Energy and the tight family budget

When your family is growing, so are your bills. The cost of living crisis is really biting, and people are looking for ways to reduce their outgoings. As parents, we struggle to do this more than most, as our young people tend to drain the bank account more efficiently than the plughole in the sink. 

While there is no one silver bullet, we can make small changes everywhere to add up to a significant amount. Our electricity and gas bills are an excellent example of where we can change several things, and our efforts add up to a big saving. Firstly, make sure that you have the cheapest energy deal available to you (you can check this using an online comparison tool) and then, check out these tips, to help you manage that tight family budget. 

 

Energy and the tight family budget

Change your bulbs

Probably the smallest and quickest change you can make is a move from halogen to LED bulbs. Halogen bulbs are inefficient and quick to blow. In contrast, LED bulbs are much more energy-efficient and last more than twice as long. When buying your LED bulbs, you will find they are more costly as an upfront expense. However, as they last longer, they are actually cheaper. 

Over a year, each bulb in your home could cost you £10 less to light. Considering how many light bulbs you have in your house becomes a significant saving with little effort.

Changing habits

Obviously, the cheapest energy is the energy not used. We all waste a lot of energy in our homes for convenience and poor habits. For instance, leaving a light on in an empty room or your TV constantly on standby are excellent examples. Again, remember to flick the switch is a matter of pennies each time. Yet, taking the longer-term view, this can all add up.

It is also worth considering how a focus on saving energy might help your children in the future. Starting now to get them in the habit of more economic behaviour could really build positive behaviours for the future when they are looking to maintain their own home. The simple request that they switch off items at the wall could be a great first lesson in money management.

Preventing Phantom Devices

What is little publicised by electronics firms is that certain items in your home continue to suck up energy even when you think they are not on. Your toaster, for instance, may not be browning your bread but could still be using almost the same amount of energy the whole time it is plugged in. Estimates suggest that items we believe are off but plugged in could account for 20% of our electricity bill.

Go down in degrees

Turning your thermostat down on your boiler by a single degree can save up to £80 per year on your bill. Most of us heat our rooms above 21 degrees when 20 is more than comfortable, and a small adjustment could make a meaningful saving.

Similar savings can be made when washing clothes at a colder temperature. Most of our clothing is washed with only minor dirt and smells present. Therefore, there is no need for a hot wash, as much grime can be handled in a cool wash.

Going smart

Companies have done much to help us reduce our bills using the latest technology. Recently, energy companies have rolled out smart meters. The point of these meters is to make billing easier and more convenient. 

However, it also allows homeowners to know where energy is used and make savings. You can easily see what increases your energy use by taking the meter around your home and switching items off and on. 

While a smart meter is free, other smart devices will need an upfront investment. However, you may find that the amount saved on your bills covers this cost. For instance, a smart thermostat can help you manage the temperature in each room separately, so you are not heating the whole house. A smart socket can help you to programme when devices come on and off and control them via your phone or smart speaker. Finally, smart lighting systems mean lights will go off when there is little movement in a room.

Summary

Energy is one of the highest costs in a family home. Thankfully, there are many ways to take control and manage the amount you spend on your bills. Working together as a family means you can all contribute to making your wage go further each month.

Energy and the tight family budget is a feature post

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