The current cost of living crisis is putting a lot of strain on families and individuals alike. With rates of inflation skyrocketing, many are finding it difficult to make ends meet, let alone save any money. This has resulted in millions of households having to choose between heating and eating, which isn’t a position anyone should have to be in. This guide will provide some tips on how you can cut back on your spending and make the most of your income. Read on to find out more:
Look at cheaper insurance
One way to save money during the cost of living crisis is to look for cheaper insurance rates. You may be able to find a better deal on your car insurance, health insurance, or home insurance if you compare costs from the wider market before auto-renewing with the same provider. So, if you’ve been with the same insurance company for 10 years, it might be time to look at one sure insurance or another similar insurance company as a possible alternative. Switching is quick and easy and could save hundreds over the course of the year. You can also save money by bundling your insurance policies together, or by raising your deductible. This will lower your monthly payments, but you will have to pay more out of pocket if you need to make a claim, so make sure you read the fine print.
Find cheaper energy
Energy is one of the biggest expenses households are currently facing. With the wholesale cost of energy seemingly going up every month, even the energy companies themselves are struggling to keep afloat. If your energy company has gone under, you’ll have been moved to a new energy company, but their prices may be higher than the old provider you were with. Instead of sticking with the company you’ve been moved to, shop around to find the best deal possible.
With the price cap being raised, however, this might not make much difference. All energy is expensive right now, no matter who you’re with, so you may want to explore alternative sources of energy instead. Consider installing solar panels or explore government grants for heat pumps, for example. This will help to keep you self-sufficient, saving you money in the long-term, and maybe even making you money if you generate enough power to feed back into the grid.
Check if you’re entitled to benefits
Nobody wants to be on benefits, but they’re there to help when you need them. If your household bills just aren’t adding up, check to see if you qualify for support from your local authority. Certain benefits can help you afford food, clothes and utilities, and can even help with paying the mortgage or rent. It’s far better to be on benefits than to get yourself into debt, so check online to see what you’re eligible for. If you’re struggling to pay for broadband, remember that you can always visit your local library and use the internet there. There are plenty of resources in your local library that can help you check what benefits are available, and your local job centre should also be able to help.
Shop with care
Unlike what some politicians would have you believe, you don’t need to hang around the shop whilst staff make reductions to products that are going out of date to save yourself some pennies. It’s possible to shop carefully by simply taking a calculator with you to the shop, and making a list of things you need. This way, you won’t be tempted by expensive products that aren’t absolutely vital, and you can focus on key items that will stretch until the end of the week.
Additionally, always remember your reusable bags to avoid having to pay for single-use bags, and remember your reward card to get supermarket-specific discounts. If possible, shop at different supermarkets each week to find the best offers – loyalty pays off in the long term, but to get through the crisis, you’re going to need to be more savvy.
Budgeting isn’t easy right now, and it looks like things might be like this for a while. Whilst this might be a scary prospect, following the tips above should help to make the money in your account stretch a little further. Remember, it’s important not to get yourself into debt just to make it through the month, so if you find yourself dipping into your overdraft too often, call the National Debt Line for help and support.