With the economy being on a downward spiral it’s the right time to work our a monthly budget and buying something with the money you save in the long term is always a positive thing.
After my Mum moved out we had to pull our belts in due to losing a certain amount of income so we sat down together and worked through our incomings and outgoings to make sure that we weren’t spending beyond our means. We swapped phone companies as the one we were with were charging around £5 extra standing charge compared to the other so that was an easy save. We took the package down on our Satellite channels to the minimum as we never really watched the extra channels ourselves so that saved quite a bit. Then we agreed to pay what we could in advance (since a lot of companies give you discount if you do) and swap utility suppliers to save as much as possible. All in all, swapping, changing and cancelling took our budget from -£1.16 to £148 a month which would be left to buy our food.
Since then our electricity and gas had gone down from £38 per month to £24 per month but it still wasn’t enough for us. We’d given ourselves a challenge to try and get it down to around £20 a month.
One thing we noticed that we were spending an awful lot on was our lighting. We’d turn on the lights in our living room (8 halogen bulbs including the one in the reception area) and worked out that having these on for around 6 hours was costing us 57p per day. That amounts to £220 a year after buying the bulbs and replacing one or two when they blew. This was contributing to £18 a month on our overall bill. So as we had made a commitment to getting our bill down. We wanted to change our light fitments to more modern ones incorporating LEDs since the heat generated from halogens as well as the price was extortionate. The LED bulbs themselves are around £7 (at the moment since they are on special offer) at LampShopOnline so the initial outlay would have been £56 for the bulbs. It cost us £100 to have the fitments changed so that’s a total of £156. Running these LED bulbs for a day only costs 5p which equates to £18 per year. This is a saving of £46 in the first year, with an enormous saving in the following years of £202 or £16 per month, which then in effect should bring our bill down to just £8 a month – outrageous!. Check what you would save with this Energy Saving Calculator.
The temperature in our living room has also decreased. Sometimes it felt like we were sitting in the middle of a sauna even with the windows and doors open to let in some air but now we are sitting quite comfortably in the evening with the lights on without having to strip off to remain cool.
We will see in the meter results in the next few weeks if we have clocked up less kWs than we previously did but I’m betting that as we’ve seen a massive drop on our occasionally used electricity monitor (which we won’t use as we like to conserve electricity and that’s really unnecessary to leave on all the time) then I can guarantee our bill will be a lot more financially friendly.
If you haven’t already, take the plunge and invest in LED – you’ll save so much in the long run conserving the planet for our future generations. Be environmentally aware since it pays to be green.