People are always looking for money to save some money from their bills. The cost of living within the UK continues to rise and with unemployment also on the rise as we start to make recoveries form the global-19 restrictions, some people are really beginning to find it tough to get by. As a result, people will make sacrifices all the time in terms of what it is they are actually spending which could impact on entertainment and social items in order for them to keep up with the essentials.
This does not always have to be the case and there can be much better deals around, people just need to know where they are and how to trigger them. Also making some lifestyle changes could help with the bills. Here are some of the tips that can be considered.
A big outgoing for most people is the cost of transport. This could be public transport, or it could be the costs associated their own motor vehicle. Sometimes people will have multiple cars for their household also. With the global pandemic there have been a strong shift in working arrangements. A lot of people are now working from home on a permanent basis, whereas they would be working in an office. This is a step change in behaviours as generally people are still able to work effectively from home if they have the right level of support (normally IT). As a consequence of this, there will be a lot more companies allowing people to work from home on a more permanent basis than force them to come to an office. This then begs the question; do you actually need a car? Most people will use their car primarily to get to work but if there is a shift in behaviours around this, you could find yourself paying for a nice expensive car, but it sits in the driveway most of the day. Not only are you required to fuel this but there will be services, upkeep, MOT etc. Also, the longer you keep the car, the more it depreciates in its value.
Another consideration is the public transport costs. Unfortunately, this can be quite expensive on occasions and really hit into the pocket. One way to cut this down would be try and pre-purchase tickets. Online you are normally able to get good deals on tickets in advance. The further ahead you book your travel, normally will give you better rates and discount. The next question to ask would be – do you actually need to use the public transport, or could you walk or cycle? Clearly this is not always practical, but it is something that you should have a think about as you could eliminate the transport costs and also choose a much healthier, active option.
Nowadays, it is a must that people stay connected. Asking someone to give up their mobile phone is like chopping their arm off. Most people within the UK own a mobile phone and it is something that is actively used for many hours a week. The question around this will then be, how can we make this more cost effective? There are lots of different ways to do this with various phone and contract options. In the majority of cases, people will get themselves tied into a complicated contract with a phone provider which will be difficult for them to get out of. This contract could be for an 18 or 24 month period. Generally, with these contracts you will get a handset and a number of minutes to use each month. Even if you do not use the minutes you will be charged the full rate. If you go over the minutes, then you will be charged an excess charge and pay even more money. This is a big outgoing for many people as they want to stay connected to their friends / family but cannot afford the monthly bills.
A way to cost save on this would be to no get tied into a contract and have a Cheap SIM only deals tariff. What this really means is that you would need to have your own mobile phone (they would not provide) and then you get the SIM card from them and pay up on a pay as you go basis. Some of
these are from as little as £5 per month with more than enough adequate data and minutes to keep any average person going. You can find the cheapest SIM only deals at lebara.co.uk who have a wide range to choose from. This is a real cost effective saving compared to paying in excess of £30 a month on a contract.
Every month, people will have the anguish of paying out on the gas and electricity bills. If you do not keep up with the bills, they could place you on an electricity card that requires top up in advance and is even more expensive, so it is important to keep on top of this. You will no doubt have come across many different comparison sites online that try to entice you to switch energy suppliers. This is not a trap and something that really is worth reviewing. Generally, with gas and electricity providers, you will be stuck into a contract and when this contract ends, they may not tell you that there will be slight rises to your bill. When this happens, you are best to check either with the same provider if there are cheaper deals or simply move provider. Introductory offers for people to move providers are usually a lot cheaper than standard rates.
Most people will have services such as Sky or Virgin TV packages, but do you watch the full range of channels you pay for? If not, then look to reduce your package size to reflect what you really need. Sports and Movies usually take up the biggest chunk of the price for these packages so if it is something you do not use – get rid of it. In addition, it may be worth phoning the provider to let them know you are considering moving and they may all of a sudden be able to reduce your rates significantly!
Supermarkets make a fortune form people and try to entice them to buy lots of their “deals”. If going shopping, it would be recommended to take a shopping list with you so that you are more committed to buying exactly what you went for. In addition to this, maybe you should consider the branding options you purchase in the store. Buying the well known brands at a far higher price does not always mean you are getting superior quality!
Hopefully, these tips will allow you to reflect on potential ways you could save on your bills. Some of these could relate to the lifestyle changes but also are pretty basic. For example, why pay £30 a month for a phone contract when you could do this for £5 SIM only and no contract? This is pretty basic stuff but just needs people to wake up and see where they are being ripped off and adjust.