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Your home is the centre of your daily life, and it can often be at the centre of your biggest financial outgoings. Whether it’s utility bills, buying new furniture or finally carrying out that much needed home renovation project, there’s always something waiting to tug at your purse strings.
However, your home also offers you a number of opportunities to save some cash, whether that’s by improving efficiency or securing some second-hand bargains. By following these simple tips you can learn how to save money around the house, without making drastic changes to your lifestyle.
Switch your utility provider
Many people across the UK are putting up with a less than adequate service, at an inflated price, simply because they don’t want the fuss of changing their utility provider.
However, there are now a number of websites, like Money Advice Service, dedicated to giving consumers the tools necessary to either negotiate a lower tariff or switch to another provider.
There are a number of factors to be aware of, including how much energy you use on average and whether now is a good time to switch, but once you’ve armed yourself with all the facts, there’s no reason to go on paying more than you should.
Improve your efficiency
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference, and there are certainly a few minor adjustments that can be made to ensure your running the most efficient home possible.
Remembering to turn off light bulbs when not in use, closing curtains at night and making sure your home insulation is order may seem simple enough, but they could save you large amounts on your annual electricity and heating bills.
You heating efficiency can also be improved by ensuring that you carry out regular boiler servicing. Some companies will provide an up-front quote free-of-charge, so you can find out how much it is likely to cost you before you commit. In any case, getting serviced once a year is likely to be a wise investment as it’ll improve your boiler’s safety and save you money on your heating bills.
Buy your heating oil in bulk
Another way of saving on your home heating bills is to make sure you purchase your heating oil in bulk and at the right time.
The price of heating oil is notoriously flexible, changing as a result of many factors such as the value of crude oil, VAT rates and fluctuations in currency exchange rates. As a result, it is often a good idea to check how the current price compares to the historic value of heating oil. BoilerJuice carefully monitors the price of heating oil, so consumer know when is the best time to make a purchase.
Regardless of the current value, it always works out cheaper for consumers to buy their heating oil in large quantities. A bulk order means individuals save on delivery costs, which can really add up over the course of the year and increase you household outgoings.
Check benefit eligibility
Benefit eligibility is based on a number of factors, including household income or whether or not you have any children, but many people wrongly assume that it is only available to the unemployed.
In some cases, even those with an annual income of up to £72,000 may be entitled to some form of benefit, so it’s worth checking even if you think you’re unlikely to qualify. What’s more, the parameters for claiming benefits change on a regular basis, so it’s worth seeing if you’re entitled to any extra cash once a year at least. The full range of UK benefits can be found here.
Buy second hand
Your home may need a bookshelf or sofa, but does it have to be new? There are plenty of bargains to be had in the local community and sometimes you can get a perfectly functional appliance or piece of furniture for free through sites like Gumtree.
Plus, you can always try to give your second-hand purchases that new vibe, by upcycling. It may only take a fresh coat of paint or a couple of nails to reinvigorate an older item, and it’s likely to prove a lot cheaper than buying a brand new version.