WE’VE all been there when your bills are staring you in the face, your bank account is running low and you know it’s time to revamp the household budget.
There are several ways to help reduce the bills that are straining your household budget and worrying about getting into debt.
Andrew Johnson, money expert at the Money and Pensions Service, said the New Year is a great time to reassess your household budget.
He said: “The New Year is a good time to take stock of your household budget and see if there are any areas where you can cut back.
“It will help if you are struggling to make ends meet or want to build up your savings reserve.”
Shrinking your household budget takes into account several factors – food, phone contracts, clothes, energy, broadband and general bills, but there are plenty of great tips for cutting high numbers.
Here, we talk to experts and look at the best thrifty ways to help you cut your household budget this year.
When the household budget is particularly tight, it’s a good opportunity to explore ways to reduce spending on regular bills.
Can your mobile phone contract be reduced if you shop for a new one? This is especially important when your deal is coming to an end.
Every year new mobile phones come out and new contracts are released which means the monthly bill goes up if you upgrade.
Instead, you can use online tools to analyze your phone bill, negotiate with providers, or use a price comparison website to find the best deal.
Or just don’t have a contract and opt for a cheaper SIM-only contract. This may mean an initial upfront cost, but it will save you money and reduce your overall household budget.
Facebook thrifty user Emma Fay revealed: “My fiancé and I have a Spotify premium account which we share at five…
“Our three friends are basically paying for it for us! Plus we’ve both opted for SIM-only contracts at just £8 each for unlimited texting and calling and 12GB internet.”
While Essex’s Ross Henderson said he opted not to upgrade his phone to another expensive deal, and is now paying just £10 a month instead.
The new year is a good time to take stock of your household budget.
Food prices are up slightly, thanks to the fall in the value of the pound and Brexit.
UK shoppers have noticed food and drink suppliers raising prices in supermarkets and believe it can be difficult to tell whether or not they are getting a bargain.
Thrifty fan Ross said he now shops in cheaper supermarkets to reduce his household budget, adding: “People should try different supermarkets.
“The cheaper ones usually have better products anyway, because more people use them, the store restocks faster, and they don’t have food left over.”
Alternatively, grocery shoppers can save money by picking up bargains with yellow stickers. This varies from store to store, but it’s usually between 6:30 and 7 or an hour before closing for the best deals.
While Miguel Barclay, author of One Pound Meals, has an app called Comparasaurus. It checks the supermarket shelves in real time and gives you the prices.
You can also find branded dupes, check the unit price, turn in five items at the end of your shop, buy cleaning products in bulk, and avoid eye-catching items, rather than looking to the bottom shelves , for cheaper goodies.
Elsewhere, Declutter on Demand’s Lizzie Grant said it’s worth sorting out your freezer to help slash your household budget.
She said: “It’s definitely worth sorting out your freezer and emptying your food cupboards to use things you’ve forgotten about.
“Try to plan a menu using these items so you don’t over-buy more than you need.
“Also stick to the list of what you actually need for meals rather than being tempted by what you see.
“That way, you should end up spending less than your usual family budget!”
Unfortunately, energy, broadband and council tax are a number of bills we will always have to pay. But there are ways to cut costs.
The first step is to create a budget to track your income and expenses – the Money Advice Service has a budget planning tool to help you get started, says Andrew Johnson.
The money expert said: “From there, you can figure out if there are any areas where you can cut back or start saving.
“A good way to do this is to make sure you’re looking for the best deals on essentials like power or broadband.
“Check comparison sites to see if you’re getting the best deal on your credit card, cell phone, and energy provider.”
An average household can save £300 a year by switching gas and electricity providers.
“You can also save hundreds or even thousands of pounds by looking for a new mortgage or reviewing one you already have, which you should do at least once a year.”
Users online also recommend turning devices off to sleep mode when not in use and changing standard light bulbs to LEDs.
Other thrifty enthusiasts recommend spending a minute less in the shower each day and only filling the kettle with the water you need.
But Andrew from the Money Advice Service team says switching mortgages is a great way to save on your household budget, but you have to do your research.
He says: “You should check if there are any penalty clauses or fees for changing your mortgage before making any changes.
I sold unwanted Christmas and birthday gifts on eBay and Depop
“You can also view bills such as council tax, because depending on your situation, you may also qualify for a reduction.
“For example, if you are on a low income, live alone or have a disability. You can find out more by asking your local authority.
“For more information on reducing bills, visit the Money Advice Service website.”
Elsewhere on social media, Hannah Maxted revealed she cut her family budget by coming up with a clever plan.
The Facebook user said: “I sold unwanted Christmas and birthday gifts on eBay and Depop, then invested the money in a beginners trading app.
“I knew if it was in my bank account I would end up spending it, so I (hopefully) make money on it and can’t spend it!”
Meanwhile, another Facebook user, Tajja Gohl, has revealed that she ‘did away from temptation’ and removed online shopping apps from her phone to keep her family budget down.
But Anthony Morrow, founder and CEO of low-cost financial advice platform Open Money, said there are plenty of ways to cut your household budget.
Top tips for saving money
- Be careful when filling the kettle
- Prepare your own lunch and cook in batches
- Remember to turn things off when you’re done
- Check your entries and exits
Be careful when filling the kettle
Anthony said: “For many the kettle can be a welcome distraction when working from home – especially when we need a nice drink to warm us up.
“But we always have to keep in mind that we don’t overfill the kettle.
“It may seem like a small thing, but only boiling what you need will save significant amounts of energy and money over time.”
Prepare your own lunch and cook in batches
The expert also suggested that you should cook in batches at home to cut your household budget – because it’s the best way to get your money’s worth.
He added: “There are potentially huge savings to be made when it comes to your working from home.
“A great way to make sure you get what you pay for is to prepare meals in batches in advance.
Leaving computers, televisions and other electrical equipment on when not in use can also add pennies to your energy bills.
“During the winter months especially, hearty soups, stews and warming casseroles are just a few of the things you can cook in bulk and save throughout the workweek.
“Preparing portions for each day can help reduce the amount you spend on lunch. Those supermarket meal deals might seem cheap and convenient at the time, but it all adds up.”
Remember to turn things off when you’re done
And another simple trick to cut your household budget is to turn off electrical equipment when you’re done, says Anthony.
He added: “Leaving computers, televisions and other electrical equipment on when you’re not using them can also add pennies to your energy bills.”
Check your entries and exits
While Open Money’s Anthony said it’s always a good idea to review past months’ expenses and create a monthly budget that includes mortgage/rent, bills, groceries, transportation costs. , pocket money and savings.
He said understanding where every penny goes can help identify where you’re potentially overspending.
While budgeting experts thinkmoney have compiled the ultimate list of budgeting tips that can save you £496 on your annual bills:
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