It’s been nearly eleven years since Britain saw the worst recession since the Second World War and although the economy grew in the last quarter, it still sometimes feels, especially with the threat of no deal Brexit hovering over us, that every single penny counts when it comes to our finances.
Deal, or no deal, we have no idea what Brexit holds for us. Some say that all the doom and gloom surrounding a ‘no deal’ scenario is completely unfounded and just a way for ‘Remoaners’ to try and influence a second referendum and change the result. Others, like myself, are worried about what challenges a no deal Brexit will bring and the impact it will have on the futures of our children.
However, on the flip side, economists predict that if Britain makes a smooth transition out of the EU, interest rates are likely to start rising, starting with a .25% increase in mid-2019. Although this won’t impact us immediately due to us being in a fixed term deal with our mortgage, when it comes to shopping around in 2020 for a new deal, our monthly mortgage payment is likely to be considerably more.
With this in mind, and after my post last week about how I saved £6,000 in six months, I wanted to share in more depth how I am currently trying to save as much money as possible on my utilities, ready for when we inevitably face a budget adjustment due to mortgage rate rises. After the mortgage, council tax and food, utilities are probably our next biggest spend, thanks to us being pretty lazy when it comes to leaving lights and on and flicking the gas central heating on whenever we feel just the slightest bit chilly. Not only will be saving pennies, but we will also be making a positive impact on the environment too.
Related Post: How I’m Going to Be More Environmentally Friendly in Our New Home
How to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
Gas and Electricity
Turn off unused electricity
We have started getting into the habit of turning lights off when we leave rooms as we were terrible for leaving every single light on downstairs while we were upstairs chilling. As well as lights, we make sure TVs and radios are turned off and we turn stuff off at the wall instead of putting it into stand by mode.
I have started making a concerted effort to reduce my consumption of high energy use appliances such as my hair dryer, the tumble dryer and the dishwasher. I let my hair dry naturally in French braids a couple of times a week, I have cut out all use of the tumble dryer unless absolutely necessary and I limit the dishwasher to once per day using an eco setting.
Shut the curtains at night
Sometimes we get pretty lazy when it comes to shutting the curtains once the heating comes on in the evening, but after reading how closing the curtains can reduce heat loss by up to 17% we have started doing it religiously.
Turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees
This simple trick should not make too much of an impact on how you feel warmth wise, but should significantly impact your energy bill.
Related Post: Preparing Your Oil Fired Heating For Summer
Reduce the amount of time the heating is on per day
I recently figured out how to use our heating system after six long months of us living here! The heating was set to come on twice a day for a total of six hours and I reduced this by an hour per day just to see how we coped. Despite it being -2C out some mornings, we’ve not noticed a lot of difference, but our energy bills have reduced significantly.
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth
I’m terrible for leaving the water running when burnishing my teeth and Dexter has got into the same habit too! We now have a rule that we turn the faucet off when we brush and only pop it on to wash away what we have spat out.
Related Post: How to Get Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth
Store cold water in the fridge
In the summer the water that comes out of our taps is extremely lukewarm and it’s imperative you run it for a good 40 seconds to get the cool water your body so desperately craves on a hot summers day. Which is why I’ve taken to filling up bottles of water and storing them in the fridge saving us literally letting money slide down the drain.
Don’t flush when you pee
This one isn’t for everybody, but considering I am home alone most of the day, I try to avoid flushing unless absolutely necessary (if you know what I mean) With each flush costing 1.5p, the cost soon adds up, especially for those of us who are pregnant or drink a huge amount of water each day to stay healthy.
Take a shower instead of a bath
This interesting article reckons you could save over £25,000 over 25 years by having a shower instead of a bath every day. (Although god knows who is having two baths a day…I’m lucky if I get two baths a week at the moment with a newborn and a toddler running around!) Not only are you saving money on your water bill, you’re also looking after the environment: win-win!
What do you do to save energy in the home?