Energy prices are rocketing but we can cut other household bills to help cushion the blow
As the cost of living keeps rising, it’s time to cut the household bills that we can control.
Energy costs are likely to be hurting all of us these days. We can’t do much about the rise in the energy price cap or the tariffs, but there are things we can do to cut bills by using less energy (the Quids in! website has lots of advice on this).
But energy bills aren’t the only ones we have to budget for, of course. And looking at our other household expenses can be a good way of making energy costs more manageable.
Switch to cut bills
If we’re tenants and pay bills ourselves, then we are usually allowed to switch providers. (We may still want to check with our landlord though, just to stay on the right side of them).
A good place to start is with our broadband and phone line. Switching these is usually pretty simple and could save us hundreds of pounds a year.
If we’re on Universal Credit, there are some special deals we could access, and if we don’t have an internet connection yet and have no other income we could get connected for free (saving about £100) with Openreach.
Comparison sites like Uswitch can help us find a cheaper broadband deal.
Another hefty household bill is council tax. If we’re in a band A-D home we’ll be in line for a £150 rebate. It’s an attempt to help us cover our expenses as energy bills rise and it doesn’t have to be paid back.
But before we even think of refunds, we need to make sure we’re not paying too much in the first place.
There are discounts if we live alone or only with under-18s; if we live with students (even if we’re not one ourselves), or if we’re on a low income or certain benefits. If we think we might be paying too much we should speak to our council as soon as possible.
When we’re new to independent living and on a tight budget, we might be tempted to skip the contents insurance. Our landlord will be liable for buildings insurance, but we need to consider our belongings. Could we afford to replace all our stuff if something terrible happened?
Even if we’re used to paying for insurance, shopping around for a better deal isn’t very exciting. But it can be a really good way of saving a chunk of cash.
Thankfully, insurers are no longer allowed to penalise us with price hikes if we forget to shop around.
Cut the shopping bill
If we’re new to renting – or even if we’ve been running a household for a while – it makes sense to stick to a food budget.
The consumer website Which? keeps a close eye on how the main supermarkets compare on price. They update their findings monthly, and the difference on a full trolley of groceries could be £20.
If we’ve got a lot of mouths to feed that figure could be even higher so it’s worth trying out a cheaper store if we can.