Energy bills are a cost that the majority of students cannot avoid. After all you need gas and electricity in order to cook your food, light and heat your house and water to drink. Not to mention the student essential that is broadband!
However, energy bills don't come cheap so it's well within your interest to cut costs wherever you can as the savings can easily add up to the £100s over the course of the year.
Here's 5 quick fire tips on how to make the best savings for the coming year.
Compare the best deals
The internet is a wonderful tool to have at your disposal, so why not use it? There is no excuse for not being able to find the best value contract when looking for utilities such as gas, electricity and broadband.
There's plenty of price comparison sites out there that do all of the work for you so that you can get your bills set up within a matter of seconds.
In fact you can compare all of the best utility deals for students with this student bills comparison site.
Switch supplier (don't be loyal)
Don't be afraid to chop and change your supplier at the start of each year. The utilities companies are not loyal to you so why should you be loyal to them?
In some cases you could save over £100 just by switching suppliers so make sure you are constantly comparing to see if another company comes up cheaper.
Avoid cancellation charges
Most student accommodation contracts are 12 months long but many only live in their house for the 9 months of term.
This can make it tricky when looking for short term contracts in order to avoid the cancellation charge at the end of the tenancy.
The best thing to do in this case is look for 9 month student friendly contracts or rolling one month contracts.
Alternatively you could take out a 12 month contract but it's important to make sure you do it during the summer months so that you get the most out of it.
Go Direct Debit
Wherever possible you should look to pay for your bills through direct debit. The majority of utility companies will offer a discount when paying this way.
It doesn't take too long to set up and actually takes some of the stress out of having to make sure that you pay the bill every month.The same goes for paperless billing.
Be warned that the direct debit is not always the actual amount and that meter readings may be higher than calculated leaving you with a large bill at the end of the year. The best tactic is to check your meter readings every now and then and supply them to the company in order to make sure that you aren't underpaying.
Cut down your usage
It almost goes without saying that one of the easiest ways to save on your yearly bills is simply just to cut down on your usage. There's a few ways in which you can do this including:
- Turning off unused lights
- Wearing warm clothes as opposed to turning on heating
- Not leaving taps running
- Not leaving electronics on standby
- Buying a thicker duvet
- And much more
It's mostly about being conscious of what you are using throughout the year and agreeing on usage amounts with your housemates.
Plus, you won't just be saving money but also the environment.
So, there you have it. A few quick tips to get you on the right track to saving on your bills. If you have any ideas of your own why not leave them in the comments below.
This is a guest post by Jake Butler the lead editor of the student money site http://www.savethestudent.org/.
How much have you spent on gas and electricity in the last six months? Is it more or less than you spend on broadband? These questions are really easy to answer when you're using personal finance software like Money Dashboard, which automatically tracks and categorises all your income and spending, and displays the results in easy-to-read charts and graphs.