Save smart - how to make savings in your new home

Most people feel the pinch in January whether it be the bank balance or your waist band after the Christmas indulgence! As you may now be thinking about saving for home improvements in the spring or that summer holiday, how about some top tips to help you save money all year round?

Energy savings:

Due to tightening of building regulations, new build homes can be more energy efficient than older properties but what else could you do to lower those bills? Simple things like ensuring you swap to low energy LED lightbulbs, not leaving electrical items on stand-by, drying clothes outside and beefing up your loft insulation can make a big difference.

Turning down the heating or radiators in unused rooms or installing a programmable thermostat are other options to save on heating bills. A programmable thermostat enables you to set on and off time periods for your boiler and control the temperature in different rooms at different times of the day to suit your needs and ensures you only use what you need.

Shop smart:

Except for the upfront cost, buying in bulk can be cost effective as long as you have the storage, especially for household essentials such as cleaning or washing liquids. Watch out for January offers on items such as paint and tools if home improvements are on the cards later in the year.

Don’t’ be afraid to sign up for loyalty or points cards or coupons. Most major supermarkets and retailers do this and if you also fill your car up at the supermarket petrol station, this can be a quick and easy way to accrue points, discounts or benefits!

Work on your finances:

Are you paying more that you should on your bills, bank account, credit cards or mortgage? The New Year period is a good chance to review your finances and see what savings can be made. Many credit card companies provide balance transfer offers for new customers or those thinking of moving their account.

Shop around for the best insurance, internet, phone and energy supplier deals and don’t be afraid to switch or talk to your current supplier or use price comparison sites. The same goes for your bank account. If you currently pay or are thinking of paying for a packaged bank account, are you taking full advantage of the services offered e.g. many offer insurances such as gadget / mobile phone, travel and car breakdown.

Overpaying your mortgage in order to reduce the mortgage term can be a great long term saving benefit. However you must speak to your lender or mortgage advisor to ensure you have enough spare cash to do this and identify any penalties for overpayment. Check out www.moneysavingexpert.com their on-line guide: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/mortgages-vs-savings

Home Maintenance Savings:

Don’t put off those home maintenance jobs such as missing roof tiles or leaking pipes or taps or something as simple as an annual boiler check. What may seem like a small job can lead to high cost professional repair if left unrectified and could lead to further damage e.g. replacing ceilings, carpets, redecorating, new boiler etc.

Just taking a little bit of time out to review and plan ahead could save you a lot of time and money in the long run!