Going from one child to two has brought so many new experiences and amazing family moments but it’s also increased our monthly outgoings despite trying our best to keep costs down, only buying what we really need and being energy conscious. We make home cooked meals daily and have re-used all of our eldest son's clothes; in fact the baby’s wardrobe is made up of 90% hand downs.
Still no matter how much you think a little person won’t have a big impact on your finances, they will and we have seen big rises in things like our food bill as now we are feeding four instead of three, also bath times and the bedtime routine takes longer and things like this have a trickle effect on our energy consumption. We are planning to move to a slightly larger house before the end of the year, we know the mortgage is going to go up and so will rates and council tax so we have to look at every possible outgoing and see how we can reduce it, because even the smallest of changes over a period of time can have a real impact.
One thing we have not been satisfied with for quite a long time is our energy bills, we feel we pay more than we use, even though we have explained many times to our provider our home is basically two bedrooms with a box room (and the box room doesn't have a radiator or heater) but the annual estimates they make are for a three bed, so when Ofgem invited us to Go Energy Shopping I was interested to see what this entailed and if it would save us any money.
Ofgem’s Be an Energy Shopper site points users to Ofgem approved price comparison sites to help you find the best deal for your gas and electricity as well as offering you advice, and it’s surprising how many of us think to check or realise we have options when it comes to our providers as we are no longer fixed into contracts that last for years and switching is easier than ever. The main plus to using this is that all of the approved sites they list are independent and the prices are calculated in a fair and unbiased way.
They break down how to be the best energy shopper into three easy steps - take stock, shop around and take control - and I wanted to see if it was as easy as it sounds. After logging into my personal online energy provider and getting all the details I needed such as annual usage and current tariff, I clicked on one of Ofgem’s recommended comparison links- my utility genius and it took less than a minute to input all the details and I was shocked with the results. There were more than 10 providers and tariffs offering more than a £300 annual save, now that is incredible, with the biggest saving shaving £30 a month off our out-goings.
What really impressed me the most was how quick and easy getting the quotes were, it was literally a matter of minutes and Ofgem then provides you with straightforward advice on what to do next and what to expect, such as needing to pay of any remanding balance you have with your current provider and they also encourage you to check every few months to make sure you stay with the best deal on the market. Making savings like this not only lowers any financial stress we have but also frees up some extra time and money to enjoy the simple pleasures in life with the kids.
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