Cost of living crisis: How you can save some money
With the cost of living continuing to rise and pressure being put on all our finances, our Money Advice Team has put together a host of top tips and advice on how you can try and make the most of your money…
Perhaps the biggest cost pressure now is around energy bills, but there are ways you can mitigate the price rise. Making sure you’ve switched appliances off when they’re not in use is the simplest way to reduce your energy usage.
Only boiling as much water as you need and having your heating on a sensible schedule throughout the day will also help.
You should also regularly check your bills to make sure they’re calculated by using actual readings and not estimates, so that you’re only paying for the energy you use. If you’re in debt, speak to your supplier so you can negotiate a payment plan or find out if they have any loans or grants that can help. Regularly monitor your usage against your direct debits so you can negotiate payments.
It’s unlikely there will be any fixed rate energy deals cheaper than the current price cap for some time, so make sure you check prices before switching tariffs. There are lots of comparison websites available to help you.
Can you save money in other areas? Look at your television packages, internet deals and your mobile phone contracts. Can you get it cheaper elsewhere? Are you making use of what you pay for? Check your gym membership if you have one. Can you access a cheaper gym, or are there discounts available, especially if you’re on benefits?
Prioritise your outgoings. Paying your rent and council tax must come first. Check if there are any council tax reductions available to you and do a benefits check.
If you’re not on benefits and pay for your prescriptions, a prepayment certificate might be cheaper for you than paying for each item. You can pay for three months, saving you money if you have more than three items in that time. You can also pay for 12 months and you’d save money if you have more than 11 items.
Can any non-dependants in your home contribute to the household budget? This is often overlooked but can make a big difference.
Try and reduce your food waste. Make use of leftovers to make your food go further.
There are some great websites such as lovefoodhatewaste.com which can give you inspiration.
You may want to follow Jack Monroe on social media as well, as she has lots of tasty and affordable ideas
We’re here to help and understand this is a difficult time for us all.
We’ve also got other external services we can put you in touch with if you’d rather deal with them.
To contact our Money Advice Team, call 0300 123 1745, press option 2 for the Income Team and ask to be put through to the Money Advice Team.