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By: Stuart Wood
Household bills typically account for a large percentage of a family's monthly expenditure. Although limiting these costs is not easy, there are a number of ways that cuts can be made and money can be saved.

#1 Obtain Gas and Electricity from the Same Company

A large portion of monthly bills come from electricity and gas, particularly during the cooler months of the winter. Although it may not be possible to obtain both gas and electricity from the same supplier, doing so can save you money each month. Oftentimes, companies will provide you with a discount if you choose them for all of your energy needs. Combining companies will also reduce the number of payments you have to make each month to your different suppliers.

#2 Take Advantage of Direct Debit

Although many people still send in monthly cheques to their utility companies, direct debit is really the best option. Many power suppliers will provide you with a discount if you choose to pay your bills this way as it saves them money when it comes to processing your payment. Additionally, eliminating the use of cheques will reduce your costs when it comes to postage as well.

#3 Change Your Energy Supplier

Almost all available energy suppliers have recently found themselves raising their prices. Even if you were previously utilizing the best deal, it is important to continually review the different options as prices change on a regular basis. Make sure to take both price as well as quality of service into consideration when making a decision.

There are websites available, including uSwitch.com, that allow you to compare the different suppliers in regards to price. The website allows you to enter the amount of energy that you currently use as well as your preferences regarding payment options and then will generate a list of the best options. This provides you with an easy and stress-free method of switching providers should you choose to do so.

#4 Thoroughly Insulate Your Home

Many homes waste large amounts of energy due to poorly insulated buildings. As much as a third of a home's heat can be lost through walls if the home is not properly insulated. Think about installing cavity insulation in the walls as this is a great option when it comes to saving on monthly household bills, particularly during the winter months. This will ensure that the heat remains inside of the home and becomes evenly distributed throughout the house.

Cavity insulation is injected between the outer and inner brick layers of the external wall. Despite the fact that the initial insulation process can cost approximately £260 for the typical home, it can save as much as £160 in utility bills each year, certainly making the cost worth it.

#5 Reduce Phone Bills

Phone bills are another area where bills can escalate out of control. Pay close attention to your phone calls and the types of calls you make so that you can choose the least expensive and most appropriate plan for your needs. For example, if you make most of your calls during the evening or on the weekends, search out packages that provide you with unlimited minutes during this time frame.

When choosing between your mobile or home phone to make a call, select the one that makes themost sense cost-wise. If it is cheaper to make a call to a mobile from your mobile, do so. Choosing a plan that allows you to talk to certain family and friends for a discount is an excellent choice as well. Whichever plan you choose, make sure to read the small print before making a commitment.

#6 Council Tax Band

A lot of money also goes toward your council tax. Although it is impossible to avoid paying council tax, you should ensure that your home is within the correct tax band so that you are not overpaying. This can be done through looking on the website for the Valuation Office Agency.

You can use this site to also compare your current council tax band with other properties that are nearby, particularly homes that are similar to yours in terms of style and size. It is possible that you might be paying more than required in taxes.

#7 Combine Television and Broadband Service

If possible, try to find a bundle deal for your broadband and your TV. This will combine your monthly payments, adding to your convenience. Many companies will also provide you with a discount if you choose to obtain both TV and broadband from them. Numerous suppliers will provide packages for cable TV, internet, and phone.

You should also take a moment to consider the channels that you watch on a regular basis. If you do not watch certain channels, it may be possible to downgrade your current cable package, saving you money each month.


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