Often, when families start budgeting, they assume that the only way to save money is to cut costs on the things they enjoy, like meals out with friends or trips to the cinema. However, while it’s essential that you’re willing to compromise on your discretionary spending when necessary, you should also be able to reduce costs in other ways too.
For instance, you might be able to cut costs on things like your gas, your electricity, and even your loan payments. Did you know that you can compare the costs of your loans online just like you compare the price of a new TV or your insurance?
Here are just some of the ways you can slash your monthly bills without doing too much work.
Check Out your Gas and Electricity Situation
After rent and mortgage expenses, gas and electricity probably make up some of your biggest household bills. The good news is that you can cut the cost of these bills by simply paying by direct debit or switching to a different package with your provider. You may even be able to save a fortune by finding out whether you can get a better deal with a new provider.
Many of the best utility offers are available to new customers. If you’ve been with the same provider for some time, now could be the perfect time for a refresh.
Think about your Mortgage and Council Tax
It’s tough to convince your landlord that he or she should give you a lower price on your rent, but you can always look for a better deal on your mortgage by switching to a new contract. If you’re on the standard variable rate with your bank for your mortgage, then it might be much cheaper to check out a fixed rate instead for 2 to 5 years.
Additionally, while you can’t do much about your council tax expenses, you can double check that you’re in the right band. You can find your band on the Gov.uk website, and if you’re in the wrong one, you might be in for a rebate.
Rethink your Insurance
Many people pay the same price for their life, car, and pet insurance every year, neglecting to figure out whether they could be in for a better deal elsewhere. Rather than just accepting the renewal price that you’re given by your current company, see whether you can get something cheaper elsewhere. Unfortunately, in the UK, loyalty rarely pays off.
Switching to a new provider can save you a fortune, while still ensuring that you get the right amount of coverage for whatever you need.
Upgrade your Food Shopping Strategy
There are dozens of ways that UK homeowners can reduce their monthly food bill, and it often takes a loss, let work than you’d think. You can shop at budget supermarkets to cut costs, switch to non-brand items, and think about taking a list with you whenever you go for those must-have items. Remember that it might even be helpful to do your shopping online sometimes too.
Although you need to pay for delivery when you shop for food online, it can be easier than buying food in person if that means paying for gas or being tempted by all the extra deals and treats you see when wandering around the aisles.
Do Something about Transport Expenses
If you often travel by bus or train, then it might be cheaper for you to pay for your journeys in bulk by buying a yearly or monthly ticket online. There are plenty of companies that offer this now, including Arriva, and Stagecoach. On the other hand, if you’re using a car, there are still ways you can reduce costs by switching insurance provider, buying a more fuel-efficient car, or even carpooling.
Remember that there’s no need to drive absolutely everywhere, either. If you can walk to wherever you need to be, then you’ll save money and improve your health and fitness too.
Look for Childcare Savings
Finally, monthly childcare expenses can be a massive worry for today’s families. If you’re not sure whether you can afford to keep paying through the nose for childcare, see whether you’re taking advantage of all the help that you can get. Look into things like child and working tax credits, and don’t forget to consider the new tax-free childcare scheme.
The tax-free childcare scheme was launched in 2017 and provided families with 20% support towards certain childcare costs. You’ll need to check if you’re eligible on the Gov.uk website.