How to save money on household bills

At Lowell, we know it’s an especially difficult time for households at the moment with many people particularly interested in saving money on bills. That’s why we’ve created this guide for anyone who’s been asking themselves ‘how can I reduce my bills’.

This content is intended to be an impartial guide about how to save money on household bills.  Lowell Financial Ltd do not provide financial advice, you can find out about organisations you can contact for guidance throughout the piece and at the bottom.

How much are average essential household bills in the UK?

Of course, every household is different so bills will always vary which is why you should speak to your own suppliers for guidance.

There are various factors which may mean your bill is higher than expected, especially as prices are constantly changing. This could include the type of property you are in, how many people you live with or even the time of year.

Using Ofgem data, British Gas have released estimated monthly household energy bills based on typical usage and October 2023 price cap rates. You can find the most recent prices and more information on how this has been calculated on the British Gas website.

Average gas and electricity bills for direct debit customers

  • Flat or 1 bedroom house – £109.33
  • 3-bedroom house – £152.83
  • 5-bedroom house - £216.33

How to save money on energy bills

Energy bills have seen a significant increase since October 2021 due to a number of global economic factors. While energy costs can still be expensive in general, there are some ways you can try to potentially lower your energy bills.

Turn things off

As simple as it may initially seem, an easy way to cut your energy bills is by being conscious about switching lights off when you’re not using them or are leaving the room. Doing so may help to save even just a small amount of money each month.

The same applies to other household appliances that use energy such as your TV, microwave or smart speaker. Turning things off completely rather than leaving things on standby can reduce your energy bills.

Switch to energy-efficient bulbs

It’s also worth checking what bulbs you’re currently using. This is because some are more energy efficient than others and can then end up leading to more expensive energy bills. LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are the most energy-efficient option on the market.

Stick to short showers

Sticking to shorter showers that last just a few minutes can help save money on your energy bills. This also includes opting for a shower instead of having a bath, as a quick shower uses less water.

Be mindful about doing laundry

Using your washing machine once per week at a lower temperature may ultimately help to lower your energy bills, with the same going for the tumble dryer. If possible, you could also try to dry your clothes outside when the weather is warm enough or on a drying rack inside.

How to save money on your water bill

It’s not just energy bills that need paying either and perhaps you’re looking to see if you can lower your water bill too? Here are some new habits you can adopt that may help to reduce your usage and ultimately bring the cost down.

Wait until you have a full load for washing clothes

Being mindful about using your washing machine is something that we mentioned for saving on energy bills, but this applies to cutting costs on your water bill too.

Whilst you might think it’s not that much different to just do a half load, piling up enough clothing for a full load may make a difference. This is because a full load actually uses less water than two half loads.

Don’t leave the tap running

There are various instances when you might want to be conscious about leaving the tap running unnecessarily.

It may be surprising to hear but when it comes to washing up an energy-efficient dishwasher is believed to use less water than by hand. However, this is only if you’re putting in a full load.

Depending on how much washing up you do, washing by hand might still be a better option. If you do choose to do your washing up by hand, you can still reduce your water usage by filling a bowl instead of leaving the tap running the entire time.

Another instance where you might also be wasting water resulting in more expensive water bills is when you’re brushing your teeth. Apart from the times you are actively using the water to wet your brush, there’s no need to leave the tap on.

Fix any leaky taps

Even if a leaky tap isn’t bothering you or causing any problems, it’s important to get it fixed right away. If not, the wasted water coming from the leak can add up overtime and land you with a more expensive water bill than necessary.

Check what you might be able to claim

Apart from asking yourself ‘how can I lower my bills?’, it’s always worth seeing whether you might be eligible for any benefits or support to help with paying your household bills.

The government has launched a Help for Households scheme which has various initiatives to help those struggling during the cost of living crisis. We’ve also got our own benefits calculator, powered by entitledto, which can help give you a better idea of what you might be eligible for.

Pay your bills on time

We know that it’s not always easy, but it’s crucial to pay your bills on time to avoid any issues later on.

Household bills are actually classed as priority debts as they can lead to more serious consequences if they’re not paid off as soon as possible. Not paying them back could also lead to additional late fees making it harder to keep up with them later, and potentially impact your credit score making future lending more difficult.

We’ve teamed up Snoop, a free and independent money management app, that can help you take control of your finances. In the app, you can track spending so that you know exactly where your money is going, and even look to see if you can cut your bills.

How to stay on top of household bills

We understand that your personal situation can make it tricky to stay on top of household bills. In some cases, it might not just be about saving money on bills but taking control of your finances altogether.  

Below are some things that might help with getting your finances in order:

  • Come up with a budget – It’s important to know how much incomings and outgoings you have each month to see what you can realistically afford. Our budget calculator tool is straightforward to use and can provide you with a clearer view of your current financial situation. Or, if you prefer, you can take things into your own hands and read our guide on how to create a budget and manage your money.
  • Find a payment method that works for you – Paying your household bills via direct debit removes some of the stress around having to remember each month to send it across yourself. Alternatively, you might prefer to pay directly via online or phone banking.
  • Keep a record of previous bills – File away previous bills you’ve received so that you can keep track and have a history to look back on if necessary. This will also help to give you a good idea of how much you’re spending every month on household bills.
  • Ask for support – Getting started with managing your personal finances can be hard, and you don’t have to figure this all out by yourself. There are lots of independent organisations you can turn to for support and guidance including Citizens Advice and MoneyHelper.

We understand that at the moment, households are trying to cut costs where possible. If you’re looking for other ways to save money on everyday costs, you can check out our articles on helpful tips for budget recipes and budget packed lunches.

If you’re worried about your Lowell debt, please get in touch and let us know. Our friendly team are always happy to listen and are specially trained to work together with you to figure out the best next steps based on your personal situation. If you prefer, you can manage your account details yourself by downloading our easy-to-use mobile app.

Here at Lowell, we want to help improve financial education, and you can find lots more guides on debt-related topics and working with Lowell over on our Debt Guidance Hub.

 First published: 26th October, 2023