If you’re determined to save money throughout 2013, you might have already switched to a low interest credit card, or opted for a cheaper phone tariff, but have you thought about lowering your utility costs? With winter in full swing, your household bills can go through the roof if you’re not careful, so do all you can to bring your outgoings down.
Make use of your heating controls
During the cold spell, it can be tempting to turn the heating up high. While it’s good to have a warm, cosy environment, there’s no need to heat your house all day – particularly if you’re not at home. To avoid high charges, programme your system to come on at specific intervals and ensure everything is switched off when the house is empty. This will keep your costs under control and stop you from using energy unnecessarily. What’s more, try lowering the temperature overnight and throw an extra duvet on your bed to help you sleep.
Insulate your home
If you’re looking to make a few home improvements, wall insulation might be the way to go. Of course, you’ll have to pay to have it installed, but it could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Cavity and solid walls are treated slightly differently, but they can both be sealed to prevent warm air from escaping to the outside world. If you already have insulation, or can’t afford it right now, simple draught-proofing techniques can also make a big difference. Gaps around windows, doors, electrical fittings and pipework will all let cold winds in, so seal them up and make your house fit for winter.
Use less water
As the wind howls and the snow falls, a hot bath can be truly satisfying. Nevertheless, using too much water can increase your expenses, so it’s worth hopping in the shower instead. This small lifestyle change could make a big difference to your bank balance and leave you with more money at the end of the month. Other water-saving tips include washing your clothes by hand, filling the dishwasher to the max before turning it on and fixing all leaking taps as soon as possible. If you think you’re being charged too much for your daily consumption, research prices online and try to negotiate a deal with your utility provider.
Lag your water pipes
Many people spend a fortune on DIY and apply for a credit card to cover the costs. Full-scale repairs can cost money, but simple tasks like lagging your water pipes don’t have to be expensive. Insulating materials such as foam tubes are cheap to buy and are available from most well-stocked home stores. They slip nicely onto a wide range of pipes and prevent them from bursting when the weather takes a turn for the worse. They also keep hot water warmer for longer, meaning it won’t take as much energy to keep them toasty – saving you money!
Penny-pinching and reducing your bills is easier than you might think, so why not give it a go?