Maintaining a home is an expensive affair, and one of the biggest culprits of that cost are utility bills. However, cutting household costs is much easier than you think – without sacrificing the good life.

 

In fact, you can start with these six basic and practical tips:

1. Unplug idle devices

Leaving gadgets and devices plugged in means they’re still consuming power. Unplug devices when you're not using them. According to The Star, this simple task can save you at least 10% off your electricity bills.*

2. Be energy-efficient

Energy-saving equipment and devices are fast becoming mainstream in today’s lifestyle choices. For example, you may pay a little more for energy-efficient light bulbs but you’ll definitely see a difference in those monthly bills.

3. Slash grocery bills

There’s an art to saving quite a few ringgit in the store. For instance, buy ingredients instead of convenience (for example, a whole chickens cost less than pre-cut pieces). Purchase non-perishables in bulk, especially during a sale. Check the store brochures for discounts, coupons, price-offs and take advantage of credit card cash backs. Money saved is money earned.

4. Pay less for your mobile service

It may just be the next priciest item on your entire budget. Reduce data usage by switching to WiFi. Be realistic about how often you use your phone. An “unlimited plan” can mean you’re paying too much, especially when you’re not into movies and music marathons. Opt for a cash back credit card to pay your mobile bills. 

5. Cut services you hardly use

Is your gym membership really necessary when you can’t remember the last time you went for a workout? Or that monthly magazine subscription when you don’t have time to read? Obviously these are unnecessary expenses. Also, if you’re subscribing to more than one Spotify, Netflix or iFlix account for your household, you’re already spending way too much! Consolidate your online entertainment accounts into individual subscriptions. And share it with the whole family across multiple devices. You’ll be surprised by how much you can save!

6. Cash-in on credit card rewards points

Credit cards also come with a multitude of benefits.  These include cash back (even for bill payments), air miles, discounted deals, instalment plans for big purchases and of course, rewards points.

 

Accumulating rewards points means you’re able to redeem your points for a multitude of products and services. You may even combine your principal and supplementary card points for gifts, lifestyle experiences, vouchers and such. Alternatively, use pay with points for  dining, shopping, travel and more! Here's how to make the most of your rewards points with the right card.

 

While some of these cost-cutting tips may not be for you, there are several other methods to cutting back. It all begins with a little planning and a family huddle to get everyone on board and contributing to the cause.

 

* thestar.com.my/news/community/2012/11/12/unplug-devices-to-save-power

 

 

This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.