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Making the most of your finances

A Parliamentary report on the 29th of March 2022 acknowledged that the cost of living in the UK has followed a steep upward curve since the beginning of 2021 and inflation – at 6.2% over the past 12 months – has reached its highest recorded level in three decades.

Meanwhile, the Guardian newspaper on the 11th of April pointed to many everyday items that are currently costing more than 8% than they did a year ago, with average gas and electricity bills going up by almost double to hit £2,000 a year.

It is a time when any householder will want to make the very most of available finances – so, here we will suggest some of the ways you might do just that:

Gas bills

  • if you have gas-fired central heating reduce the amount of energy consumed simply by turning down the thermostat a degree or two – and preserve the heat you have used in warming up a room by closing the curtains and blocking draughts, suggests the government-backed Money Helper;
  • make still further savings by ensuring that the thermostat you use is a smart thermostat;
  • no one is suggesting that you invest in a whole new range of appliances, but when it comes time to replace any nearing the end of their useful life, remember to look out for the most energy-efficient models – especially if you are installing a new boiler;

Electricity bills

  • saving on your electricity bills will involve similar care to preserve the benefits of any energy you are consuming – through efficient insulation and the use of smart meters and thermostats;
  • when you are buying new electrical appliances, make sure to check the energy efficiency ratings of comparable products and choose the most efficient – namely, appliances rated A+++;
  • when setting the cycle on your washing machine, bear in mind that clothes are likely to come out just as clean if you wash them at 30º instead of 40º – and that switch will save valuable electricity consumption;
  • don’t keep electrical appliances on standby but make sure they are completely switched off by disconnecting them at the plug – a story in the Mirror newspaper on the 13th of February 2022 estimated that pulling the plug on the television alone could save households as much as £25 a year;

Water bills

  • water consumption is probably one of the most overlooked utilities when it comes to economising on its use – that is largely because of the conventional way of charging a fixed rate assessed based on the property’s rateable value;
  • this is changing and around 50% of homes now have water meters installed – so that you pay directly for what you use – and, according to a story in the Independent newspaper on the 19th of February 2022, a further six million homes might be forced to have meters fitted in order to prevent water shortages;
  • if you are paying metered water charges, therefore, you will be interested to review the ten tips on saving water suggested by the Eden Project – these include water-saving flush cisterns, shorter showers, turning off the tap between rinses, and the installation of water-efficient devices and appliances.

As inflation in the UK continues to drive up the cost of living, you might want to pay closer attention to these energy-saving tips and suggestions to help you make the most of your finances.

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