Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Real Men Sow
The summer is here, and people everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief as they can finally give their central heating a rest. It’s been an incredibly rough six months or so for homeowners and renters alike with the cost of living. If it seems like prices have been going up everywhere you look recently, that’s because they have been. Energy bills have skyrocketed even as the government agreed to extend their support schemes. You’ll have noticed that the final total at the supermarket self-checkout is a lot higher than it used to be too. There’s been a lot of upset about wages not rising in line with the rate of inflation. In fact, it seems like the only thing that’s going down is the house prices.
Even as you look ahead to the brighter, warmer days of summer, you still need to be actively looking for ways that you can bring your spending down. Homeowners will know that there is always something that needs doing on the property and you can never categorically say, “That’s it for spending this month!” But you can be smarter and more practical when you need to open your wallet.
Upgrade Your Appliances
It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that you can save money by spending it. But when was the last time you upgraded your fridge, your cooker, or your washer-dryer? Continuing to use major appliances that don’t get the job done properly, or take twice as long to get it done, is a false economy. Yes, you’re saving on the upfront cost, but you’re going to be running into much higher energy bills. Washer-dryers are the best example of this, and they’re often cited as one of the biggest culprits of waste energy. Think about looking for newer models that have better energy efficiency ratings and won’t make you wince when you open the bill from your energy supplier.
Do Your Research On Contractors
There are always going to be jobs that need doing around the house that you are not going to be able to do yourself. It’s definitely a good thing to recognise when you need a contractor but it’s just as important to make sure that you find the right one. Everyone knows someone who’s got a story about dealing with a nightmare tradesperson even if they haven’t been through the experience themselves. It’s especially tough when they’re working on something as personal as your own home. But there are plenty of ways that you can give yourself more certainty about the person you’re hiring. For example, say you want to have some landscape gardening done on your property. It’s worth looking around to see what’s out there and what other people have to say. MyBuilder can help you find the perfect contractor that’s local to you. Local landscape gardeners near you can bid on your job so you can get a broad overview of what kind of price you should be charging, and you can also read reviews.
Stop Being Afraid Of Your Bank Balance
It’s perfectly understandable why so many people have anxiety about their finances. Not being confident with money is the kind of thing that you can start to feel ashamed about, particularly if it feels like you’re constantly making mistakes and things are tight enough already. A lot of people find that anxiety about their finances can have a real impact on their mental health. But it’s important to be able to sit down with your bank balance and understand how much money you’re spending every month and where it’s going. Having a clearer idea of this will allow you to identify where you can cut costs. Start by looking at the last month’s transactions. You can start with the big recurring expenses like your mortgage, energy bills and so on. Work your way through them all the way to the cups of coffee that you buy on the way to work. You don’t want to be making cuts haphazardly. You should think about talking to your bank or your financial advisor if you’re still not sure.
Rethink How Much You’re Using Your Cars
Finally, a quick note on transportation. Sometimes you simply can’t avoid using the car. But there’s no getting around the fact that they are a major expense. There are insurance, tax, and repayments on top of petrol costs. You might want to think about selling one of your cars if you’re a two-car household. Otherwise, it might be time to look at using public transportation more or car-sharing with a colleague. This will not only help you to save on petrol, but it will also help you to reduce your carbon footprint. What’s more, frequent short trips have been shown to negatively impact the lifespan of a car.