personal finance

How to cut down your household expenses

Cutting the cost of living is crucial for most households, let alone for people over 50, who are hit harder in the pocket when prices rise. Older people spend a larger proportion of their income on household bills, fuel and food, which means the real rate of inflation is much higher for them. Reducing your monthly outgoings even by a few pounds each week can go a long way over the course of the year. Here’s how to do it:

Household bills – find the best deals

Using websites you can work out the best way to shave pounds off monthly bills. This may require a bit of legwork initially – but it will be worth it in the long run. After all, why pay more than you have to?

For broadband, phone and TV packages you can get advice from companies such as Simplifydigital which offers advice over the phone too should you need it. Older deals are likely to be costing you more so there are savings to be made by switching. The more you bundle together, the higher the savings are in most cases. BT have joined Virgin Media in adding mobile phone calls to such packages.

Energyhelpline can help you save money on gas and electricity bills by showing you the cheapest supplier in your area.

Save on costly directory enquiries calls by going online to find telephone numbers. A quick search on Google, for example, can save you calling expensive 118 numbers.

You could also check your insurance policies – and not just home and motor cover. There  may well be a cheaper option. Anyone who’s had had the same policy for years may be able to get a much better deal by switching, especially if their circumstances or health has changed.

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Different ways to heat your house. 

 Fuel – save on the forecourt

If you drive regularly, it makes sense to buy cheap petrol or diesel. Finding the cheapest petrol station in your area can be done with the help of PetrolPrices. Just tap in your postcode and the site will show you the address of the cheapest places to fill up.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your car is driving efficiently too:

Check your tyre pressure – poorly inflated tyres put more strain on the engine and use more fuel.

Make sure you’re not keeping unnecessary items in your car. The lighter your car is, the less effort it needs to make to accelerate, so remove your golf clubs rather than leaving them in the boot all week.

Remember that the air conditioning unit in your car is powered by fuel too, so turn it off when it’s not necessary.

8 simple steps to driving more economically.

Food – be a supermarket sleuth

The cost of grocery shopping is still climbing which means it’s important to get the most for your money by finding the best deals. Avoid being temped by supermarket ‘offers’. Discounts could turn out to be a saving of just pennies. Use mySupermarket to find where to bag the items on your shopping list at the lowest price. And don’t go to the supermarket when you’re hungry – a number of studies show that you’re more likely to buy higher calorie foods. 

Seven ways to save money at the supermarket.

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