Everyone needs to cut back once in a while, if not most of the time.
There are loads of expenses that will need to be paid for when you do live independently, here are some ways of helping you cut back while living alone.
Cut your council tax bill If you live alone, you qualify for a 25% discount on your council tax bill. It’s not subject to means testing and you can get it regardless of what type of property you live in. You won’t however get it automatically and will need to apply for it.
Reduce your water bill If you haven’t got one, get a water meter installed. Water rates are based on the size of the property and are number of people who could live there. This means that if you live alone, you are almost certain to save money by moving to metered water. Most water companies will let you have a meter installed and then if you’re not happy change back without charge within 1 year.
Check you benefit entitlement You may think you’re not entitled to anything, but if you’re struggling financially it’s worth checking to see if you’re entitled to benefits just in case.
Cut your car costs Check that you’re not over estimating how far you drive each year as this can affect your car insurance costs. Breakdown cover is cheaper if you insure the car instead of the individual so if you only drive one car this method of cover can save you money.
Become energy efficient Energy prices are increasing and to keep these costs down you need to be as energy efficient as possible. Insulate your home thoroughly, use energy saving bulbs and appliances, switch everything off at the socket when not in use, and adjust timers so that heating is only on when you need it to be and not when you’re out. Set hot water so that it only heats when necessary, and switch regularly to get the best gas and electricity tariff. Look for local government grants to help with insulating your home too as the government is committed to helping us all reduce our carbon footprint.
Phone & broadband deals Check your phone and broadband usage and get a package that suits your exact lifestyle. VOIP (Skype) can help reduce call costs, and look at whether individual packages or bundles will give you the best deal.
Cut your food costs Supermarkets target families with their multi-buy deals but you can make use of these too by buying sausages when they’re on 3 for 2 and then freezing them in individual portion sized packages. You can also cook in bulk and then freeze portions to create your own ‘ready meals’. Try shopping with a mate using bulk discounts to get better value for money, and splitting the multi buy offers between you. Avoid waste by making meal plans, and package your own lunches to save on the cost of buying when you’re at work.