lot more in them than you actually need. This means you’re paying for something that you don’t actually use. Instead, think about what you use the phone for the most, and look for a cheaper package that has more of that, and less of what you don’t use. If you mostly send messages on WhatsApp, and almost never send texts, pay for a package with more data, not for one with loads of texts that you’ll never use up. Paying for a package with more data included, even if it is more expensive, is still cheaper than paying the overcharged fees if you go over your limits.
Switch to showers instead of baths. A bath uses up a lot more water than a shower does, so taking showers instead can save you a lot on your water bill. Try to keep your showers short to save even more water. This is kinder both on your wallet and on the environment, as you will reduce water wastage too. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a more efficient showerhead fitted too to save even more water.
Turn your thermostat down. You don’t have to freeze just to save some money, don’t worry. In fact, by turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree, you can save money on your heating bill. You won’t notice the difference, and the house will still be warm, but you’re be using less power. Like saving water, this is both cheaper and more environmentally friendly. If you are cold in the house, encourage the family to put on another jumper or wrap up in a blanket before automatically going to turn the heating up. If people are turning up the heating and complaining about being cold, make sure it’s not just because they’re sitting in the house in a t-shirt with bare feet!
Always pay your bills on time. Many companies charge extra fees if you miss a payment deadline, so you’ll end up having to pay more to catch up. Always pay on time to avoid these charges. If you’re bad at remembering when bills are due, arrange to have as many bills as you can paid automatically by direct debit. This way, the bills are paid without you having to remember it, and you don’t get charged a late fee. If you can’t pay by direct debit, mark the due date of important bills on your calendar and get in the habit of checking every day. With a reminder, you can pay on time, every time.
If you owe money, talk to your supplier. If you have fallen behind with bills, or know that a bill is due but you can’t pay it, don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore the problem. If you’re honest and contact your supplier as soon as you know there’s a problem, they may be more able to help you than you’d think. For example, if you know your phone bill is due next week but the payment will bounce because you had to pay out for an emergency repair on the car, then call your phone company and explain. They can change the payment date. If you owe money, call and arrange a payment plan. Your supplier wants you to pay them, so it’s in their best interest to work with you to make that happen, rather than hound you for a payment that you can’t make.
Opt for paperless billing. Some companies charge more to send out a paper bill. Sending paper bills costs them money, so many pass that cost onto you. Switch to paperless billing and get your bills on a customer hub or in your emails instead. This way, you can dodge that extra charge, and are using less paper. It’s a win-win.
Send regular meter readings. Many water and electric bills are based on estimates, which can end up costing you more if you’re making a lot of effort to cut back on what you use, and are using less than the average family. To avoid being charged for water or electric that you aren’t actually using, get in the habit of taking a regular meter reading and sending it to your supplier. This means that your bills will always be accurate, and you only pay for what you actually use. Get a smart meter that will do this automatically for you.
Heat only the parts of your home that need it. Don’t waste money by pumping into heat into empty rooms. If you have spare bedrooms, and nobody staying, or a dining room, you never use, turn off the heating in those rooms. Only turn the heating on in the rooms you spend time in, so you aren’t wasting money.
Buy an electric heater. If you work from home and are the only one home all day, then it can be cheaper to buy a portable electric heater and use that to heat your office during the day instead of turning the heating on for the house. You can turn the heating back on in the evening when the family are home and you’re using more of the house. If you live alone, then using a heater like this in the room you’re in can be much cheaper too.
Replace your lightbulbs. Energy-saving lightbulbs use a lot less power to run, so can save you a fortune on your electricity bills. These lightbulbs also last longer, so you won’t need to spend money on buying bulbs as often.
Block up draughts. If cold air is getting into your house, then hot air is escaping too. This can cost you more, as you’ll need to turn up the heating more to combat the draught. Block any draughts. Repair any gaps around doors and windows, lay draught excluders along the bottom of the doors, and fit draught-proofing strips around windows. If you don’t use your fireplace, get a special inflatable pillow to block the chimney to stop the wind whistling down it and making the house cold. You can fit foam strips around the attic door too to keep warm air in and not rising and escaping.
Buy energy-efficient appliances. If you’re buying a new appliance, like a fridge or a washing machine, always check the energy rating. Some appliances need less power than others, so it’s worth checking. More energy-efficient options are cheaper to run and are kinder to the planet.
With a few easy changes to your suppliers, habits, and home, you can save a lot of money on your bills. If you can manage to spend less than you have more spare money for something else, whether that’s to put into your savings or to spend on something fun. Many money-saving options have the advantage of being greener too.