Do you also have a mini heart attack everytime you go to the supermarket and look at the prices? Does your heart skip a beat when you open the electricity bill? Do you sigh loudly when it’s time to pay the phone bill? Do you just close your eyes and pay when you put gas in your car?
You are not alone. It simply has become more expensive to be a Kiwi.
That’s why we decided to write this article. There are ways to save money on utilities, and it doesn’t even have to be hard. Simply block out a couple of hours in your calendar, make yourself a cup of coffee, tweak a little bit here and there, and before you know it you’ll have cut your utility bills down significantly.
6 ways to save on utilities
Phone and broadband
Depending on which phone plan you are on, it can be an expensive affair. However, there are ways to lower your phone bill significantly. First of all, make sure you are actually on the right plan. Do you actually need all the data, speech and hotspot your current phone plan has, or could you do with less?
Secondly, with some phone companies, such as Spark, you can get shared mobile plans. This means you can share your plan with your spouse, children, siblings … By getting on a shared plan you get a discount (the more people, the more you save). This could potentially save all of you a lot of money every month.
As a side note, with some phone plans you also get Spotify for free, so if you’re paying full price for your Spotify subscription, there’s even more bucks to save.
So, let’s look at the numbers. You could easily save $80/month by switching to a shared mobile plan. That’s $960 per year, and an additional $200 per person per year you save on Spotify.
When was the last time you compared the different electricity providers? You could potentially save a significant amount of money simply by changing providers.
Another way to save on electricity is being a little bit more conscious of how and when you use electricity. Depending on your provider and plan, it might be cheaper to turn on the dishwasher during the night instead of during the day. Same with your washing. Also, remember to turn off the lights whenever you leave a room. And also, you probably don’t even need the lights on during the day. This might seem like small things, but if you do them consistently every day, these seemingly insignificant habits will save you money.
So, how much can you actually save? Well, just by switching you receive $400, and then you can easily save up to $400 per year on your power bill by switching. Take a look at Powerswitch to see how much you can save each year.
If you love long, burning hot showers, we’re right there with you. However, they are not the best for your wallet (or the environment). Cold showers might not seem very appealing at first, but you will be laughing all the way to the bank when you see how much your water bill goes down.
Moreover, there are several benefits of cold showers. Cold showers help you wake up in the morning, they give your skin and hair a healthy glow, they may reduce muscle soreness after intense workouts, and they increase your circulation. So, it really is a win-win.
At the same time we also understand that there just are times where you want a steaming hot shower that allows all your worries to melt away.
That leads us to our next tip. Get a water-saving shower head. Studies have shown that a water-saving shower head can save the average family up to 2,700 gallons of water per year. And the best part is that they don’t even have to be expensive. You can easily find a great water-saving shower head under $60.
This way you can still enjoy your hot showers while saving water and keeping your bank account and the environment happy.
Grow your own food
Going to the supermarket can feel a bit like being in a horror movie. Even if you choose discount products and buy in bulk, you are probably still shocked when you see the total at checkout.
So, what to do? Well, have you ever considered growing your own food? Growing your own veggies is actually not that hard, and it will save you a lot of money on groceries. If you have the space, you can even get a couple of chickens, and voilá, you now have free (and fresh) eggs every morning.
According to an American study, a well-maintained garden could potentially produce about $600 in food savings over a single summer.
Let’s face it, none of us particularly enjoy putting gas in our car. It is expensive. So, could you get a little creative here? Could you work from home two days a week? Could you go to the supermarket once a week instead of three times? Could you carpool with a couple of your colleagues? Could you bike to work (it’s free exercise too, so it’s actually a two for one)? Could your kids walk over to friends/school/sports instead of you having a part time job as a taxi driver?
The good thing about using your car less is that it’ll save you money on gas, all that biking and walking will keep you fit and healthy, and the environment will thank you too. So really, there is no nothing to lose.
Protip: Use Gaspy to make sure you always get the cheapest price. You can potentially save up to $20 each time you put gas in your car by using this app. That’s more than $1,000 per year if you fill your car once a week.
Psst … A study has found that gas prices are the most expensive on Fridays and cheapest on Mondays and Sundays.
The last one on our list is TV and subscriptions. First of all, how often do you actually use the TV channels you are paying for? Do you mostly just stream from your phone anyway? If you’re not really using the channels, ditch them. You don’t want to spend money on something you’re not even using.
Next up, subscriptions. How many streaming services are you currently subscribed to? Netflix? Disney? Neon? Amazon Prime? How much are they costing you per month, and how much are you using them?
Now, we’re not telling you to cancel all your TV channels and all your streaming services, and live like the Amish. However, perhaps one or two streaming services is enough.
Each of these things might not seem significant on their own, but if you combine them you can save thousands of dollars each year. Combine that with consuming less power, water, and using your car less, and you just paid for the next holiday with what you saved in utilities.
Everything shared in this blog post is the opinions of The Mortgage Whānau, and it is general advice. Furthermore, the numbers used in this article are rough estimates. For tailored advice, you need to talk to a mortgage broker. You can book a strategy session with us here.