20 June 2011
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It seems that more and more of us are having to dip into our savings to cover the rising cost of living, as suggested by new figures.
Six times as many households have reported seeing their finances deteriorate this month, compared with those who saw an improvement, according to the Household Finance Index carried out by Markit.
Thirty per cent of people have reported seeing a fall in their savings - so we've decided to provide you with a guide on how best to save money on gas and electricity bills.
Something that we all want to know about, right?
During the summer months the best thing that we are gauranteed is natural light - something that can benefit our pockets as well as our mood. Keep the curtains open till the darkness descends then there is less chance of putting the lights on and using un-needed energy.
Why not switch suppliers? Yes this can be a little bit of a fuss but Ofgem report that if you've never switched before you could end up saving £100 a year. Use the independent watchdog Engerwatch to find the best one for you.
A quick and useful tip - don't place your fridge next to the cooker or a radiator as this consumes more energy.
Invest in some clever technology. The money-saving company OWL have introduced their sencond-generation wireless electricity monitor. The device keeps track of your electricity usage and transmits live data to your PC. The easiest way to visablly see just how much money you're saving. (RRP £40.95)
Only buy energy saving lightbulbs. This is one of the easiest ways to waste energy and the easiest way to save money. One bulb can save you £60 during the lifetime of the bulb and they last 10 times longer than an ordinary one.
Double glazing windows is a job for the professionals but forking out to get this done can save you between £80 and £100 a year.
Turning your heating down by just one degree celsius can save you up to 10 per cent on your bills each month - and what are the chances that you're going to even notice that one degree?
Finally, something that we are all guilty of - leaving appliances on or using the ever-faithful standby option. Using chargers has become a part of our daily routine, and it seems that keeping the phone on charge all night, or the laptop on charge whilst we are using it is the easy option - but once it's fully charged unplug it. It stops the laptop becoming dependant on the constant surge of power too. Turn off everything once you've finished using it and you will see a difference in the money you spend.
Not only are you saving money - which is always good news - but these small changes can only help the environment too, which we all need to do too.
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