Running a home is an expensive thing. Everything needs to be paid for. From electricity to water to the food in the refrigerator, it all adds up to a hefty amount. Although there is no way to get out of paying for these things altogether, there are some clever ways to save money around the home. Take a look at our suggestions and you’ll be amazed at how much your outgoings could be reduced.
If you still have your bills delivered through the mail, it’s time to stop. Paperless billing saves you money because it saves your utility provider money and any risk of online data theft can be prevented with VPN. They want as many people to go paperless as possible, as it reduces their costs drastically, and therefore they offer incentives to make the prospect a better one for householders. It may not be a lot of money per month – just a few dollars – but over the course of a year that money will add up into something much more agreeable, especially if you go paperless with all of your providers.
Another easy way to save money is to bundle your services together and get more than one from an individual supplier. The more you are getting from a specific supplier, the better your discounts. For example, if you can buy your TV services, landline phone, and broadband internet all from the same place, it is likely to be cheaper than buying them all separately. This is because they will all be bundled together in one package. Another bonus for this is that you only have one bill to pay each month, which keeps your account tidier and is less easy to forget about.
Many of us feel it’s easier just to stick with the same suppliers. We might even notice how expensive they are, and then figure there’s just nothing that can be done about it. However, there is always something that can be done about it! When you start to look around at all the different providers (there are so many these days) and their deals, you are sure to find something that works better for you than your current provider. Many companies will even take care of the switching for you, as they know they are more likely to gain your business that way. If you’re lucky, your current provider might lower their prices to keep you with them, and this can secure you an even better deal.
Do It Yourself
Household maintenance is important and shouldn’t be neglected. Sometimes it is left until it becomes an absolute necessity because it can be expensive to hire in a professional. In some cases, a qualified expert is the only way to go, but in other situations, you may be able to do the work yourself. It might require some online tutorials, and perhaps some practice, but if you are fairly handy you could save a lot of money. You can even order supplies online from places such as general plumbing supply and other online trade suppliers. Make sure that you work safely at all times, and if you are ever unsure, call in the experts.
Cut Your Phone Bill
Do you know what kind of phone package you’re on? If not, it’s time to dig out the information and learn about exactly what it is you’re paying for. You might be paying for a package you just don’t need, something that includes international calls, for example, when you don’t know anyone abroad. Getting yourself onto the right package can make a big difference in your monthly bill. If you are on a good package already, take advantage of it. Does it allow for free evening and weekend calls? Then make sure you use the phone during those times. Does it allow for free calls up to an hour? Then put a timer on when you’re chatting; you can always call back and have another hour. If you know what you’re paying for, you can really make the most of it.
Don’t Need It? Ditch It!
If you’re feeling the pinch, or even if you just want to save some more money, go through your bank and credit card statements carefully, checking that you know what each and every transaction is for. You can easily spot whether you’re making any regular payments for something that you don’t want, or even something that you no longer own! Extended warranties are exactly this kind of thing; you take them out when you buy an item such as a dryer or refrigerator, and you continue to pay for them for many months or even years. If you no longer think that this payment is worth making (your machine might be old and cheaper to replace than fix if something were to go wrong, or you may have replaced it a long time ago) then you can cancel them. These warranties are not the only things that you may be paying for ‘accidentally’ so you might be able to save even more money be canceling old subscriptions and other payments.
Go Interest Free
If you use a credit card, you’ll know that your monthly payments are more about paying off the interest than about paying off the balance owed. However, there are credit cards available with zero percent interest deals on them for balance transfers, which means you can – assuming your credit is good enough – get a new card on one of these deals and transfer the balance from your existing card onto it. You will save a lot of money in interest charges that way. Alternatively, you can continue to pay the same amount as you were paying on your old card, and the balance will be paid off more quickly. Remember to cancel your old card so that you’re not tempted to spend on that one as well. It’s always best to pay more than the minimum required payment on a credit card or store card if you possibly can, as you will save more money in the long term.