Across the UK, the average cost of household bills continues to rise. But cutting costs is easier than you think, and many families can save hundreds of pounds each year by making a few simple tweaks.
We outline how you can reduce your monthly outgoings by following our top tips.
Stop wasting money
First, check regular payments from your bank and cut those that are unnecessary.
Ask yourself if you REALLY need it – and if you do occasionally use a service that you’re paying for on the regular, is it worth the money being spent?
Scrap any costly subscriptions for the gym and take up a free hobby such as outdoor running. Cancel unused digital/TV packages and instead opt for freeview instead.
Make a monthly budget
Compile a list of your essential monthly expenses – and try to stick to it as much as possible.
If you find yourself overspending on a regular basis, make a note of where. If you can identify the trends that lead to this bad habit, you’re one step closer to stopping it.
Always make a shopping list, planning set meals and ingredients for the week, before you go to the supermarket and see goodies, and be sure to not stray from it.
If unable to stick to a list, experiment with food shopping online. It’s easier to track your running cost and essentially cut food bills. If you plan to use public transport, where possible, book tickets in advance to pick up lower costs.
For those who enjoy a coffee on the morning commute or a trip to an expensive restaurant on your lunch break, try making snacks at home for a fraction of the cost. You’ll be surprised at how much this can add up to.
If you find yourself out with friends and family at restaurants and bars more than a few times a week, get creative and plan alternatives, such as a movie night at home or a picnic in the park.
Save money on your broadband
Millions of people in the UK are currently paying over the odds when it comes to their phone and broadband bills – typically as costs can skyrocket when promotion deals end.
But it’s easy to cut the cost of your monthly phone and broadband bills thanks to the masses of suppliers in the market.
Start by contacting your existing supplier and asking for a better price. If that’s not possible, utilise comparison sites to compare deals and typical monthly prices to find a cheaper cost.
But be sure to match your deal to your needs and read the fine print ahead of starting, as you may be charged for data you do not use or any over usage.
If you’re not aware of what line rental or broadband speed you need, speak to the supplier for clarification.
Get a cheaper mobile plan
If your contract is coming to an end, you should explore your options of getting a good quality phone for the best possible price.
Use online tools to analyse your previous bills and review their recommendations for the best contract suited to your needs.
Use comparison sites to explore the latest deals and offers, tailored to your requirements.
And before signing up for a new contract, speak to your previous network supplier and see what deals they have on offer, especially for existing customers.
Don’t be afraid to haggle – remember you’re in charge.
Cut your household energy costs
According to Ofgem, consumers can knock around £300 off the average yearly gas and electricity bill by switching tariffs.
And with plenty of energy suppliers on the hunt for new customers, the time is now to identify those bargains.
Experiment with the heating temperature. Did you know that by reducing your thermostat by 1 degree, you could save 10% off your heating bill?
Cut costs by also switching to monthly direct debit payments.
Reduce your water bill
Although you can’t change your water supplier, there are many tricks to experiment with to save money on bills. For example, switch to more efficient shower heads or taps to reduce the amount of wastage.
Limit the number of baths household members can have, and opt for timed, shorter showers.
You could also have a free water meter installed to keep a track of your usage and avoid any ‘shock’ bills.
Get free cashback
Cashback is a perk that many companies offer when using their cards.
Sign up with one of these providers and earn back a percentage of the money you spend.
At Vox, we reward our customers with up to 13% cashback on certain stores when you use our card.
Our partners include: Asda, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Nike, Storey Carpets, Halfords, H.Samuel, Carpetright, New Look, Foot Locker, Inspire, Pizza Express, Virgin Experience Days, Yo Sushi, Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge, Clarks, Ernest Jones, Goldsmiths and Laiwthwaite’s Wine.
Set up direct debits
And finally, be sure that you pay your bills on time each month.
Late payment fees can add additional strain to limited monthly budgets and can quickly wipe out any savings you may have.
Set up monthly direct debits to regularly pay bills, and keep a record of when things are due to be taken so you’re always on track of outgoing bills and their amounts.
With Vox, our secure online wallets help you manage your money and take the stress out of bill payments – keeping spending money and monthly outgoings separate to avoid any confusion.
Get Vox Money’s budgeting tools at your fingertips – sign up for an account today!