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How to save money on our monthly bills

(14 Posts)
Penguina Thu 24-Nov-16 17:06:03


In 3 weeks time I will become unemployed (Currently on mat leave) and will be my daughters carer.

DH and I are worried about our monthly spend. One of my main concerns in utilities. We are paying £89 a month but have £140 odd debit on our account. We live in a 3 bed detached house and I thought we lived quite frugally. The heating was only put on a few weeks ago and I light the fire daily rather than turn on the heating.

Can I ask what similar size houses pay for utilities? How can I save money??

I'm getting so worried about how we are going to afford anything in the coming years as we live in the South East on one salary confused

7SunshineSeven7 Thu 24-Nov-16 17:09:06

Saving money:

-Wear jumpers/housecoats were you can
-Put tin foil behind radiators
-Turn radiators off, then only put those on when the heating is on and needed in only that room. So if everyone is in the livingroom, the heating is only on in the livingroom
-Turn lights off
-If you're boiling the kettle don't over fill it, more energy is needed for more water. Just fill it to the amount you need
-Take short showers, not baths

Mum4Fergus Thu 24-Nov-16 17:21:22

I'm £42pm for Gas/Elec combined (not sure of actual split - 2 bed house). I've a Nest controller which has made a huge difference...but would suggest:
- curtains at all windows/doors, I lined all of mine with thermal fleece blankets from Ikea, £3 each
- thermal lining behind radiators
- close blinds/curtains at dusk to keep the heat in
- turn off everything at the plug at night except absolute essentials
- don't leave appliances turned on just to flash the time at you (cooker, microwave, alarm clocks)
- blankets for the sofa at night

specialsubject Thu 24-Nov-16 18:00:30

have you done a comparison on utility prices? You need to switch but you won't be able to until the debt is cleared. Remember that the savings figures lie (government regs) so knock up a quick spreadsheet and do some sums.

fire - open wood fire? Gas fire? If the latter how much gas does it use? Possibly more than the heating...

you presumably have a baby, so no peer pressure for xmas. Don't buy anything. Hammer down insurances, car fuel use, purchase of unnecessary items (e.g adult clothes) and so on.

look to your long-term plans too.

Penguina Thu 24-Nov-16 20:20:35

I looked at a comparison site for energy but because we owe and would pay an exit fee we would be worse off so will have to stay.

The fire is wood which thankfully we get for free.

We have 2 under 2 and Xmas presents aren't much of anything seeing as they have no idea about it. We are also not buying for each other.

Something I'm struggling with is knowing what tax credits we will be entitled to once I'm unemployed but dwp can't tell me until I've finished which is stressing my and especially my dh out

specialsubject Fri 25-Nov-16 09:44:51

OK. The exit fee will disappear when you get near the end of the contract. The debt needs to be paid or you will be stuck forever on expensive standard tariffs.

Good to see tatmas omitted. No presents for anyone doesn't mean a bad day. If you cannot find £140 then plastic tat is the last thing you need.

What is the long term plan - do you own or rent this place? What other expenses do you have and is there a scope for cutting them?

BarbaraofSeville Fri 25-Nov-16 11:23:21

Have a look at your other bills too. However much your utlities are, they are quite a small proportion of overall essentials when you consider mortgage/rent, council tax, food, insurances etc. If you can save a bit on all the other essentials, all those bits add up to a lot, and can make things a lot easier.

If you have time while caring for your daughter, make moneysavingexpert your friend and look at the budgeting articles on how to get the best price on everything.

Also make sure you do a benefit check as you might be entitled to benefits as income lower - and when you say 'carer' does that mean she has health issues? Would she be entitled to DLA? and carer's allowance for you?

Penguina Sat 26-Nov-16 23:15:51

We own and mortgage is around 790. All bills usually come to max 1400 I think. And that's including food. Dh is in sales so can bring home between 1700 and 3000 a month although he has informed me he isn't hitting target so will be the former for a while.

Dd gets higher rate of care dla as severely disabled. I have put in for carers allowance but they haven't looked at it yet and not actually entitled to it until mid December.

The benefits calculator doesn't seem to take into consideration that this year's income is substantially lower than the previous. By over 10k so it's not giving me an accurate results .

Genuinely considering wrapping an empty box for ds (6 months). He just fucking loves paper! Luckily dh and I are not materialistic and Xmas is more about the meal and family for me.

I find that I cant plan long term until I know what we will be getting tax credits wise. The suspense is killing me, just hope it's not a damp squib.

specialsubject Sun 27-Nov-16 18:42:38

a 6 month old will love you even more if given an empty box. Especially if that means more food and less worry for you.

delilahbucket Sat 03-Dec-16 22:54:59

We pay £67 a month for a five bed and I am at home all day. We also have a Nest thermostat which helps. We have Ikea fleece blankets if it gets cold in the evening, and we shut the doors to the lounge which keeps the heat in. We have radiators turned off in rooms that aren't used often and bedrooms have the radiators turned down.

PberryT Sat 03-Dec-16 23:02:21

Sounds like you are trying hard.

Have you checked all your other bills? Eg phone, Internet, TV?

Quick things I can think of are:
Wash less often or have shorter showers. We got a 4 min shower timer and try to beat it.
Wash clothes, particularly trousers and jumpers, less often. Don't put anything in the wash until it is dirty or smells.
Towels and bedding can be done once per week max.

Do you have a tumble dryer? If so, use it as little as possible.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 05-Dec-16 08:28:06

Ok, things that have saved us money.

LED lights everywhere. I buy them cheap online/Aldi/homebargains/ikea.
A halogen oven. Only use the big oven for pizza now.
A slow cooker for meat/pies/soups.
Wearing black thermal leggings under jeans ditto long thermal tops/socks
Switching everything off like the oven and microwave if it's running a clock.
Heating the water to 55c for twenty minutes a day.
A spin dryer. It gets an extra pint out of washing so it's quicker to tumble dry not that I have a tumbler yet but I will one day
Keeping doors shut and fitting brush Draught excluders to them.

I put the heating on in 20 minute bursts. Then off for 20. Gas consumption is down.

bimbobaggins Mon 05-Dec-16 13:49:18

I have a two bed semi and pay £80 per month for gas / elec. I thought that was quite reasonable but would love to know how how you manage on £67 per month in a 5 bedroom delilah

PerfumeAndCatsAndBooks Mon 05-Dec-16 14:22:10

penguina if you try the entitled to website and input your new financial details it should give you an estimate of tax credits etc. IIRC it can adjust for carers etc.

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