It’s one thing to feel the squeeze from financial hard times when you go shopping, but it’s quite another to get ripped off in your own home. What are some helpful solutions to some of your most common financial questions regarding home maintenance? Keep reading to find out.
When it comes to necessary home expenses, must-haves like electricity and natural gas top the list. To make sure that you’re not paying too much for these services, keep track of all of your utility bills, either with paper copies or an online account that stores your statements from month to month. In three to six month increments, watch which direction your monthly totals change so that you can pinpoint which times of year are most expensive for maintaining your household. This will be the first step in determining how to cut your expenses.
You can also find out if you’re paying a fair price for your energy by getting online and doing a bit of research. You can compare electricity prices by searching for all of the providers in your area and then taking a close look at each company’s pricing, contract terms, and customer testimonials. If you need clarification for any information, don’t be afraid to call them on the phone and ask more questions. Once you decide whether you have a good company or you should switch, you’ll be glad that you did all the legwork.
The next step toward a more financially healthy lifestyle is to practice conservation. You can become more conservative financially by examining your credit card statements and writing down your cash expenditures relating to your home. If you’ve recently been tempted to purchase new curtains or artwork, try to think of alternatives such as homemade decor or thrift shopping to satisfy your urge to update without the need to whip out your credit card.
Another more important kind of conservation is energy conservation, which can also have a positive effect on your bank account. Using less electricity at home cuts carbon emissions, which is directly in line with the UK’s environmental initiative. Research also shows that one tenth of all home electricity is used for lighting, so switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use less energy than older model incandescent bulbs. Similarly, installing extra insulation in your loft or attic could keep conditioned air from escaping your home, leading to a yearly savings of up to £150. Other ways to cut bills without reducing your comfort include adjusting your thermostat by one degree, which can cut your AC and heating expenses by 10 per cent, and upgrading your appliances to more energy-efficient models, which can save £45 every year.
Pay attention to your water use as well. Conserve water by using a low-flow shower head and placing a timer in the bathroom that encourages family members to keep their showers short. You can also turn down the temperature on your water heater to 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to cut down on the amount of energy it takes to heat water.
With these tips, a little dedication and financial savvy can take you a long way. Instead of getting squeezed, learn how to stretch your home budget for a brighter financial outlook.