With household budgets stretched to their limits, cash is king for families around the country. With that in mind, here are ten handy tips to help you to reduce your spending.
Use LED Lights
Replace all the inefficient traditional lighting in your home with LED lights. You can get LED replacements for just about every fitting and the light emitting diode technology delivers up to 90% savings on lighting bills.
The initial cost is repaid incredibly quickly through these energy savings and you can go on saving year after year because the LED lights have a very long life – easily more than a decade.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change advocates that everyone moves to LED lighting as soon as they can.
Reduce Water Consumption
Cutting back on the amount of water you use is another great way to save as using less water reduces energy consumption.
Swap out your old shower heads with eco versions that mix air with water flow and cut water consumption by more than 50%. You can achieve similar savings with eco taps that also mix air and water. If you want to keep your current taps, simple but brilliant tap aerators can also reduce water use by more than 50%. And if you choose quality products, you will not notice the difference when you shower or use the taps.
Draught-Proof (Draft Proofing)
You could save up to £50 ($80) a year by draught-proofing around your windows and doors. This is an easy way to make a saving. Insulating chimneys, fireplaces, floorboards, loft hatches and pipework will further reduce your heating and air conditioning bills.
Maintain your Boiler (A/C & Heating Unit)
Service or replace your boiler. If you do decide to get a new, more efficient model, you could cut energy use by up to 40%. Maintaining your equipment can actually save you money and help catch things like duct leaks, coolant leaks, ect before they cost you a ton of money. Also, don’t forget to change your air filters on a regular basis.
Use Smart Power Strips
Get smart power strips. These devices switch off power to appliances in a sequence – so if you turn off your PC/laptop, linked devices like the monitor, printer and scanner will also power down. It’s the same for your TV, cable/satellite box, video game console and DVD player.
Assess your TV Subscription
Do you really need all those extra TV channels? Be brutal! Check and cancel extra TV channels. You’d be amazed at the savings every month. Many people are opting to cancel cable and use services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, or other places where you can stream your favorite television shows at a fraction of the cost.
If something is broken, try your hand at repair before forking out money to replace it. Bear in mind though, that you will need to do thorough research before attempting to repair some household items. And there are, of course, some jobs that are safer to leave to the professionals. Also, it is important to perform regular maintenance on your appliances too. For example, you should regularly vacuum the coils off under the refrigerator and cleaning out the dryer vent to prevent a fire.
Review your Online Spending Habits
If you find yourself overspending online, why not remove your card details from online shopping accounts? Having to enter the details manually gives you time to think about whether you really need to buy something.
Cancel Unused Memberships
Keeping club memberships that you just do not use is a real waste of money so take the decision to cancel them once and for all. If you change your mind later down the line, you can always join again.
Cut Down on Meat
Take control of food and cooking costs by cutting down on meat, using a slow cooker and cutting out or reducing fast foods. If you enjoy eating meat, stock up when it is on sale at your local super market.
If you have the budget, you may also want to consider making changes that will lead to longer-term savings, such as fitting double glazing windows and investing in energy efficient household appliances that last at least 10 years.
About the Author
Mark Sait is managing director of SaveMoneyCutCarbon.com, a full-service efficiency partner helping businesses and households reduce energy and water consumption, and cutting carbon emissions to improve sustainability.
Image Credit: Flickr Via Creative Commons
Do you have any other money savings tips for families?