How would an extra couple of hundred pounds in your pocket every year sound? We think it sounds pretty good too. You might be wondering what the catch is, but there isn’t one. All you have to do is pay less on your bills.
We’re here to cover ways you can save money on your household bills by changing things up.
Save on your utility bills
Did you know that as a nation, we overpay on our bills by £2 billion? That’s about £200 a household, enough to cover the monthly big shop! Write down a list of all of the bills you pay monthly – we bet you could cut each one down!
Don’t trust the comparison sites
It’s true that comparison sites save you time, but we’ll let you in on a secret – they’re paid to not save you as much money as you could.
Price comparison sites get a commission from utility providers when a new customer signs up through their site, so their search results are biased for the best payday for them and in many cases, don’t even include the cheapest deal. When the sites were put to the test, 97 percent of users couldn’t actually find the best deal for them.
Consider an autoswitching service
This option is going to cost you, but if you’re short on time it’s a service well worth paying for. An autoswitch service charges an annual fee to review your bills at the end of the contract term and shop around for better deals, so you have the peace of mind that you’ll never be overpaying.
Don’t worry about paying more fees than you’re saving. Many offer a guarantee that you’ll save much more than you spend, or you won’t be charged.
Shop around yourself
If you want to save money, you’ll have to give up a little of your own time. Spend an afternoon shopping around for the best deals and visiting providers’ websites directly. There’s nothing wrong with giving the sales team a ring to see if they can do any better than the website deals and don’t be afraid to push your luck a little; if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
When you’re confident that you have the best deal out there, take the offer back to your current provider and see if they want to match or beat it. It could help you save on any setup fees.
Keep in mind that cheapest doesn’t always mean best. For example, if you’re in a household with multiple people, the cheapest broadband deal may be restricted to a certain number of devices, or the data allowance on your phone might not last you the month, meaning you have to fork out extra when you run out.
Set up a direct debit and go paperless
Did you know that many companies offer a discount if you choose to pay by direct debit? Not only will it make your life easier as you won’t have to remind yourself to pay each month, but you’ll be saving money for the convenience.
The same goes for paperless bills. You can access and download your bills online every month, so paying extra for a piece of paper seems a little pointless.
Keep reviewing your bills
Research and repeat. Set a calendar reminder for when your contract with each provider ends. Reviewing your options at the end of this period and repeating the process of shopping around will help you save money every single year.
Make a household budget
We’ve all been there the day before payday, thinking ‘where did my money even go?’. The first step to finding out and putting an end to it is making a budget!
Income vs expenditure
Using that paperless tip we just gave you, log on to online banking for your last few bank statements and look at recurring costs such as your rent/mortgage, phone bill, utility bills, travel, insurance and food shop. List everything that needs to go out every month in one column and add it up.
In a second column, list everything else you’ve spent your money on, such as eating out, new clothes and any other unplanned purchases. Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you stop treating yourself, so keep reading.
In a third column, write down how much you have coming in each month, such as your wage/salary and any other forms of income like benefits.
Add up the first and second column. If it equals more than the third column, you’re overspending. If it’s less, are you happy with the difference? If not, keep reading for a couple of tips on cutting back.
Tackle unnecessary spending
If you’ve followed our advice and tackled column one by shopping about and getting the best deal, turn your attention to column two. Do you see any purchases that you didn’t need? Highlight the ones that you could have avoided by taking a different approach, such as making a packed lunch or getting up ten minutes earlier for a slice of toast (those takeaway coffees add up!).
How to save money on the grocery bill
If you’re a brand snob that turns your nose up at supermarket branded goods, we want to tell you a trade secret; a lot of different brands are made in the same place.
So when you’re going for the £1.50 washing up liquid over the 90p stuff, you’re paying 66 percent more for a sticker. We know that 60p isn’t that much, but if you’re doing that for a £150 big shop, that could be £60 spent on packaging and labels alone. That’s £720 a year!
Hold yourself accountable
When you looked over your bank statements, were you surprised at all of those little purchases that quickly add up? The only way to put a stop to that is to recognise when you’re doing it.
Keep a spending diary of all of those little purchases and at the end of every week, add it up. Is there anything you can do to cut them out?
We’d recommend you make the most of the wallets feature of a Vox Money account. As well as your main card, you can separate your money into five different sections, or wallets, so you can have a pot for bills, one for a rainy day fund and one for when you just deserve a treat!
In fact, we have lots of ideas for how you can use a Vox Money account to save and spend a little smarter. Click here to read about our budgeting tools!
Having a higher disposable income sounds great, doesn’t it? Take a look at how a digital wallet from Vox Money could help you achieve that and sign up!