Everyone is seeing an increase in the cost of their energy bills. While using less energy can be something we can do to try to reduce the costs, as the standing charge is increasing a lot as well, doing this will not have a big impact on how much extra people are having to pay. It therefore means that we may need to have to think about alternative ways to afford the bills.
Cutting Energy Use
Although a lot of the bill is a standing charge which will not change even if we use less energy, reducing energy use will still help to some extent. It can be a good idea to make sure that at least, we are not wasting energy and we may even be able to do more than this to cut usage. A smart meter will give reading as to how much energy is being used and this will allow us to work out what appliances use a lot and where we might be able to reduce what we use. Simple things like using the grill instead of the oven and turning off appliances when not being used can help. These will not make huge differences, but it is worth making sure that we are not wasting money by using energy we do not need to use. Energy companies have information on their websites with tips on saving energy too and these are worth trying out. It is also wise to try to take advantage of the cheaper summer months, when bills will normally be less due to reduced heating costs, to save money up towards the winter. Your energy company might make you do this anyway by making you pay extra each month in the summer to cover the winter costs, but you may choose to save that money yourself instead and put it into a savings account. This means that you will be able to earn interest on it and you will have it there if you do need money in an emergency, although it is best if you try really hard not to spend it.
If we can earn more money, then this will enable us to be able to have more money available to pay the energy bills. If we are working outside of the home, we will also use less energy in the day as we will not be putting on lights, appliances and heating which cost money. Of course, it is not always easy to find work or to be able to work, depending on our circumstances. However, it could be possible to even earn some money at home if we start a YouTube channel, website with affiliate links in or monetise our hobby by selling things that we make. Some people find that getting a second job of some sort can benefit them, in increasing their income enough to help them to manage. It is not always easy to work harder and give up leisure time in order to get more money, but it might be something that we will have to do. There are many ways that we can make a bit extra and although it may not be a fortune, it can all help when we need extra to pay bills. We may be able to make money form our home too – renting out a bedroom, driveway, garage or attic space could bring in some extra income without us having to work. Even selling things we no longer need could help a little bit, although it will not bring in an income, just a lump sum of money, it could all help a bit towards rising costs.
Spending Less Elsewhere
It is well worth having a close examination of what we are spending and seeing whether we can cut back anywhere else. Sometimes there may be obvious areas that we can reduce spending in, perhaps by cancelling subscriptions and memberships that we rarely use, cutting back on charity donations or buying less stationery. It might be more difficult though, as some people have already started to cut back and it can be tough to see where they can cut back more. It is always worth looking though, writing down what you buy, examining bank statements and you may be able to identify areas where you can stop buying something and get an extra bit of money. Swapping the places, you shop and the brands can help as you can switch to buying cheaper items. It can also be good to question yourself when shopping and think about whether you really need the item that you are buying or whether you can manage without it as by doing this, it can mean that you put a lot of items back and only buy what you need to. You may think that you are already buying the cheapest items but make sure you really check and keep checking. Just because you are in a budget shop does not mean everything there is cheaper. Toiletries could still be cheaper in a pharmacy or chemist rather than a supermarket, for example. If you have the time, compare prices in lots of places. Many have prices online so you will not have to go into stores to do this. Also consider whether online shopping might be cheaper for you. This will depend on the type of things you are buying and you will have to allow for any postage charges, but it might be a good way to find some cheaper items.