Tips for Slashing Your Household Expenditure

It is easy for the government and media to tell us that the recent years of economic recession are coming to an end, but that does not always reflect in the money we have in our pockets by the end of every month. Yet every single one of us could make significant savings without having to stint on our quality of life, just by shopping smarter. Here’s how.

Shop around. We are, by nature, creatures of habit, and we tend to buy the same things from the same suppliers time and time again. There is a place for brand loyalty, but in some situations it can end up costing you dear.

When it comes to fuel and utilities, you are no longer tied to the same old supplier and it is easier to switch than ever before. Most providers will offer special deals and incentives for new customers. Similarly, it is possible to get a great deal on cheap heating oil by ringing around your local providers, particularly if you fill up during the low-demand summer months.

Financial services are another area where it pays to move around, especially when it comes to home and car insurance. Never take up the “automatic renewal” option – it might save you some hassle, but it can cost you up to 100 percent more.

It is also worth checking what kind of bundled services are available, from telephone, satellite and internet providers to household, car and life insurance, many companies will offer even better rates when you are purchasing more than one of their services.

Pay up front.Taking up a monthly payment plan can help your short-term cash flow, but it will end up costing you more. For example, paying out $40 per month might sound far less painful than $400 in one go, but is it really worth the %80 that it costs you over the course of a year?

Companies offering terms like these are not only tempting you in with a cheap-looking monthly payment. In the majority of cases, customers also feel more bound in to that supplier, when they have gone through the process of setting up a monthly direct debit, reducing the likelihood of them shopping around for a better deal at the end of the year.

Invest in smart technology. Everyone loves a gadget. But as well as adding some labor-saving convenience and fun to our day to day lives, the latest innovations from the Internet of Things can save you some serious money too.

Smart thermostats are all the rage, and can be controlled from your smartphone, so you can switch your heating on exactly when you need it – it also means you can keep an eye on how extravagant other members of the household are being in your absence!

The latest systems can monitor your schedule and usage patterns in order to self-regulate, and can even be programmed to take your budget into account, keeping the temperature at an optimum level for the most efficient running. Definitely worth the investment.

Photo by Docent | Shutterstock

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