Often, when families start budgeting for their monthly bills, 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, your car running costs 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 6 of the ways you can slash your monthly bills without doing too much work.
Table of Contents
1. Save on Your Monthly Bills for Utilities – Gas, Oil, Electric and Water
After rent and mortgage expenses, your utilities, gas or oil, electricity and water probably make up some of your biggest household bills.
There are a number of things you can do save on your monthly bills, including
- Buy efficient appliances and turn them off standby when not using.
- Install a smart thermostat turn down your thermostat.
- Be careful with your water usage, reduce the time in the shower for example. Also wash your clothes at a lower temperature.
- Invest in insulation for your loft space if you can, invest in double glazing too and generally draught proof your property, for example put draft excluder around your door.
- Regularly have your boiler checked and ensure it is running optimally.
The good news is that you can also cut the cost of your utility bills by paying by direct debit or potentially switching to a different package with your existing provider.
You may be able to save on your monthly bills by switching provider. Usually this is likely to be the case, however, currently with energy prices high there are limited, if any, options available. It’s worth checking though, and an easy way to do this is using an online comparison site comparing energy tariffs, for example Uswitch.
2. 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, in reality they are probably equally challenged with their own buy-to-let mortgages.
If you do own your own home and have a mortgage for this, you can always look for a better deal and potentially switch to a new contract. Of course to do this you need to be clear about any exit costs of your current mortgage and also the costs and penalties associated with any new mortgage.
Historically, if you were on the standard variable rate with your bank for your mortgage, then it was much cheaper to check out a fixed rate instead. Currently this may not be the case so you need to be careful and understand your current rates before you switch, just to make sure there really is financial benefit in you doing so.
Additionally, whilst 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 Government website, and if you’re in the wrong one, you might be in for a rebate.
3. 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.
Remember though buying the best insurance is not just about gettting the cheapest policy. The key is getting the insurance policy that provides you with the cover you actually need and critically to make sure you are not underinsured.
4. Upgrade your Food Shopping Strategy
There are dozens of ways that UK homeowners can reduce their monthly food bill, and it often takes a lot less 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 – and make sure you don’t go shopping when you’re hungry as you’ll certainly be tempted to buy more than you really need.
Remember too that it might be helpful to do your shopping online at least on occasion.
Although you need to pay for delivery when you shop for food online, it can be easier and help cut your monthly bills as maybe you won’t be tempted by all the full shelves or the bargains and discounted items strategically placed at the end of aisles or on direct, easy view the shelves.
Also look at such as food apps that help stop food waste, as well as they could help with your monthly costs. There are a number of innovative apps, offering practical and efficient ways to manage, share, and even rescue surplus food. Examples include Too Good To Go and OLIO.
5. 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, including Arriva, and Stagecoach.
On the other hand, if you’re using a car, there are still ways you can reduce running costs – see our article ‘How to Save on Car Running Costs‘.
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.
6. 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 provides families with financial help towards certain childcare costs. You’ll need to check if you’re eligible on the Gov.uk website.