Householders spend thousands each year on essential bills, such as council tax, energy, water, broadband and home insurance.
Research released last year by the bank Santander puts the average annual cost at £3,329. However, many consumers don’t realise that they could cut what they spend by hundreds of pounds.
Here are some of the best ways to go about doing so:
Switch energy suppliers
Switching suppliers for gas and electricity is one of the first things you should look into.
Energy regulator Ofgem says 57% of households are stuck on standard tariffs, which are usually the most expensive, and could save an average of £300 a year by changing to a better deal.
Change broadband, TV and phone providers
As with energy, there are good savings to be made by changing internet, TV and phone providers.
Comparison site uSwitch says the average household saves £175 by switching. From Sky and Virgin to TalkTalk and EE, many companies offer good incentives to do so, and it’s worth playing them off against each other.
Many people spend a small fortune on their monthly phone contract payments, with £50 to £70 not being uncommon if you’re a heavy user.
So you could find that by changing to one of the cheaper deals – which usually puts a cap on usage, and might be SIM only – you might save upwards of £40 a month, and become less phone-addicted into the bargain!
Check your home insurance
Most home insurers don’t tend to reward loyalty, so at renewal time, or before if there are no penalties, shop around. If you’re happy with your current insurer, give them a call to see if they’ll match the deals you find. At Policy Expert, we offer a two-year fixed home insurance deal, so you know you’ll pay the same price next year.
Payment methods – Lump sum and direct debit
Most utility providers offer discounts for paying by direct debit rather than waiting for the bill to drop through the letterbox. So splitting the cost across 12 months should also help you reduce costs.
Check your council tax band
It’s becoming more common place to challenge the council tax band your home is in. If successful, you can end up in a lower-paying band and receive a backdated rebate.
Beware though; you may end up in a band which actually costs you more, if that’s how the council’s decision goes. Try and find out from neighbours or the owners of similar houses close by what band they’re in before applying.
Shower instead of bath
A family of four which prefers to take baths will spend a lot more on gas than one which likes to shower!
Make a rule that baths are a luxury and only to be taken very, very occasionally.
Driving and public transport
Owning a car is expensive, as are seasonal rail and bus tickets.
Shopping around for car insurance could save you a lot of cash, as could joining a car-sharing scheme, or switching to cycling or walking to work!
Whether you want assistance in finding the right home insurance policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0330 0600 600 or contact us.