As a homeowner, there are lots of things to consider when it comes to monthly budgets and outgoings and to leave yourself with more disposable income. It’s essential to review your outgoings regularly. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying out much more than you should be. You have to learn how to save money on household bills.
In this article, we discuss some of the ways you can save money on household bills and monthly outgoings. Some of the tips may take initial investment; however, they will have long-term benefits.
Ways to Save Money on Household Bills and Monthly Outgoings
Assess your Spending
The first thing you need to do is assess your incomings and outgoings. Spend some time looking over your bank account and get a clear idea as to what the activity is.
Once you have looked over the past few months, you will have a definitive picture as to how much money you are making, and how much your lifestyle is costing you.
At this point, you can then make an educated decision as to what your monthly budget should be allowing for savings. There are some great online budget calculators you can use to help you do this. To warn you, a lot of people end up shocked when they see the results. Sometimes, you can let things slide and be surprised as to what your incoming/outgoing ratio is.
Revisit Debts and Cut Costs
When you think about it, the reality is you will have a lot of debts that you may not consider obligations. It could be your mortgage, a credit card, or a loan – these are typically the most common form of debt. It’s always a good idea to review these regularly and see what savings you can make.
In terms of credit cards, there are lots of 0% interest credit cards on balance transfers around these days. If you have an existing card that you are paying a lot of interest on, switch it over to make the saving. The good news is that when the interest kicks in again, you can continue to do this. If you are making payments to a credit card, make sure it’s not the minimum repayment. As a cycle that is hard to get out of, these payments are effectively a way for them to keep you in debt.
It also could be that you don’t have the best deal on your mortgage – and it’s time to re-mortgage. Although at first, it may seem like a daunting task, this can be easier than you think, and it’s always a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker before making any final decisions. What may have worked when you first purchased your house – may not be the best arrangement for you now. It could be that you are on a variable, but the rates have gone up. You may want to move to a fixed rate, or it could be that another broker is offering a better deal.
If you have a loan, it can be a little more challenging to cut down the cost on these – however it is still very achievable. You should get in touch with your current lender – and find out what the settlement figure of your loan would be. Once you have a clear understanding of what this is – it will then allow you to compare loan rates. It’s crucial that you only apply for loans that you are confident that you will get. Otherwise, this will leave a footprint on your credit report, which could cause you problems further down the line if you were looking at finance options for anything.
PPI is also still a thing to take into consideration, so if you happen to have any insurance on the loans, you have taken out. The likelihood is that you are wasting your money and have purchased an extraneous product. Pay close attention to your original agreement and see if there could be any money that you can potentially reclaim. Seek advice from the experts to take care of this for you. It will save you a lot of time.
Some people also decide to have both debts and savings which doesn’t make sense. If you have both of these, you could be wasting a lot of money. If you can, you should pay off your debts and this, in turn, will give you more money to save.
Re-evaluate your Bills
There are lots of ways to cut down on your bills that you may not have thought. A significant expense these days for people is mobile phones. Let’s face it – we all now rely on these technological gadgets, but the reality is that you are paying more than you should. Are you due an upgrade or close to the end of your contract? These events are an excellent time to step in and negotiate with your provider. Make sure that you also don’t agree to any unnecessary add-ons.
A lot of us have a bank account, stick with it – and don’t think too much more about it – but this could be a missed opportunity. There are lots of banks that offer sign-up bonuses when you open up an account with them. You should also shop around to see if there are any with higher interest rates. Savings accounts as well as checking offer bonuses and higher interest rates.
Are You Paying too Much for Transport?
If you have a commute to work, do you think about which gas station you use, or do you go to the most convenient one? Make sure you shop around – when you are topping up your car regularly, the costs can all add up.
Think about your car payments in general. If you have a slightly older vehicle, it may be more beneficial to consider leasing rather than continuing with the car you have or purchasing a new one. Cars always depreciate– so it will never be an investment and that way you will have stable monthly repayments that you can stick to, and there’s also less chance of your car needs repairs.
If you get another mode of transport such as train – play the system right. Often people tend to buy as they go, but there can be much cheaper means of purchasing tickets.
Making Home Improvements that will Save on Your Household Bills Long Term
It’s crucial to be forward-thinking when trying to cut down your monthly costs. So, although investing in your home might have a significant outlay, to begin with – it could be that you don’t have to wait too long to reap the rewards.
One of the things you may want to consider is replacing a water heater. If you have an older boiler – the likelihood is that it isn’t very energy efficient. If you get a newer model – this can result in considerable savings when it comes to your utility bills. It’s also critical that you have the correct type of boiler for your home. Bungalows, for example, may need a different kind of water heater from a mid-terrace house or an apartment.
Investing in Solar Panels
Solar panel installation in Visalia can be another worthwhile addition to your home. How much money saved does depend on the climate a little bit, however in Visalia where the summers are hot and dry, and the winters can be a little cold – it can be the best way to get your energy supply. The best solar panel companies Visalia based also offer you the option to install battery storage which means you can make the most of your panels during the peak sunlight hours and use the stored power at other times. Consider looking here for more information.
Another option could be to invest in better windows or insulation. Any hot or cold air is kept isolated, which will mean there will be less need for air conditioning or heating. It also helps with noise reduction – so you won’t hear lots of outside noise. It will also have the benefit of adding value to your home.
The Little Things Count
There are little things that you can do around the house that will save money on household bills. Something like a programmable thermostat can make all the difference. With this, you can set your home or rooms in your home to stay at a specific temperature. You can also set it to go on at certain times, so when it’s at the warmest time of the day – you can rest assured the air conditioning is on. Or if it’s too cold, that the heating is on depending on what time of year it is. Doing this means you aren’t wasting energy when you don’t need to be. The only thing with this is, you need to make sure you remember to use it.
When was the last time you updated your shower head? You can now get low-flow showerheads that put out less water per minute, however, produce powerful pressure showers. The good news is these are small investments – and can save you a lot in the long run.
What about the Smaller Bills?
Smaller bills that are often overlooked, such as broadband and TV package bills. Do you need all of the channels you have? It could be that you are paying for something that you don’t use – or that there are now more providers than there used to be. There’s no harm in giving them a call and asking to discuss your current situation to see if there’s anything that can be done to decrease your monthly payments. You could also consider ditching cable for a streaming service like Hulu.
The majority of people these days have dishwashers – but often people put them on when they aren’t full for the convenience factor. Make sure that you are always putting on a full load when turning on. You can also handwash some of your larger items like pots and pan or mixing bowls that won’t take long to do – but take up a lot of space.
Something that you may not have heard of before is that keeping your fridge and freezer full can also result in you being more energy-efficient. When you go to get an item out of your refrigerator or freezer you will find that a lot of cold air escapes. If you have lots of things in your fridge this makes that less likely to happen. If you don’t have enough food to fill your freezer – a tip is to fill it up with partially full milk bottles that have been cleaned out. They will fill up your space and help you retain that cold air.
Saving on Shopping
Grocery shopping can also be a significant expense. It can be all to easy to go to the local store and make your purchases without shopping around. Make sure you have a look online to see which supermarkets have the best offers on the go and don’t miss out on the reduced items section when you get there too. You never know what kind of deal you will find. There are also often coupons in publications for certain products that you can make use of, so be on the lookout for those.
The same goes for clothes shopping. There are lots of big brands out there that have sales on, or else have discount codes that you can use when you get to the checkout portion of your purchase. Have a quick search online to see what you can find before committing to your purchase. Also, be sure to give the “clearance” section of the site a visit first too.
Save Money on Household Bills and Monthly Outgoings
If you are looking to get a handle on your finances and reduce your monthly outgoing so you can have some disposable income to spend on you, some of these ideas would be a great place to start.