According to the latest figures from the Money Charity, the amount of debt owed by people in the UK stands at a total of £1.508 trillion — working out at an average of £55,855 per household. Both of these totals represent a year-on-year increase over 2015, indicating that things are getting worse for families up and down the UK, not better.
Paying and budgeting for your household’s monthly bills can be stressful, especially when you have aspirations to save for a rainy day. It can be surprising just how much you spend in just a few weeks, and you might often be left pondering ways that you could cut some costs.
Thankfully, there has been quite a few advances in home technology that can help you in your money saving endeavours. If you are willing to embrace some of these nifty ideas, you could end up slashing a fair few of your bills. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of our favourite tips for the tech-savvy household.
Shop online for large purchases
While it might not be able to offer you the smiling customer service and in-store experience of the high street, the internet is a great place for comparing prices, finding a bargain, and getting your money’s worth. If the time has come to make a big purchase, you can often find the best deal by browsing through online stores yourself or using one of the many price comparison websites that specialise in certain types of product.
With a whole world of information at your fingertips, you can often find information that you can use to your advantage. For example, for items with a hefty price tag, such as a sofa, car, or a computer, it’s always worth getting in touch with a company to see if they will match or beat a cheaper price that you found elsewhere. Many stores have price match guarantees, and even if they don’t, they will sometimes make an exception to get your business.
If you are replacing a household product that is just a bit out of date, you can almost always earn some of the price tag back by selling your old model online. Sites like eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Gumtree, and Craigslist are great places to advertise and sell old items.
Go completely TV and landline free
With better connectivity today than ever before, you can take advantage of many great online communication solutions to drive down the cost of your phone bill. Likewise, our broadband connections are also fast enough so that we can stream TV, films, and music through them, removing the need for expensive TV packages where we end up paying for channels you will never watch.
Services like Skype, Google Hangouts, and WhatsApp are free to use at the most basic level, allowing you to make voice calls, video calls, and send messages through your internet connection. This is a big plus for households that have relatives that they would like to speak to regularly overseas, where speaking to them over the phone would incur expensive charges. Similarly, brands like Netflix, NowTV, Spotify, and Apple Music offer huge libraries of TV shows, films, and music for your consumption, each available at a fraction of the cost of a regular television package.
Once you become fully confident with these services, you could even opt for a broadband-only deal, such as these listed on USwitch, which would remove the monthly cost of a landline or TV package completely.
Protect gadgets so you don’t have to replace them
Anyone that has a family will know that each member has their own gadgets that play important roles in their lives, and with so many electronics in one place, some breakages are bound to happen. When a mishap does occur and something gets broken, it can be costly to repair or replace, and when multiple incidents happen in a short period, you could be landed with quite a hefty bill.
For example, consumer advice website Which? lists the typical cost for the replacement of a laptop screen as £105, while the cost of a replacement power supply is £70. Even worse, if you have to replace the whole item because it is beyond repair, you will need to shell out for an entirely new product. Should a few of these bills need to be footed in a year, you could end up paying thousands of pounds that could have gone elsewhere.
So, what can be done to minimise the risk? The answer is to simply make sure that your tech is covered for repairs or errors. Companies such as Let Us Fix IT offer gadget cover, as well as support and assistance with minor tech troubles for an affordable monthly fee. Investing in some tech insurance can bring your annual bill right down and give you some peace of mind too.
Invest in some energy saving light bulbs
According to the Energy Saving Trust, lighting makes up around 18% of a typical household’s electricity bill, which is a sizeable chunk. They also point out that by switching from older styles of bulb to newer, energy efficient models, you could end up saving quite a lot on your electricity bills.
There are two main types of efficient bulb available: CLF and LED. A CLF bulb is cheaper than an LED bulb, but less efficient than an LED — however, making the switch can still save you £5 per year for each bulb replaced. On the other hand, while an LED bulb is more expensive up-front, it will save you more over the lifespan of the bulb. They are also particularly effective for spotlights and dimmable lights. You could save up to £35 per year by simply switching all your household downlights to LED bulbs.
Follow the advice in this article to make your home more tech-savvy and you could save quite a lot of money in the process.