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Saving on the big bills #thrifty

The maxim, ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’ is still true but we also need to look at the big picture. We need to keep household accounts and look at the big bills that occur only occasionally. The big bills can be the water bill once a year or changing the car every few years.

big bills

Monthly bills

Most people try to pay the big bills monthly. My water bill is paid annually and so I have to save up through the year and keep it in mind. I always save more than is needed which is a habit worth getting into. Cutting those big bills can mean changing your habits or it can mean making an investment. Investing in more insulation can save on your heating bill. Investing in low energy lighting can save on your electricity bill. Taking the time to compare water charges might reduce your water bill. If you live alone like me, a water meter might be more economical.

Habitual savings

Changing your habits can mean big savings on those big bills and small savings here and there too. Closing doors and windows when it’s cold or leaving them open for shorter times will save on the heating bill. Habitually wearing warmer clothing will also save on heating bills. You can save fuel when you’re driving too. If you accelerate quickly, then you will use more fuel. Get into the habit of accelerating slowly and smoothly and brake more gently to save fuel. The same principle can be applied to some heating boilers. The modern ones have an economy setting that warms the water more slowly.

Other big bills

Things like car tax and car insurance are things you have to budget for and this can be difficult when the big bill only comes once a year. The option to pay monthly often comes at extra cost. On my car insurance, it’s an extra 10% which is money I can spend on little luxuries if I budget properly and pay annually.

Changing the car

If you drive carefully, you don’t have to change your car so often. This can be the biggest of the big bills for many people and so you need to look for value for money and look after your car. Cars now tend to have sealed paintwork and so don’t buy a car if that seal is broken unless it is in an area where it is not likely to corrode much further and is much cheaper because of the damage. Look at the oil, that is a good indication of engine wear. The mileage of the car will give some indication of the general wear and tear on the car. I’m looking for a car that’s about 5 years old that is low mileage and has done less than 50,000 miles. A car that has done more than 10,000 miles a year is likely to have more problems. Obviously, you can make the car last longer by doing fewer miles and driving carefully.

Today’s ideas on saving money on the big bills can be applied across the board. Get into the habit of being thrifty, keep a simple household account and think before you spend! Many prices are going up because of the reduced value of the pound and we could see more economic worries ahead, so we need to prepare for the future.

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