Worsening economic conditions sees many seeking to tighten their purse strings by reducing their monthly outgoings. The double whammy of rising unemployment and spiralling inflation means that the average household spending power has been reduced whilst the costs of everyday living is ever on the rise. Frugality is the name of the game and here we offer some simple tips to streamline your finances without affecting the quality of your life.
Become Energy Efficient
One completely unavoidable expense is your energy costs in running your home. These can range from energy for heating, cooking and powering all the appliances that you rely on for a trouble-free life. Ensuring that your home is energy-efficient is an investment that will repay itself over and over again for many years. In order to reduce your heating costs you should investigate how much it would cost to install double glazing, improve your loft insulation and other such tricks like cavity wall insulation.
There are grants available to aid homeowners in many of these areas, from your local council or energy supplier, so you can find yourself improving your home at no additional cost to yourself. Such improvements can save hundreds of pounds every year.
Existing debts can also be a huge drain on monthly finances and should be paid off as soon as possible. If you can transfer your debt to a 0% card then your repayments will directly reduce what you owe. With your current credit card, a lot of your monthly payment is going to paying interest. But before you do this, make sure you can pay off most of your debt before the trial period expires.
Upgrading Your Appliances
Install an energy meeting meter and you will soon become aware of how much electricity your house is using. Antiquated televisions, refrigerators and cookers can be hugely inefficient and contribute to a much larger energy bill and is necessary. Tumble dryers and washing machines are big culprits as well. Upgrading your appliances to modern energy-efficient ones is a great step towards saving money and reducing the carbon emissions for your home. It’s also worth checking that you are receiving the best deal for your energy needs – visit NEG website and compare energy prices to ensure you are getting the best deal.
The current economic crisis is affecting large companies just as much as individuals, so now is the time to shop around for better deals, or even renegotiate contracts with current suppliers. In this situation just knowing that there is a better deal elsewhere can be all you need to realize a better deal. Mobile phone companies are a great first stop towards cutting your monthly bills. One phone call may reduce your bill or land you a better deal with more free texts or minutes.
If you are getting nowhere the classic trick is to ask to be transferred to their customer retention department. This technique can be applies to a great many areas of your life, and an afternoon spent talking to the major suppliers in your life could result in a huge chunk being knocked of your monthly bills – cash that we all need in these tough times.