The cost of living has been a major talking point since the onset of recession, with many people looking to do more with less.
Small savings here and there can quickly add up, meaning small lifestyle and spending changes can have a major impact in the long-term.
For those wishing to save a few extra pennies, here are a few things to consider.
Hunting for the best deals
Many suppliers have a multitude of deals, so working out which one best serves the needs of the household is recommended.
There is little point in paying more for something that is not used enough – such as an internet connection or phone line – while it could also be possible to upgrade in order to save.
Switching suppliers is becoming an easier and quicker process too, meaning it’s possible to find a better deal.
Many companies will also direct people towards their retention departments, who are likely to offer discounts and better deals in order to keep custom.
Comparing available deals
With so many different deals on the market it’s important to see all that is available – this applies when hunting for anything from energy deals to car insurance.
Certain tariffs might also offer better deals in the long term, especially if they promise fixed-price rates for a certain period of time.
In volatile markets this can be a way of protecting against potential price increases, although the rising prices can also be felt more at the end of a fixed-term contract.
Direct debit or prepaid options can represent a cheaper alternative when it comes to paying the bills as well; as providers will know they are guaranteed payment and will tend to charge less as a result.
The less energy that is used means a lower bill, so cutting usage, even if just by a little, could represent a saving.
Using energy-saving light bulbs and switching off the lights when not in use are two simple ways of saving in the long term – even if the bulbs are more expensive.
Switching down the thermostat a degree or two could also represent a saving, as less energy is required to support the heating system.
Upgrading household appliances to more energy-efficient ones could cut usage, while improving factors such as insulation can cut unnecessary energy loss.
Get a prepaid card
Financial management is extremely important, so keeping spending in check with a prepaid card is a great way of ensuring that you don’t spend more than you would like.
A prepaid card limits spending to the amount on the card at any given moment, meaning it is impossible to rack up debt.
Unlike credit and debit cards, prepaid cards are also not directly linked to a bank account, making fraudulent activity a lot more difficult to carry out for hackers.
The cards can easily be topped up or replaced if required, while accounts can be checked regularly online if necessary.