4 Ways to Save on Household Bills

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It’s said that US consumers spend around $17,000 on average every year on their housing, and an additional $7,660 on transportation – which amounts to roughly half of all expenditure. Clearly, many of these costs cannot be avoided: people need somewhere to live and to get around, after all. There are things that you can do, though, to help keep your household bills down so you can free up some money to spend elsewhere, and generally get a better deal on your living costs. Read on to find out about four ways you can save on your household bills.

Switch energy providers

One option is to reconsider which energy providers you use. Sometimes you won’t have a choice about this, such as if you live in a property with a landlord who takes care of such things. Often, however, people do have control over which companies supply things like their gas and electricity and these companies regularly have deals that they offer to new customers. It can also help to speak to your current provider as they might well be able to offer you a deal that costs less than you are currently paying; if they think you might switch to another company, they might be willing to compromise in order to keep your custom.

Add to your security

Security measures can also help you keep your bills down and, even though you’ll have to pay for the equipment in the first place, it should more than pay for itself over time. For instance, getting a good alarm system on your house can help to reduce the amount you have to pay for home insurance, as can getting good locks on your doors. This makes your house harder to break into, and therefore there’s statistically less risk of you needing to claim on your home insurance policy.

A similar approach can also work for your car insurance: people who have good security on their cars find it much easier to get cheap car insurance policies than people who don’t. Steering locks, wheel locks, car alarms and immobilizers can all make a difference.

Shop around for insurance

When you are buying personal insurance such as auto insurance or home insurance, it’s also a good idea to shop around. Often, the first deal you look at won’t be the best and so it definitely pays to get at least a couple of comparisons to make sure you get the option that offers the best value. There are plenty of price comparison sites online, which can be useful, but it also helps to look at the insurance providers themselves. This is because different home insurance and car insurance policies offer slightly different cover, and so as well as getting a good price, you need to be certain you’re getting the right cover, too.

Change habits

Another tactic for reducing your household bills is to change your habits. Some habits are harder to break than others, but even just making a few small changes can make a big difference. For instance, walking to the shops rather than driving will not only save on your fuel bill but driving less can lead to cheaper car insurance. Using energy saving light bulbs and remembering to turn off lights when you’re not using them can also save on your electricity: it might not seem like much, but it all adds up.

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Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

27 Comments

    • I was thinking the same thing and will most likely look into some other companies within the next couple of months.

  1. My car insurance just doubled (long story) so I will definitely be shopping around. Part of me wants to be loyal to an insurance company and stick with them for many years, but they make it impossible to do this unless you never use them, which isn’t always possible. So on to the next one once again…

    • It does seem like many of them jack the price up slowly over time, hoping that you won’t notice and continue to stick with them. I’d like to think that this doesn’t really happen, but I’ve heard to many stories…

  2. I don’t know that I have the option of switching energy providers, but I do switch internet providers typically every 12 months. I bounce back and forth between providers, and always get the best promotional deals they have. Currently I am with ATT, but will likely switch once my promotion runs out.
    MoneyforCollegePro recently posted..The Student Loan Debt Clock

    • Do whatever you can to save some bucks! Sounds like you’ve got a pretty good system. 🙂

  3. Definately agree with shopping for insurance. My insurance company tries to gradually increase my premiums 10 to 15% per year hoping it’s not enough to make me shop around. However when I look at the total increase over the past few years it’s something closer to 50%. Definately gives me motivation to shop around. Even if I don’t find anything cheaper at least I’ll know for sure.
    Personal Finance Source recently posted..Personal Finance Source’s Money Rules

    • Great point PFS! You might not find anything cheaper, but at least you know that you did your due dilligence! And then you won’t have to wonder if you’re getting screwed.

  4. Thanks for this great post it’s really interesting and I learned a lot from it. Looking forward to your next post. Keep on the good work.
    Demi recently posted..luchtzuivering

    • Thanks Demi! I’ll make sure to come up with another great post for tomorrow! 🙂

  5. Great post Derek. These are some practical tips. I wish we could switch energy providers where I live. However we have a government public owned supplier so there is only one option. Our rate isn’t too bad but I don’t like the fact that I can’t shop around.

    • Yeah, sometimes it’s impossible to switch energy providers….too bad really.

  6. Changing habits is a great idea. An extra blanket at night with one or two degrees colder furnace… a gradual heating cycle rather than from 0 to… etc. Shutting off lights when leaving the room… all easy changes to help save a little.
    Doctor Stock recently posted..Day Trading for Quick Profits

    • Yeah, no bid deal. As long as you can move under your blankets, then you’re golden! Shutting off lights is a good one too. Sometimes we just don’t think about it, but it sure can make a difference within a months time. 🙂

  7. We don’t have a choice about the energy provider. I’ve never lived in a place where there is a choice.
    I really need to shop around for insurance too. I think our rate is pretty good in general, but it can’t hurt to check.
    retirebyforty recently posted..My Editor Wants A Raise

  8. I really hate shopping around for insurance, especially since I always just end up getting a lot of phone calls from people who are just so persistent in wanting to sell me their insurance! But it is true that you can save a lot of money by looking around first before deciding. I cut down on the bills by unplugging all my electrical devices unless I’m going to use them. It really does work.
    Claudia recently posted..Disney Costumes

    • Unplugging devices most definitely works! Thanks for the comment!

  9. I just spoke with my internet/cable TV provider and let them know I was less than impressed with the fact that the prices kept going up. I was nice about it and asked if they had any other deals/plans out there that would work for my family. He asked me a few questions and found a cheaper package. My bill dropped $17.00 per month – not much I know, but over a year I will have saved over $200.00! 🙂
    Kevin recently posted..Encouragement

    • Nice! You may not notice it too much, but a $200 savings per year is definitely something!

  10. There are a few other things I’d suggest adding for homeonwers. Reevaluate interest rates every few years; it seems like every time they are at record lows, they go lower. If you have PMI and remodel within the first ten years, persue a new appraisal to drop the PMI. Fight property assessments.
    Shaun @ Smart Family Finance recently posted..Comment on Optimizing Your Savings Account: How to Earn Interest Like You Have Money Even When You Don’t by 25 Ways to Make Extra Money | Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance

    • This is our plan! We just purchased our house and are remodeling. Once we’re done, it’s increased value should cover the additional 10% we need to get out from under the PMI charges. We’ll be done soon! 🙂

  11. Hey Derek, thanks for the tips, although I can’t use them yet. At least I’ll do my best to get the right insurance, security and energy providers when I buy my first house. 😀
    Allen recently posted..An Overview of The Most Popular Browsers

    • No problem! Good luck finding that first house!


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