Quick hacks to save on your bills

Rent or mortgage, power, council tax, food, the car – the bills keep on coming in. it is all too easy to find that your available cash does not quite cover them all.

But there are some quick hacks you can employ to start to get some of those bills back under control.

First, see where the cash is all going

You can’t just decide to save money, you need to know where it is being wasted. The best way to cut your bills is to set aside the best part of a day and gather all your household bills together – broadband, tv, mobile, heating, electricity etc. Then go through your bank statements and compare your income and outgoings using this Government Budget planner.

Look carefully at those outgoings. The chances are that you are paying for things you don’t need – or know you have. Gym membership? Paid access to your credit report? You can get access to the same figures with free services like this one.

Are you paying for data you don’t need, or for things like Amazon Prime that you don’t really use?

A few emails, or even a call to your bank should put a stop to any standing orders or direct debits that you discover.

But what if you want the service? You may still be able to cut the cost. Contact the supplier and tell them you want to close your account. Then wait a month and see if you can take advantage of any introductory deals as a new customer!

TV and broadband? This comparison toolcan check you’re not overpaying. If you don’t watch a lot of movies online, or play interactive games, then maybe you don’t need the fastest broadband.

If you’re really under pressure financially and your minimum contract isn’t up yet, then tell your broadband provider that you’re having problems. They’re legally obliged to do what they can to keep people’s online services running for a month or two.

Cut the costs of the things you must have

Your next priority must be to pay less for the things you really can’t do without. Comparison websites can help you find the best deals on things like home and car insurance, and utilities. Most of us tend to stick with the suppliers we have – but suppliers know it and charge more to existing customers. Check out the savings you could enjoy by switching. An hour or two finding the best deals is time well spent.

But here’s the hack – once you have found the lowest rate for whatever you need, contact your existing supplier. Tell them that you are going to move your account, unless they can beat the deal you have been offered by a competitor. In most cases they will suddenly find a way to reduce their cost to you – often below the new price you have found.

Once you have arranged the best rate, you may be able to save even more.

With insurers, you might be able to arrange a discount if you take all your insurance cover - car, home, contents etc – from a single supplier.

With utilities, you may need to cut usage to cut bills still further_._ Unplug devices at night and, use energy efficient lightbulbs. The Energy Saving Trust have plenty more ideas to make the most of your heat.

Drive a car? Do you really need one? Many people are joining car clubs, or using public transport. But if you need a car every day, to commute to work, or to transport your family – then make sure you’re not spending too much on petrol or diesel by using this free tool.

You and your family don’t have to suffer to save – you just need to use our ways to make your bills a little less daunting!

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