We are living in times of great uncertainty. “On the one hand, we are not yet out of the pandemic, on the other, we are now facing a war in the heart of Europe, between the largest exporter of energy and the largest exporter of cereals on the European continent, triggering a price increase that we can all notice in our country”, said DECO.

Every time the price of basic raw materials, such as electricity or petrol, increases, it implies that the costs of companies with the production or transport of goods also increases, and this cost is added to the price of the product sold to the consumer. However, when rising prices are not followed by a raise in consumer income, this translates into a loss of purchasing power.

Making smart decisions

Most of us are able to identify our biggest expenses, but we don't know how much we spend on the small things. Therefore, DECO advises consumers to reorganise their spending, making a family budget where they identify all their sources of income vs fixed and variable monthly expenses – “you must control all your household expenses. With this, you will be able to identify where you spend your money and how you can find solutions that allow you to save it”.

New consumption habits

Knowing how much you pay for your telecommunications or electricity service, checking if these services are suitable for your needs, renegotiating contracts to reduce values can be a good starting point. However, there are some behaviours you can adopt to become more efficient that only require a little effort. Here are some ideas:

  • Turn off appliances that are on stand-by;
  • Opt for LED lamps;
  • When choosing equipment, choose energy class A;
  • Turning off the taps while brushing your teeth or washing your hands;
  • Choose to shower rather than take a bath.

For example, did you know that if you choose to wash your clothes at 30ºC instead of 60ºC, you will use 60 percent less energy?

According to DECO, much of our budget goes towards the purchase of essential goods. In addition, DECO suggests consumers make a shopping list where they identify what they need, avoiding spending more than necessary. In addition, don't forget that own label products can also be a good choice. Give preference to seasonal products and whenever possible buy in bulk. “Making decisions based on the reuse of goods, promoting a more circular economy, will help you save money and reduce your environmental footprint”.

DECO provides advice and guidance in the management of your personal finances and supports over-indebted consumers, through their Financial Protection Office. For more information, please email energia@deco.pt or call 213 710 224.