With household bills and the cost of living continuing to rise, we share how you can cut the costs of your household bills to maximise your budget. Additionally, if you want to create a budget but are unsure how to start, we have created a free Budget Planner Spreadsheet that will help you get your finances in order.
Before you start budgeting, check your income to ensure that you are paying the right amount of income tax and receiving the correct benefits that you are entitled to. Checking your tax code and benefits only takes a few minutes and you can find out how to do so in the following articles, 'Check you are paying the right amount of income tax – 2 minutes' and 'Find out what benefits you are entitled to if any – in 6 mins'.
How to save money on your mortgage or rent
One of the most expensive and important monthly household bills is your rent or mortgage payment and you could save money on your mortgage by remortgaging. Remortgaging is the process of moving onto a better deal either with your existing lender or moving your remaining mortgage amount over to another lender in order to take advantage of a better deal. You can also choose a product transfer which is the same as remortgaging with a different lender, but you stay with your existing lender instead. Remortgaging can save you money each month, particularly if you are on a Standard Variable Rate (SVR) as this is generally higher than any fixed deal on offer with lenders. There are numerous other reasons why you may also wish to remortgage and we share those in our article, '7 reasons to remortgage', we also look at when you should remortgage in our article, 'Remortgaging in 2023 – is now the right time to fix & for how long?'
For additional ways to save money on your mortgage, read our article, 'How to save money on your mortgage'. If you are renting and are finding it hard to keep up with your monthly payments, find out what help is available in our article, 'What to do if you're struggling to pay your rent'.
How to save money on council tax
Council tax is a fee payable to your local council and how much you pay depends on your council tax band and how many people are living at the property. Make sure you check that your property is registered in the correct council tax band as you may be able to save yourself money if the property has been banded incorrectly. We provide more information on challenging your council tax band in our article, 'Nearly a third of council tax challenges are successful – How much could you save?' Additionally, if you are a single occupant, or you are the only adult living in the property, you may be able to get 25% off your council tax bill. Find out more information on council tax and who is exempt in our council tax guide, 'Council tax explained and what to do if you're struggling to pay'.
If you are struggling to pay your council tax bill it is important to address this immediately as not doing so could result in the council taking you to court to retrieve the money owed. If you are looking for ways to save on your council tax or are unsure of your council tax eligibility, read our article, 'How to save money on council tax'.
How to save money on utility bills
Utility bills can be expensive and with the rise in energy bills in recent months you may be wondering how you can start to cut costs. Below we share how to save money on your gas, electric and water bills.
How to save money on gas and electric bills
Gas and electric bills are expensive, particularly with the recent energy crisis. However, there are some grants and schemes that may be available to help with the cost of energy bills and we explain these in more detail in our article, 'Grants and schemes for help with your energy bills'.
Below, we share some useful tips to help you reduce the cost of your energy bills but additional tips can be found in our article, 'How to save money on your energy bills'.
- Use energy-saving lightbulbs
- Only boil the water you need in the kettle
- Turn off radiators in rooms that you're not using
- Get energy-efficient appliances
- Have a smart meter to understand how much energy you are using
Switching energy providers may also be a good way to save on your energy bill, however, most energy switching companies are recommending that you stay with your current provider as there are fewer new customer deals available in the market and the energy price cap imposed by Ofgem is in many cases the cheapest. Once more deals are available, you can find out more information about switching in our article, 'Compare the best energy auto-switching services in the UK'. If you are wondering whether you should fix your energy deal, the following articles will be useful, 'What is the cheapest fixed-price energy tariff? – Best deals compared' and 'Should I fix my energy prices?'
How to save money on your water bills
If you are not on a water meter at your property it may be worth checking if you can have one installed as it could save you money. Water meters will only charge you for the water you use rather than a fixed unmetered rate. If you are a single occupant or have a medical condition that requires you to use a lot of water you may be able to benefit from a discount on your water bill and more information can usually be found by contacting your supplier. If you are struggling to pay your water bill you should contact your water supplier to see if you qualify for any schemes.
If you still find that your water bills are high you can do the following to try to save money on your water bills:
- Identify and repair any leaks
- Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
- Shower instead of bath
- Install a water butt instead of using the hose
- Ensure the washing machine and dishwasher are full before using
For more water and money-saving tips, read our article, 'How to save money on your water bill'.
How to save money on mobile, TV & broadband
While broadband may now be considered as an essential household bill, TV and entertainment costs are usually seen as a discretionary spend, rather than essential spending. You can still save money however by combining your TV and broadband into a package deal. We share how to save money on mobile, broadband and TV costs in our articles, 'How to save money on your mobile phone bill' and 'How to save money on your TV & broadband'.
An additional bill that is often forgotten is the TV licence and in episode 315 of the MTTM podcast, Andy shares when the TV licence needs to be paid and under which circumstances you don't have to pay it. Click on the player below to listen to the episode. Additional information can be found in our article, 'Do I need a TV licence?'
How to save money on insurance
A large majority of people will pay car and home insurance as a household bill and one of the easiest ways to save money is by paying the bill annually, as explained by Damien in this video. Personal insurance should also be seen as an essential bill as it provides protection for your finances and your family if you are unable to work due to illness or an accident or in the event of your death. If you are unsure what personal insurance you require you can find out in just two minutes in our article, 'Check your personal insurance needs in 2 minutes'.
Below, we share how you can save money on various insurance premiums:
How to save money on car & home insurance
One of the quickest and easiest ways to save money on a car and home insurance policy is to shop around for the best deal. Comparison sites such as Quotezone* will compare some of the top insurance providers to find you the best deal to suit your needs. Comparison sites are not always whole of market, however, so in some cases, you may be better off visiting an insurer directly to get the best deal. For more ways to save on your car and home insurance read our articles, 'How to save money on car insurance' and 'How to save money on home insurance'.
How to save money on pet insurance
Having a pet is expensive and pet insurance is designed to help cover the cost of large and unexpected veterinary bills. It can however seem an unnecessary expense if your pet is relatively healthy. If your pet is healthy, you should refrain from cancelling your policy as it can often pay for itself should you need to claim, particularly if your pet develops a lifelong or chronic condition. In this article, we share '7 factors that affect the cost of your pet insurance' but for ways to reduce your pet insurance premium read our article, 'How to save money on pet insurance'.
If you are looking for additional ways to cut back on pet care and food expenses, read our article 'How to save money on pet care costs and food'.
How to save money on life insurance
Life insurance is designed to pay out a lump sum in the event of your death and the money can be used to pay the mortgage and help lessen the financial burden that your family may be left with. Life insurance is often assumed to be expensive but how much you pay for your insurance depends on a variety of factors. In the following article, we share 'How can I reduce my life insurance premiums?'.
How to save money on income protection insurance
Income protection insurance is designed to pay out an income in the event you are unable to work for a period of time due to illness or injury and is particularly important if you are self-employed. Income protection insurance premiums can be reduced by decreasing the length of cover, reducing the amount of cover and increasing the deferral period before the policy is paid out.
More information on income protection insurance and how much it costs can be found in our article, 'How much does income protection insurance cost?' For ways to save money on your personal insurance premiums, read our article, 'How to save money on personal insurance'.
How to save money on critical illness insurance
Critical illness insurance is designed to pay out a lump sum of money if you are diagnosed with a serious illness. In turn, this should help to reduce the financial burden if you are unable to work due to your illness. Life insurance is often prioritised as a personal insurance policy, but critical illness should be an important consideration too, especially when you consider that 1 in 2 people are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The cost of critical illness insurance can be reduced if you lower the amount you are insured for, reduce the policy term and maintain a healthy lifestyle e.g. you are a healthy weight and you do not smoke.
More information on critical illness insurance can be found in our article, 'How much does critical illness insurance cost?' but for ways to save money on your critical illness insurance policy, read our article, 'How to save money on personal insurance'.
How to save money on private health insurance
Private health insurance has increased in popularity in recent years with approximately 4 million people paying for private health insurance in the UK. If you have a private health insurance policy and are reluctant to cancel there are a number of ways you can try to save money on the policy. Read our article, '10 ways to cut the cost of private health insurance' for more information.
How to save money on credit cards and loans
An essential bill you may pay each month is your credit card or loan repayment. It is important that you maintain these payments as not doing so could negatively impact your credit report and prevent you from getting more credit in the future. If you have multiple debts, one of the easiest ways to clear your debt is via a 0% balance transfer credit card as it allows you to consolidate your debt in one place and stops you from paying hefty fees in interest for a set period of time.
For more information on clearing debt and paying little interest, read our articles 'How to save money on credit card and loan payments' and 'Can I get an interest-free loan? The best low-cost borrowing options for you'.
How to save money on fuel
Fuel costs reached a record high in 2022 with the average petrol family car costing over £100 to fill up. A relatively easy way to save money on fuel costs could be via cashback. Using a cashback spending card to purchase your fuel could mean you get money back when you spend and with some cards, such as the American Express Everyday Platinum card, you can even earn as much as 5% cashback on purchases. More information on cashback spending cards can be found in our article, 'Compare the best cashback and reward credit cards'.
For additional money-saving tips and ways to improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency, read our article, 'How to save money on fuel'.
How to save money on food
Buying groceries is an essential part of household spending but the cost of food can soon mount up. We share some tips to help you reduce the cost of your weekly food shop.
- Use vouchers and coupons - have you signed up for Clubcard or Nectar points? You get vouchers as you earn points and utilising these could save you money on your shop. Find out more about supermarket loyalty cards in our article, 'Which is the best supermarket loyalty card?'.
- Shop around at different supermarkets - Aldi and Lidl are regularly named the cheapest supermarkets by consumer website Which? with larger savings on the same items compared to other traditional supermarket names.
For more money-saving tips check out our articles,'25 money-saving tips that could save you thousands', '12 ways to save money on your food shop' and 'What is the cheapest way to cook?'
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