Being an Electrician, I should be aware of how an energy meter works and the charges involved. If not the gas and electricity, surely the electricity meter at the very least.
Fuck me I even know the odd spark, who knows how to tamper with the meter to avoid paying their bill for a month or two.
Not me, as I prefer to bury my head in the sand and just pay the bills as they come in. Then pay the arrears as I go into debit, as I haven’t being paying enough month to month. A pattern I have fell into since moving in with Mrs Duffy almost 14 years ago.
This was ok until recently when I decided to get a fucking grip. Over the last few months I have been reading about money and trying to sort my finances out. Despite this, I have still put the energy bills to the back of my mind – old habits are very hard to shift!
My bill has gone from £100pcm to £140pcm and I have built up arrears of £600. NOT FUCKING GOOD ENOUGH. I didn’t even monitor the readings, as until last month, I had never taken a meter reading.
Just a few weeks ago, I made a baby step into sorting this out and made a note of my meter readings and put them into the energy provider, via my online account.
This month, I put the meter readings in again. Not only that, I went on ‘Compare the Market’ to see if I could save money.
I had a little look and realised I could save £430 per year by switching energy provider. I switched straight away and was quite happy with myself. Fuck me, the unit rate for Gas is now 2.259p per KWH compared with 3.599p per KWH on my old deal.
Yet another financial mistake and yet another lesson learned. That £430 saving will almost wipe out my arrears (£600) and I am going to switch every year.
Compare everything when it comes to money
I was notified by VW this week that my gorgeous (slightly dented) shit loads of miles to the gallon Passat, was due its service and MOT.
My service plan was finished so I was expecting a £200 service bill and £50 MOT – no real dramas.
When I made the call to book in with the main dealer, they informed me that it was a major service and would be over £400 – fuck that!
I never use the main dealer for services for my A-B car (Passat) and only had done the last few times as I was given a service plan when I bought it.
After politely telling the crafty little salesman to forget about the service, I rang a mechanic who I know in the local village. He said £130 in the garage or I can do it over the weekend at mine for £110.
So getting it done for £110 has saved me nearly £300.
This might sound a little bit tedious but it’s worth it! Look at the energy savings I could have made over the years. I could have saved thousands by spending 10 minutes each year on a comparison website.
I need to improve on every front when it comes to money and I will continue to do so.
Although I keep thinking my house is in order, I come across something else. Like my overdraft charges that caught me out for nearly a year, losing the details for my kids savings accounts, years of being really shit with money (negative equity in houses, no pension, single share disasters) and realising I could have saved thousands of pounds on my energy bills.
Over the next few weeks I intend to go over every little detail and try and get my financial house in order. It is amazing that 20 minutes of effort has saved me £700.