In these economic times, keeping your purse tightly shut and full of pennies is a struggle. There are just so many bills to pay!
However, there are a few spending categories in which many typical households could be paying less. Particularly in the home. I’ve taken a steer from the best finance books, and pulled out a selection of areas in which you could save more money.
With these small tips around the home, you’ll notice a significant difference in the amount you can save in your savings account, stockbroker account or penny jar. So leave the scepticism behind a moment, and hear me out:
Instead of printing documents off on one side only, try using both sides of the paper. You’ll cut the amount of times you pay out for fresh paper for printing or faxes by half.
An even better cost saving initiative is to go completely paperless if this is possible. Initially, you’ll save on both paper and ink costs, but the savings don’t stop there. After enough time, you’ll realise you no longer need to pay to replace your old printer. The cost of the printer itself is usually quite a significant proportion of total printing costs.
Going paper-free is now easier than ever, with many service providers such as banks and utility companies offering digital statements which are emailed directly to you instead. Going paperless brings other benefits beyond financial savings – for example, it’s easier for most people to find a bill in your email or on the supplier’s website than looking around your house.
Turn them off when you aren’t using them. If you’ve gotten into the habit of turning them on unnecessarily, then train yourself to remember to at least switch it off. Try watching TV in the living room with lights off to preserve energy. The ‘sleep’ mode on a TV feels convenient, and often speeds up the process of turning on a TV by several seconds. However, were you aware that a TV in ‘sleep mode’ uses much more energy than one which is turned off at the plug socket?
Only use the heating when you have no alternative. If you have cold winters then obviously the heating will be a necessity. Try shutting the doors to rooms in the house too. This will stop the heat from escaping and insulate the room for longer.
Consider extra layers to your clothing which will bring comfort and warmth during colder seasons, such as underlayers and slippers. I find that wearing these types of garments also improves my morale during the dark winter months, because it makes me feel snug and cosy. Who wouldn’t want that?
Saving for the winter
It’s inevitable that you will use more energy in the winter, and therefore your bills will be higher. During the spring and summer months, put some money aside. I recommend reading some of the best investment books to help you decide where to put your money.
If you’ve put aside some spending money ahead of time, when these bills come through, you won’t have to stress about the money that’s leaving your account ahead of Christmas.
As a helpful tip, be sure to check out any investment or savings firm on the FCA register if you’re based in the UK, to check they’re not currently on the scam watchlist.
When you food shop, buy fresh ingredients instead of processed food. It’s actually cheaper to make your own bolognese sauce out of an onion, tinned tomatoes and herbs from the space rack, than to buy a premade jar.
When pricing up the cost of all ingredients in a recipe, it can often feel like a premade product is a similar price, or even cheaper. But what you may not be fully taking into account is the fact that you will usually be left with many leftover ingredients when cooking yourself, and you’ll probably produce larger portions. When like is compared with like, home cooking is usually cheaper by quite some margin!
By following these tips, I hope you find it much easier to save a few additional pounds each month, allowing you to pay more into the bank after you have covered your bills. If you’re able to save more each month, you might be able to overpay your mortgage (within the limits set in your mortgage agreement), which will accelerate the repayment period for your mortgage.
It’s quite poetic to think that by observing some frugal rules around the house, you could end up fully owning yours much sooner than you originally planned!
Krishna Murthy is the senior publisher at Trickyfinance. Krishna Murthy was one of the brilliant students during his college days. He completed his education in MBA (Master of Business Administration), and he is currently managing the all workload for sharing the best banking information over the internet. The main purpose of starting Tricky Finance is to provide all the precious information related to businesses and the banks to his readers.