Rising energy costs, fuel prices, tax hikes – it’s no wonder our monthly spending budgets have taken a hit. And with an estimated 22 million homes affected by the energy price hikes, it’s safe to say that the majority of us are (or will soon be) feeling the pinch.
Money is a real stress factor, we know. So to help ease the strain a little, we’re using Earth Day as an excuse to serve up some simple tips and practical habits that can help you save money and reduce your impact on the environment.
Reduce your energy use
Reducing your home energy bills is a real challenge in the current climate. With the energy cap due to rise again in the autumn, you may be feeling like it’s difficult to take control of your outgoings. So here are a few ways to help you cut back:
1. Switch it off
Leaving TVs and chargers on while you’re not using them can really zap your energy usage (and your bills). It may not seem like much, but switching it off at the plug will save you serious cash over the year.
2. Lightbulb moment
Approximately 15% of our electricity bills come from lighting our homes. LED bulbs are far more energy efficient than the traditional halogen or incandescent kind, but we know they’re a bit more pricey to invest in.
Instead of buying in bulk, why not give yourself a payday treat to a new LED bulb? They may not be the most exciting purchases, but your bank balance will thank you for it in the long run.
3. Careful with the cuppas
We’re not saying don’t drink tea(!) but being more mindful of how you boil the kettle is a surprisingly important skill.
Next time you reach for the teabag, measure out how much water you need with the empty cup first. If you do overboil, use that spare hot water to soak your oven tray or make a start with the dirty dishes.
Although it’s better for the environment, we know that not everyone can take public transport to every destination. So for those of us tied to filling up our vehicles with eye-wateringly high petrol and diesel prices, check out these tips:
1. Check your handbook
Your handbook will likely have a suggested speed to drive at for optimal miles per gallon. It’s typically between 55–65mph.
It’ll also have the perfect PSI or bar number to pump your tyres up to. Over-inflating or under-inflating them can cause them to wear down and lead to you spending on replacements sooner.
2. Look out for the cheapest pumps
If the cost of topping up your tank is tallying up, then take action by scoping out which petrol station near you offers the cheapest rates.
Check out your local supermarket pumps for competitive prices, and avoid using the motorway service stations as they are much more pricey (they know people are desperate for fuel mid-motorway…same goes for the fast food).
3. Take care with your driving
We’re not expecting you to turn into a hypermiler overnight — but smooth driving, letting the car slow down before gently braking, and avoiding stop-start driving during rush hour will all help you significantly improve your fuel use and save you money.
Removing extra heavy items (like things stored in your boot) can help you save fuel too.
Reduce, resell, recycle
Whether you’re on a journey of sustainable shopping, or just looking for some extra cash in your pocket, decluttering your home can be a good start to feeling better about spring cleaning your finances.
Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, or apps like Depop and Vinted can help you shift your old wares that are too nice (or niche) to just throw away.
And if you’re now catching up with all the weddings that were postponed due to the pandemic, there are companies like By Rotation that help you to rent out designer items for a week or so at a fraction of the cost.
If you’re more into giving back, but have things that can’t easily be donated to charity, check out Dunhelm’s scheme to recycle clean bedding at their stores. Or visit RecycleNow.com to find recycling points for those odd items that can’t go into landfill — ahh, old car battery, we meet again.
Want to help us plant a forest?
As much as we’d like it to, money doesn’t grow on trees (sigh). But at Loqbox, we’re all for sowing the seeds to help nurture and grow everyone's financial wellbeing.
That’s why we’re planting trees for each member of our Loqbox team this April. But we’ll also get our gardening gloves out for everyone who gets started with Loqbox Save this Earth Day — 22nd April 2022!