With the new tax year upon us, I have been thinking about how to reduce our utility bills. At this time of the year, I always sit down to review my finances. I have noticed that we seem to be overspending on many of our utility bills lately. When Contact Numbers UK asked if I’d like to take part in #ChallengeMyBills, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to really look into how to make savings on my bills.
How to Reduce Your Utility Bills: Take the Time to Review Your Bills
This may seem obvious but without setting out a specific time to review your bills, this is a job that can be put off. Sitting down at Christmas and again in April and August to check through my finances seems to work for me. I check at Christmas because that is an expensive time of year. April is a good time to check your finances due to it being the new tax year and August is a time when my home and car insurances need renewing.
How an Excel Spreadsheet Can Help to Save You Money on Your Utility Bills
I use my Excel spreadsheet to predict my incomings and outgoings and check my bank accounts. This helps me to spot any changes in my finances. For some utility bills, I’ve found this very useful. When comparing my predicted finances to my bank account, I realised that one of my bills had increased by quite a lot. I couldn’t remember being informed of this by the company. Having the spreadsheet to refer to helped me to spot this and I was able to ring the company and had my bill reduced as a result.
It is always a good start to know what your incomings and outgoings are. This way, you can budget more easily and notice any ways that you are overspending without realising.
Reducing Our Gas and Electricity Bills
For my gas and electricity bills, I submit a meter reading each month via an app on my phone. As a result, this provides me with graphs and information about the amount of electricity and gas my household has been using. I also get information about how this month’s usage compares to this time last year.
We use First Utility but British Gas, Eon and many other providers offer similar apps. You can find information about British Gas, Eon and a whole host of other companies by looking at the Contact Numbers UK website. It is a great way to find the telephone numbers you need, quickly.
For us, the information we are provided with from the apps helps us to really think about what electricity and gas we have been using. After realising that we’d used 20% more electricity than this time last year, we started looking into why that was.
Why Is My Bill Higher This Month?
Just walking around our home, I saw that lights were being left on much more lately. For three days in a row, we’d all gone out for the day and had left three lights on upstairs. We have talked as a family about this and we are now more mindful of switching the lights off when we have left each room.
Another bad habit that I seem to have slipped into, is to do a load of washing and then forget to take it out of the washing machine. This means that I have to wash it again. Another waste of energy and money.
My children and I have managed to have a run of sickness bugs and then a flu virus so we have all been spending more time sitting down and resting lately. This has meant that the TV, the laptop and the Wii U have been on much more than usual as we recovered from our illnesses. Now that we are all feeling much better, I have started to think about how much electricity we are using by doing this. We now have a limit of an hour of TV per day, which is helping us to save money. The nicer weather also means that they have been playing outside more and are much happier as a result.
The Best Way to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
I believe that the best way to save money on your utility bills is to be aware of what energy you are using. Checking on your finances, utility bills and apps from energy companies can help to make you really think about your energy use. From that information, it is easier to look around your home and realise what you wasting energy and money on. Even the small thing can add up. Calling your energy suppliers can help you to get a better deal when renewing your contract. They can also give you advice on to save money on your energy via their websites, apps or by speaking to them.
How do save money on your utility bills? Have you used Contact Numbers UK yet?
You can find Contact Numbers UK on Twitter with other ideas of how to save money on your utility bills by searching for the #ChallengeMyBills hashtag.
Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Contact Numbers UK.