How to save money around the home
We’re all very much home-based, house-bound, locked-down right now – hopefully not for much longer but while we are, here are some tips to save pounds, pennies and the environment too.
In our recent Money Week survey, just over 50% of respondents reported spending more on bills since studying from home and the other half said they were spending about the same. You may have made savings on (not) socialising or travelling but being at home all day during the winter months, will inevitably mean higher utility bills. We need to look after ourselves, our friends and families by keeping warm, eating well and keeping up hygiene rituals but small changes can add up to significant savings.
Water is a resource we all take for granted, but it is actually an expensive and very valuable resource. Saving water is increasingly important with supplies becoming unpredictable.
- Take a shower instead of a bath – a tub full of water uses 3-4 times more water than a quick shower. If you have a water meter installed this could make a dent in your annual bill.
- Only use as much water as necessary in the kettle or saucepans and put lids on pans to save fuel.
- Reduce your washing machine loads. Many of us will be wearing more relaxed clothing and not going out – do you really need to wash everything after one wear?
- No need to flush the loo after each use – agreement with other toilet users advised!
- If you have a garden, collect rainwater in containers now, which you can use to water your plants in warmer weather. Any wild animal visitors may enjoy a drink of rainwater too.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room! 20% of the average household electricity bill is made up of lighting. Take notice – do you need both the main light and lamp on?
- If you need to buy new bulbs, invest in LED bulbs – they are more energy efficient and cheaper in the long run.
- Position your desk next to window, if possible, and make use of the natural light.
Heating (or heat in)
While it’s important to be warm and comfortable in our homes, having to heat them all day long will result in higher bills. Whether or not we like it, staying in is the new going out and it would be wise to set aside savings you may have made by NOT going out, to put towards these higher bills. Here’s some other ideas to set back ‘switch on’ time and how to keep the heat in! Again – discuss with anyone you live with before making changes:
- Consider whether you could delay flicking that ‘on’ switch – these ideas might buy you a few extra, bill-free hours a day…. Wear layers of clothing – thermal underwear is great! Add jumpers, thick socks/slippers. Use blankets and throws, use a hot water bottle and drink plenty of hot drinks. Move around regularly or go out for a walk to warm up.
- Draught-proof your house. For draughty doors either roll up an old towel and place along the gap at the bottom or hang a heavy curtain across it. Similarly, an old towel strategically placed on old sash windows can work wonders. Some advocate the use of cling film as secondary glazing – good luck with that one! If you have open, unused fireplaces you can block draughts by filling bin liners with scrunched up newspaper and/or rags and shove up the chimney – you may need more than one. BE SURE TO REMOVE BEFORE YOU LIGHT A FIRE.
- Make use of radiator thermostats, especially if you have rooms that are not being used – turn these down to a very low setting but not off completely.
- Keep internal doors closed– heat is lost and wasted in hallways and draughts can seep in.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THE TIPS ABOVE ARE TEMPORARY FIXES AND THAT HOMES DO NEED REGULAR VENTILATION.
- Don’t leave devices on standby mode – fully switch off.
- Charge devices during the day and switch off at the socket when done – charging overnight wastes electricity as most modern devices now charge very quickly. Your charger will still use electricity if it’s switched on at the socket, even if the device is disconnected.
- Boiling a full kettle for 10 minutes a day will cost you about £30 a year in electricity, but if you only fill half the kettle, you’ll cut your costs in half too.
Green Homes Grants for homeowners and residential landlords – deadline March 2022
Keep the energy positive and if you have got any questions for the Student Advice team, please contact us
Student Advice Service