At this time of year we're all making (and perhaps already breaking) New Year’s resolutions, and many of those have something to do with money. And even if you haven’t made one yet, it’s not too late.
Whether we want to save more of it or make sure we spend it in the right places, it's clear that in these difficult times of recession, Brits want to be as money wise as they can be. If you want to make a resolution that will help you to save money, without meaning that you need to check your bank balance every month to tally your savings, you should consider making a resolution to save energy; not only will you save money this year and for years to come, but you'll also do it without constantly having to watch your own spending habits.
Big, but easy resolution…
You can save energy in your home by making just a few small adjustments. To begin with, you can conduct an energy comparison to find out if it's worth switching your energy supplier to someone who can offer you cheaper gas and electricity prices. Many people find dual fuel packages to be more cost-effective as well as simpler to manage, though this is really up to you. Certainly, the small amount of time it takes to switch energy supplier can make a big difference to your annual bills.
Small, but harder resolutions…
You should also make an effort to do some small things around the house which will help you to keep your bills down. Turning off lights after leaving a room, turning TVs off at the plug rather than leaving them to sit on standby, and only keeping the heating on to a comfortable temperature - if you have to open the windows, you need to turn your heat down! Another great way to save lots of money is to reduce the time you spend using a tumble-dryer by leaving clothes to hang outside for a few hours first, especially on sunny or windy days - just remember to take them in if it's raining.
Necessary and smart resolution…
Buying new appliances is obviously not going to save you money, but if you're in need of a new appliance soon or something unexpectedly breaks, another thing you can do is take advantage of energy ratings. Most modern appliances, including fridges and freezers, dishwashers, dryers and even TVs, will come with an energy rating which will give you an idea of how energy efficient they are. Good ratings of A or A+ mean that the appliance uses less energy to essentially do the same job; many older appliances would score as little as a D or an E on these tests, and over many months and years this amount of inefficiency will make a big dent in your household bills.
The biggest and most important resolution you can make this year is to save on your energy bills. It's a simple way to cut down on unnecessary spending that will affect your savings not just for 2014, but for many years to come. And of course, on top of helping your bank balance, you'll also do your bit towards saving the planet, too.
Sam Travers is an eco-warrior of sorts. He works for a green charity and blogs regularly with help and advice for those looking to make the planet a better place.
- Windmill License: Creative Commons image source