Inflation is driving up cost so lets look at 10 ways to keep bills low
The cost of living crisis is going to effect all of us. With inflation hitting record highs in 2022 the price you pay for ordinary services, food and even taxes are rising. This cost has a direct effect on your back pocket which is pushing millions of UK residents into financial difficulty.
With harder times comes the need for financial education. The government can never be relied on to feed you and your family so let’s look at some tips and tricks that can help you navigate the cost of living crisis.
1. How to save money on your energy bills
If you’re having trouble paying your energy bills, contact your supplier; they should be able to assist you find a solution, and if you’re really suffering, don’t be hesitant to seek help from a debt advice charity.
Switching energy suppliers used to be a fantastic way to save money on your household bills, but with energy costs on the rise, you’re probably better off sticking with your current supplier after your fixed tariff expires. Some suppliers are not accepting new clients, therefore you are protected by the energy price cap. Simple Energy Advice, a government-backed website, offers advice on how to reduce your energy expenditures.
2. Save on your fuel costs
Use a fuel price checker website to ensure that you are always paying the lowest possible price for your petrol. Other techniques to save money include driving at a slower speed and avoiding accelerating and braking abruptly if possible; checking your tyre pressures; and removing anything heavy from the car that you don’t need to carry.
3. Food and groceries
Food expenditures can account for a significant amount of your family budget, so it makes sense to seek for ways to save. Plan your meals for the week and then make a shopping list to prevent buying unneeded goods. If you favour a certain supermarket, consider switching to a cheaper one or switching brands. Food is one of the few items not to have been raised so dramatically by inflation. But still you can make drastic savings here that help with the cost of living crisis.
4. Water bills
You cannot change water suppliers, but there are things you may do to reduce your rates. Check to see whether switching to a water metre will save you money. You can use the calculator provided by the Consumer Council for Water. You may be eligible for the WaterSure plan, which restricts water rates, if you are on certain benefits and have a big family or someone with a certain medical condition. Meanwhile, if you have a low income or get benefits, inquire about any further assistance provided by your water supplier.
5. Taking a look at your council tax
You may be eligible for a Council Tax rebate depending on your circumstances and who lives with you. For example, if you are the only adult living in the property, you might obtain a 25% discount. GOV.UK can help you find out what discounts your local council offers. If you have a low income or get certain benefits, you may be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction. Your cost might be lowered by up to 100%. Northern Ireland has a distinct system.
6. Checking to see if you can claim state benefits
Every year, billions of pounds in state benefits go unclaimed, and you may be one of them. Turn2us, a national charity, provides a free and confidential benefits calculator on its website that can assist you in determining the means-tested benefits you are eligible for. It also includes a grant search engine to help you find grants you could be eligible for.
7. Honestly look at where your money is being spent
Begin by determining where your money is going. It may seem apparent, but we may not realise how much we spend each month — and on what – unless it is put out in front of us. Spend some time reading over your previous three bank statements and credit card bills (or check online) and underlining any areas where you believe you are spending money unnecessarily or excessively. This might be on anything from a high-end broadband service that you don’t require to a mobile phone contract that charges you for data that you don’t use. Every month, money is wasted on unused subscriptions, with gym memberships being the most prevalent culprit.
8. Drawing up a financial budget
Creating a weekly or monthly budget will assist you in gaining control of your spending. It’s simply a list of money coming in and going out, and it doesn’t have to take long to set up. There are several templates available online to help you get started. Budgeting applications, on the other hand, may be used to plan your spending and keep track of it.
9. Card shopping to pay less interest
If you owe money on an expensive credit card, examine whether you may transfer the amount to a credit card that charges no interest. Although these cards do not carry interest, you will often be charged a balance transfer fee of between 1% and 3% of the amount transferred. Because you will not be charged interest on your balance, more of your money will be available to repay your debt.
These cards aren’t for everyone, and you should make sure you can pay off your balance before the 0% interest period expires. It may also have an impact on your credit score, especially if you do it repeatedly.
10. Getting help with unmanageable debts
If you are having difficulty paying for necessities, using one credit card to pay off another, or your debts are giving you concern, call a debt assistance organisation such as StepChange. They will be able to assist you with your bills for free.
Do you need more help making the most of your money?
Everyone’s circumstances are unique, and saving or earning more money is not an easy option for all families. Many people, though, will be looking for methods to save money wherever they can. We’re here to assist you assess your current financial status and address any concerns you may have. Contact us today for financial advice. We hope these tips were helpful for you to avoid the cost of living crisis.
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