If you ever stop to add up all the regular payments that leave your bank account every month, it’s a depressingly high figure. Yet, for the most part, these are necessary costs, for things that we can’t really function without. However, that doesn’t mean to say we should just accept this level of spending as necessary and not do anything about it. Rather, we should avoid complacency and look at these regular costs and see where it’s possible to make any savings.
It is often easier than you would think to reduce household bills and by doing so, you will end up with a more significant surplus each month that you can use for other things – such as paying off any outstanding debts or, even better, saving up for a treat like a holiday.
The first area to look at is regular household bills. Starting with the big one, check out the amount you’re paying on your mortgage and whether it’s worth your while to transfer your mortgage to somewhere you could be paying a lower interest rate. A quick credit check will tell you if that is an option for you. You may have to pay penalty clauses to switch, but it may still be worth doing if you can find a better deal elsewhere.
Next, look at utilities and how much you’re paying for them. Of course, there’s gas and electricity to consider, but also check out the costs for your telephone and internet as well. Switching provider is a bit of a hassle, but with so many price comparison websites, you should only need to run a few internet searches to quickly see if there’s a better deal for you out there.
There’s also the cost of insurance to consider. Look at what you’re paying for your car insurance, home insurance and health insurance. Don’t just file away the renewal slip for each insurance policy. Compare it with the amount you paid for the previous year, and get some fresh quotes to make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to. Get a few different buildings and contents insurance quotes and you’ll soon be able to see if there’s a better price available. Any reduction in insurance premiums makes it worth switching, as long as you are confident you will still have the same level of cover in a new policy.
Grocery shopping should also be counted as a regular household bill. Monitor how much you spend at the supermarket and consider switching to a more economical brand. Buy more ingredients and cook your own meals rather than buying ready meals all the time – this will save money and it’s also the healthier choice.
Of course, each individual will have their own set of expenses, but those mentioned above are the ones that will appear on most people’s bank statements at the end of the month. By making sure you’re getting the best value for money on the main expenses, you should be able to start putting more of a surplus aside. Whether that’s for clearing debts or spending on luxuries, it’s better to have it available than to be paying more than you need to for household essentials.