With the cost of living in the UK on a steady upward trajectory, you might find that you have a hard time getting your household bills under control. Fortunately, there are ways in which you might manage the costs and keep a significant amount extra in your pocket each month.
Why are household bills becoming difficult to pay?
At the core of the new crisis is high inflation. This means that the value of the currency in your pocket is steadily rising, which in practice makes everything you buy that little bit more expensive. Petrol and diesel prices are at record levels, even with the government having frozen fuel duty. These increases filter into just about every other part of the economy: if it’s more expensive to transport goods to the shop, then the price of goods will rise.
To compound all of this, wages are expected to stagnate over the next few years, with many predicting a fall in inflation-adjusted pay over the course of the year. So how can you manage this rising cost and keep the cost of bills as low as possible?
Managing the cost
You might find that you can bring down the cost in many areas of life by switching providers. Going to a new supermarket might mean a reduction in the cost of your total basket, as well as choosing cheaper options in supermarkets. In the case of utility companies, there tends to be no special reward for loyal customers over the long term – so, it makes sense to shop around and find the best price. Look for the cheapest electricity and gas providers, helping you to marginally save each month by being on the best rate.
One way to lower your bills is efficiency. If you can get away with using less, then you should – whether it’s gas, electricity, broadband, water or streaming services. Taking showers instead of baths can help, as might turning devices off standby when you aren’t using them. This also includes turning off taps while brushing teeth and making a conscious effort to not use the garden hose as this uses lots of water.
Look into Alternative Finance
If you’re struggling with the cost of living from day to day, then looking for a financial solution might seem risky. But in many cases, it’s sensible. For example, if you’re over 55, you might opt for an equity release mortgage to access some of the value tied up in your property. You might find that you only need to release a little bit to allow you to manage your bill payments and other living costs more easily.
Getting rid of unused devices
It might be that you’re unwittingly paying for items that you aren’t actually using. For example, you might not have picked up your landline phone in years. This being the case, it’s worth seeing how much you can save by removing it from your deal. Similarly, nowadays we have many online subscriptions that we take out but don’t necessarily make full use of or need, have a look at your online subscriptions and cancel any you don’t need.
Then there’s the devices themselves, which you might sell to a willing buyer. Electronic equipment, musical instruments and artworks all tend to hold their value well – so it might be worth auditing your home and seeing what can be sold. Although it is a difficult time for everyone with managing household bills, following these tips will help you to minimise the total cost of your bills, allowing you to live more stress free.