10 ways to cut your household bills ASAP

Money

10 ways to cut your household bills ASAP

Wouldn’t it be great to have a bit of extra cash to spend on fun stuff? Here are 10 things you can do right now to save money on necessary-but-dull bills:

1. Get rid of your landline Can you remember the last time you used your home phone? Do you even know what your home phone number is? If the answer is no, then it’s time to ditch the landline. Instead, download a free calling app – you’ll be able to make calls (including international ones) for free.

2. Switch utility providers We can think of more fun ways to spend an afternoon than researching utility providers, but it’s definitely worth doing. If you’ve been with the same company for years, you’re probably tied to an old deal – shop around and you’ll find other companies offering you much cheaper deals if you move over to them.

3. Pay by direct debit The simplest way to save money on your bills without even trying – you’ll know exactly which day the money will come out of your account and if you agree to a fixed monthly direct debit, you’ll probably get a cheaper deal. And you’ll never incur a late payment fee. It’s a win-win.

4. Lose any add-ons You know when you’re on the phone to someone and they’re trying to persuade you to add an extended warranty, or get extra insurance cover or whatever, and you say yes just to get them off the phone? It’s time to get rid of all those extras if you don’t need them; for example, if you are a home owner and have house insurance – this policy will cover most things. If you pay extra for international calls, get rid of it and use an app to make those calls for free instead.

5. Do it yourself It’s tough to find the time to do bits around the house, but if money is tight, you may have to reconsider. Do you really need to be forking out, say, £30 a week for a cleaner? If you share a property, write up a rota divvying up all the cleaning duties and save the money.

6. Barter your services If you’re a useless gardener but handy with a screwdriver (the tool, not the cocktail), why not swap skills – you offer to put someone’s Billy bookcases together, while they come over and sort out your garden. You’ll save money on a gardener and have some spare cash to spend on a well-deserved drink afterwards.

7. Be clever with your food shopping Clear some space in your cupboards, then shop online for good deals on non-perishable food (rice, pasta, tinned tomatoes) and other household goods (toothpaste, toilet paper, kitchen roll etc). If you bulk-buy essential items that are on sale, you’ll end up saving a significant amount on your weekly shop.

8. Turn off the lights Doing little things such as turning off the lights when you leave a room will have a positive impact on your gas and electricity bills over the time. If you have a spare room or a dining room that you don’t often use, turn off the radiators in these rooms.

9. Change your mobile phone tariff If you’re not using up all your free minutes or data every month, it means you are on the wrong tariff – a quick look at a price comparison site will tell you which tariffs are the cheapest. If you choose a tariff with a different provider to the one you’re currently with, you can switch over and still keep your mobile number.

10. Slash your memberships
Make a list of all the ‘extras’ that you pay for monthly – gym membership, TV streaming sites, veg box delivered to your house weekly, etc. Put them in order of how often you use them and then cancel the one you use the least.

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