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Bills up by £280 in a year – here’s how to lower the cost

We all know bills are getting more expensive. From our broadband to our energy, it’s impossible to escape the fact that year on year prices are going up.

Energy comparison website Compare the Market has crunched the numbers and found the average increase in 2017 was 13% - working out as £280 per household. And that’s just the average. Anyone in Wales would have seen a huge average hike of £500.

The biggest contributor is more expensive energy, but insurance and other bills also play a part.

The cost of bills in 2017 compared to 2016

 

2017

2016

Energy

£1,625.45

1383.59

Car

£735.36

691.85

Home

£141.43

140.58

Total

£2,502.25

2216.01

(Source: Compare the Market, Jan 2018)

Fortunately, there are ways to counter these extra costs and reduce what you pay for all your bills. Here are a few simple ways anyone can cut back, and save themselves hundreds of pounds.

Switch and fix your energy

The most expensive gas and electricity is charged to those who don’t bother to compare their energy bills. Do this and you’ll quickly see that there are savings of around £300 to be made.

Switching energy should save you a decent amount, but to guarantee prices don’t go up it’s worth also fixing for 12 months.

Don’t auto-renew your insurance

A big cause of pricier insurance is the larger tax levied on most policies you buy. But one of the biggest reasons people pay more is just letting it auto-renew.

The best deals are normally for new customers so moving your car, home or other insurance elsewhere will bag you those deals. But it’s also worth haggling with your current provider. Lots of people manage to save huge amounts this way.

Minimise your TV channel choice

If you pay for TV through the likes of Sky or Virgin, you’ll no doubt have hundreds of channels – and it’s impossible to watch them all. So review what you’ve got, and if you aren’t watching regularly, especially movie channels, it’s worth cancelling those extras.

Cancel your mobile contract

If you’re signed up to a 24-month contract for your mobile phone calls, texts and data, it probably also includes the cost of that new handset you got when you signed up. Well, at the end of the contract, if you don’t switch you’ll keep on paying for the phone.

If you’re willing to keep your phone for another year or so it’s better to move to a SIM only contract. This will likely reduce your bill to around £10 or £15 a month.

Get the broadband speed you need

Most households don’t need superfast fibre. Yes it makes things faster, but you can probably cope well enough with normal broadband – and that can be much, much cheaper. It can even be free if you bundle it with your TV package.

 

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