Times are tough. The economic climate is as dismal as ever. Whilst the worst of the corporate collapses and banking crises may be behind us, there is very little sign of any feel good factor on the horizon. Most people are still looking for ways to make economies and, quite frankly, are still concerned about their job security.

The first step, which many will have already taken, in any economy drive is to find out what you can live without. Getting rid of some unnecessary little luxuries can be a good way to save money – and it doesn’t often mean a big change to your lifestyle.

After that, making economies can get progressively tougher. You may need to re-evaluate some things that you didn’t consider to be luxuries and think about getting rid of these also. Quite frankly, once you get to this stage of an economy drive it can start to feel a little more painful.

However, even when you are fully convinced that you have got rid of all the frippery in your life, there are still plenty of ways for you to make savings without making sacrifices. The trick is to look at the remaining products and services that you use – which by this stage will be those considered as essential – and see how you can pay less for them.

For example, your monthly utility bill is likely to be one of your biggest budget items. It’s a fine example of essential services that you genuinely need – but that doesn’t mean to say that you should pay over the odds for these services or that you should use more than you need.

One of the very best things that you can do is consider changing your utility supplier. Consider combining your internet, telephone, electricity and gas onto one bill. You might find that you get a good multi-service discount from some suppliers.

You might also find that there are some good introductory offers aimed at attracting new customers. Don’t feel bad about changing your supplier once a year to take advantage of this type of offer. It’s up to your supplier to treat you well and make you want to stay. Changing suppliers is quick and easy these days. If you can get a better deal by changing from time to time you should go for it.

Fit energy efficient light bulbs throughout your home. These use less than 25% of the energy of traditional light bulbs, but they give the same level of illumination.

Make sure that you fit draft proofing in your house – up to 20% of the energy you use to heat your home in winter can be wasted due to drafts and poor ventilation in .

Make sure that you fully load your dishwasher and washing machine when you use them. Two half loads will use quite a bit more energy than one full load.

These are all simple, cost reducing techniques which will cost you nothing up front and won’t make you feel like you’re scrimping and saving. The only change that you’ll be aware of will be smaller utility bills every month.

David Woodhouse is an independent representative for Telecom Plus. He saves his customers money every month on their essential utility services. Visit this website for further information.

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