There are loads of little things you can do, even around your own home, to save money here and there. As an added bonus, many of these things can help the environment as well.
Turn things down
Many of the things you use around the house: the washing machine, dishwasher, thermostat, even lighting, can be turned down. Turning your heating down by one or two degrees won’t make a noticeable difference to the temperature, but it might make a difference to your wallet. If you get cold around the house, consider putting a jumper on sometimes instead of cranking the heating up. Washing your clothes in warm water instead of hot usually works just as well. When your clothes are clean, air-dry them on a warm day (if there is one!) instead of tumble drying them.
Replace old appliances
If your appliances are more than around ten years old, they may not be using energy as efficiently as you want them to. Over a year this could add a fair bit to your energy bill. This means that splashing out on new appliances could pay for itself faster than you think. It is also a common belief that washing dishes by hand uses less water than a dishwasher. This isn’t necessarily true. Washing a full load of dishes in an energy-efficient, well-maintained dishwasher may use less water than doing it by hand. Many people find that investing in a new boiler cuts their heating bills because it heats the house more efficiently. You can give your boiler a helping hand by making sure your loft is properly insulated and your windows and doors aren’t letting heat out unnecessarily. One really easy way to cut your energy costs is to replace your light bulbs with energy-saving ones. They generally use less energy and last much longer.
Get into good habits
Getting yourself into an energy-saving routine could help you cut down your daily energy costs. Simply getting used to turning lights off every time you leave a room makes a difference. When you’re not using something, such as the TV or DVD player, make sure to turn it fully off instead of leaving it on standby, where it will still be draining energy.
You could help your finances, the planet and your health by using your car less. For short journeys, consider walking or cycling. If possible, arrange a car share or use public transport to get to work.
• Make your home energy-efficient and save money (ThinkMoney)