We’re all looking at our bank balances a lot more closely over the past few months. The cost of living crisis has well and truly been living up to its name and, so far, the idea of relief for the average person doesn’t seem to be much more than the very occasional bump of cash that never goes quite as far as it’s supposed to. The burden of dealing with a worsening economy should not be on the consumer but, unfortunately, it is. As such, you need to know what actions you can take to make a real difference in your household expenses.
Trim down your unnecessary subscriptions
Even if we think that we’re being mindful about how we spend our money, it’s not a stretch to say that many modern companies are doing their very best to obfuscate how much we’re spending on them. This especially seems to be a trend amongst those businesses that take subscription payments. It’s all too easy to forget that you have them turned on. With the help of budgeting apps as shown at Wired, you can quickly track and find subscriptions that you’re signed up for. If there are any you have forgotten, or if you have realised that you haven’t used any in over a month that you’ve paid for, it might be time to turn them off. Cancel your unnecessary subscriptions.
Switch your energy provider to reduce household expenses
The single biggest bill that most homeowners (or tenants) have to contend with is the energy bill. We rely on fuel, whether it’s oil, gas, or otherwise, to keep the home warm. Fuel poverty is becoming an increasing reality in this country, and one of the ways you can help fight it off is to look at switching your energy supplier. The uncomfortable truth of heating a home is that the majority of suppliers will do little to nothing to reward loyal customers. As such, that means that there is no reason, at all, to stay loyal to them. Making the switch can often net you some free credit, as well. If you’re using oil heating, then you should check the prices every single time you need a refill.
Start looking at renewable energy
You might think that the notion of switching to renewable energy is out of your grasp. After all, you might have heard that switching to solar can come with an upfront cost that you might not be able to handle. However, with the help of providers like All Seasons Energy, and the various grants and programs that they can help you access, you can get much of the cost, if not all of the cost, of switching to solar covered for you. Even if you do have some of an initial cost to deal with, you can start making this back in the savings you get from relying on fossil fuels less. Might be something to think about if you’re getting some cash from the state to help you afford heating.
Switch your internet and phone provider
It might not result in savings to quite the same degree as switching up an energy supplier, but a lot of us rely on the internet every day. Some would argue that internet access is a right, but if it is, it’s an expensive one. That said, we do have the benefit of living in a country where internet monopolies are not a reality yet, and you might have a few suppliers in your area to start looking between. What’s more, switching to a new provider might net benefits other than lower bills, such as new routers and the like which can improve your experience of using the net, as well.
Negotiate with your providers
Even if you’re not able or fully willing to switch between the different providers that you’re paying, there might be some wiggle room to pay them a little less. You can haggle your way down with a lot of costs, including things like your broadband and electricity. This is especially true if you’re able to name competitors on the market who are offering similar deals to your suppliers but at a better price. You can start the process on the provider’s live website chat or through email, but often, getting on the phone is the quickest way to see results. With some providers, starting off as if you’re going to switch can put you in a strong negotiating position.
Cut down your credit card use
If you don’t use credit cards, then you might be able to simply skip this step. However, a lot of people use credit cards to manage expenses that might be a little too big for their regular budget, paying them down as best as they can after the fact. If you’re doing that, it might be time to reflect and stop making purchases that you can’t immediately cover. The credit card company always charges more, after all. If you have credit card bills, you want to start paying them off ASAP and always pay more than the minimum. Freeing up your future cash might be better than keeping a little more of it in the short term.
Consolidate your debts
If you have debts with different creditors, then it’s time to strategise and figure out how you’re going to cut them down. If there are some you can close in short order with the snowball method, as exemplified by Experian, then you might want to do that. Otherwise, you can save money by consolidating your loans, instead. This means having a lender take on the loans you have with other creditors as their own. It can be a way to cut down on high-interest loans, such as payday loans or credit card loans. It can also reduce the stress of having to deal with different creditors.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you make some real cuts, saving you the money that you need to keep yourself, your family, and your home healthy, safe and secure.