Are your bills taking a hard knock on your finances? We all have to pay bills, but many of us could be paying far less. Here are just a few ways to make your bills more manageable, so that you have more income to spend on yourself.
Always shop around
Many of us will stick with the same providers out of convenience whether they be insurance companies or energy suppliers. Loyalty schemes and no claim bonuses can also keep us with one provider – however these incentives are rarely ever worthwhile. Many providers will offer special first year deals as a way of enticing in new customers. By constantly shopping around and taking advantage of these deals you could save a huge amount on your bills (although you should always ask about the exit fee).
Don’t live alone
Having a housemate or roommate or lodger will help halve your rent. As for bills, whilst your housemate is likely to use more energy, they are likely to consume only 70% more. As you’ll both be halving this total cost, you’ll end up spending 15% less overall. Obviously, the more people you share a home with, the cheaper. There are plenty of guides to help you find the best way to split bills with roommates so that you’re each paying an equal amount. Always make sure you move in with someone you can trust to afford these payments.
Negotiate everything – even your rent
You may be able to negotiate certain bills and insurance schemes by ringing someone up. Threatening to leave a provider is often the best way of doing this. Insurance companies, internet providers and satellite TV providers will have special staff employed to talk you out of leaving – they will do this by offering discounts that you wouldn’t be able to get on the high street. It’s a bit devious, but worth doing if your current providers are running you into debt. As for rent, you can sometimes lower this too. You may be able to negotiate with a landlord, although it will often mean doing something in return. You could agree to help renovate the property or to pay a certain amount (a deductible) towards any repairs, which leads onto the next great cost-saving tactic…
Up your deductibles
When choosing an insurance scheme, you can opt to pay a deductible, which is the amount you’re willing to pay yourself before claiming money. Offering to pay a higher deductible will result in lower rates. This can be done with medical insurance, car insurance and property insurance. Of course, you should make sure that you have these finances available – either in a savings account or assets that you can sell.
Going green can save you huge amounts on your energy bills. This could involve paying for insulation installation, paying for solar panels or simply using low-energy appliances. In some cases, you may be eligible for an energy grant to pay for green renovations. Alternatively, you may be able to convince a landlord to pay for these home improvements, in exchange for paying some money towards them. Buying a greener vehicle meanwhile will save you money on fuel and road tax.