According to new research from Thisismoney.co.uk, one in five Britons have absolutely no savings. It’s not only a worrying statement, but it is also the first step of a possible future economic crisis. Indeed, even though none of us wants to think about Brexit anymore, there is no denying that the referendum has already affected the British economy. The best-case scenarios show that Brexit is likely to make the UK poorer for at least 15 years.
Not only don’t we know what is going to happen, but also most of us have been scratching their heads for many years wondering how they could save money in the household. The truth is that it’s incredibly difficult to establish an effective money-saving strategy at home. If we are to prepare for a period of uncertainty, we need to be able to save money and become more self-sufficient to reduce costs and risks. Unfortunately, British households have long come to the conclusion that saving money can be a surprisingly expensive business. The question you want to ask yourself is: can you afford to save money at home?
Downsizing your home includes additional costs
For a lot of homeowners who worry about the maintenance cost of their property, downsizing has become the most popular solution to cut house-related expenses down. Indeed, the idea is that once you live in a smaller house, your maintenance, utility and other everyday expenses should decrease accordingly. While there’s no denying that, in theory, downsizing is a sustainable option, it isn’t always true in practice. Indeed, as a homeowner, you can only from the process if you also manage to sell your previous property for a profit – aka earning more money than you need to cover the price tag of your smaller home. Unfortunately, if you don’t manage to sell on time, you’re likely to run into financial troubles rapidly. Additionally, you might also be forced to move out of your preferred location, which could increase your commuting costs and even your local taxes.
You need to change the windows to save energy
How often have you heard that replacing your windows could save you a tonne in electricity? The truth is that if you’d received a penny each time you came across the tip in money-savvy articles or via a friend, you would indeed be richer now than if you had actually replaced your windows. You are likely to save around £200 or less on your annual energy bill. While it is a significant amount, it is nowhere near the cost of changing your windows. With the average terrace house having anything from 6 to 14 windows, if you estimate £400 per window fitting, you can easily understand that you won’t recoup your investment immediately. It’s not uncommon for households to fund the improvement work through a loan, such as Buddy Loans. It gives them the option of spreading the cost over a long period.
I need to go off-the-grid
If you’re convinced that life would be a lot more enjoyable if you didn’t have to worry about your energy bills at all, you might have wondered about the benefits of going off-grid. There are already available off-grid kits that allow people who live in remote locations to fulfil their dream of a home sweet home. These solutions are equally adaptable to households who wish to stop relying on energy suppliers to generate their power. Properly designed, the system ensures you can maintain the modern luxuries of your everyday life without worrying about your supply of water, electricity and handling of waste. On paper, it’s perfect. In reality, off-grid kits are expensive to purchase and maintain.
Can I switch to energy-efficient appliances instead?
Most families consider realistic purchases that can help to curb the energy-hungry household as a priority. There is no denying that switching to energy-efficient appliances could save you money on your annual bill. However, you need to bear in mind that buying a new fridge or a new cooker is a substantial investment that, at the very best, will save you around £113 in energy at the end of the year. To put it clearly, it will take several years before you recover your expenses. In other words, while A rating appliances should be a priority, you are likely to save more by using your old goods until they stop working!
I’ll make my own products
The trend for DIY craft has taken households by storm and encouraged families to substitute shop products for their concoctions. When it comes to saving costs on grocery bills, you can, indeed, save up to £50 a week if you choose to cook at home rather than rely on takeaways. However, other alternatives, such as growing your veggies instead of buying them from the shop, may not prove as cost-efficient. Indeed, you need to take into consideration the cost of water, fertilisers, and gardening equipment, which increases the real value of your homegrown tomato. Another common DIY solution is to prepare your cleaning products using safe ingredients in your kitchen. For instance, you can make an all-purpose cleaner by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water, to which you need to add essential oil to offset the vinegar smell. How many of us, however, are likely to have all the ingredients and in sufficient quantity in their kitchen cupboard?
It’s a matter of developing green habits
Saving money at home is all about reducing waste and choosing sustainable solutions. Unfortunately green living is difficult to maintain in your everyday life. Protecting both the planet and your savings demands constant dedication. More often than not, you might be left wondering whether bothering collecting your compost or taking your mug to your favourite coffee shop is making a difference or whether you’re making things intentionally more difficult for yourself. (Answer: Yes, it’s making a difference to the planet, but it’s not always saving you a lot of money)
In conclusion, millions of us wonder how they could save money at home, and none can claim to have found the miracle solution. It’s an investment that is both financial and behavioural, and sometimes, you’re just not ready to make it. As Britain casually slipping into an economic and political crisis, we need to figure out quickly how to spend less without putting our lifestyle at risk.