The colder weather is upon us and at this time of year the rising cost of utility bills,heating in particular, becomes a concern for many British households. Frosty temperatures lead to us having the heating on more often, darker days force us to have the lights on longer, and the majority of us are tempted to stay in the shower a little while longer, too.
Combined with other bills including council tax, wifi and mobile phone bills, as well as any monthly subscriptions, it can become a struggle for many households to pay everything off on time.
With Christmas just around the corner, we’re often drawn into a spending spree of spoiling our friends and family with presents; but it should be a priority to pay the bills before anything else. Find out more here about which bills Brits commonly struggle to pay, as well as how to reduce these costs afford the festive season too, from the team at iCount.
It’s quite surprising to see the number of Brits in arrears with their utility bills, even more so that 1 in 10 owe around £200 in water bills. The average yearly water bill amounts to around £386, which with the right financial planning should be extremely easy to pay on time. The biggest cause for concern it seems, is the amount owed on council tax, with some households are in arrears of around £300 with their council tax bills.
Stalling on payments will only ever increase the amount owed, which will cause even more financial worry. Borrowing appears to be a popular way to handle finances these days, with around 40% of households from the research admitting to borrowing from family and friends to see them through. Another 40% also admitted to using their overdraft to pay for utility bills.
While borrowing might seem like a quick fix, you can still end up owing other sources money instead. The amount owed won’t go away and there are much better ways to pay off bills and even reduce them, too.
How to reduce your utility bills
Simple solutions to reduce your electricity and water bills can end up saving you a fair amount of money. They’re free for you to use, to help you pay off any arrears or even better, for Christmas spending!
- Having quicker showers every so often and turning the tap off whilst brushing your teeth can save between 6 and 45 liters of water every minute.
- If you enjoy a few glasses of cold water every day, fill a jug up and keep it in your fridge. You’ll save money by not running the tap as often.
- Try to fill your dishwasher and washing machine before starting a cycle. Small, frequent washes cost a lot more than sparse big washes.
- Always keep an eye on energy suppliers and their costs. If you see a supplier with a lower price, switch to them and have your price fixed, to avoid any price increases impacting you.
- Unplugging any chargers that aren’t in use, turning appliances off rather than using standby, and turning lights off in a room when you leave can all have an impact on your energy bills.
- Avoid constantly heating all of your rooms all the time. If you’re not using a room, switch the heating off in there. Remember to heat them every so often though, to reduce the likelihood of damp.
Of course, these are just a few ways that can help to reduce your energy bills and to work your way towards a better financial position. If you have any nifty tricks of your own, or have seen huge savings in your bills from doing so, share it with us!