Coping with the rising cost of living and how to budget better

The rising cost of living is a major concern for many people. With food and fuel costs rising, more people are struggling to make ends meet.

We’ve put together some tips on how you can cope with rising costs and how to budget better to make your money stretch further.

It can be tough to cope with the cost of living, utility bills rising, food prices and increasing interest rates. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up and accept it. 

There is no single solution. You’ll need a range of tactics to try and alleviate some of the pressures. 

Homeowners

Millions of homeowners across the UK struggle to pay their monthly mortgage and utility bills. If you are one of them, there are still good deals on the market that could help to reduce your monthly payments. 

The average SVR (Standard Variable Rate) is 4.71%, compared with an average of just 2.86% for two-year fixed rate mortgages, so savvy borrowers keen to take advantage of this discrepancy could save over £200 on their mortgage repayments per month by switching.

If you think that making repayments on your mortgage is a struggle, it’s worth considering some other options.

Whether extending the length of your mortgage term or moving to an interest-only mortgage, these options could reduce your monthly costs by £275 up to as much as £600 

There are several ways homeowners who are having difficulty making their mortgage repayments can get help. The best way to work out what’s right for you is to talk to your lender. If you’re having problems with your mortgage repayments, get in touch, and they will work with you to find a solution to help keep you in your home.

We can also provide details for two Independent Financial Advisors who can offer you advice and recommendations.

Rising energy bills

There’s no doubt that energy prices have been rising steadily over the past few years, and it looks as though they will continue to do so. This has had a detrimental effect on the number of people putting up with high utility bills. 

By comparing energy suppliers, you could save yourself hundreds of pounds – without sacrificing quality and service. Check out your options here.

Keeping your energy bills low is a challenge, but there are things you can do to save money. A smart meter will show you how much different appliances cost you to run, allowing you to work out where you could cut back. 

There are also several simple steps that can help reduce your usage: run your washing machine at lower temperatures and set it to run overnight during cheaper times for energy usage, only putting it on when you have a full load. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Taking shorter showers and cooking with a microwave rather than an oven can also save you money.

Rising food bills

One of the easiest ways to slash your grocery bills is to switch to the cheaper supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl, which receive higher ratings from Which than their costlier rivals.

The key is to do your research and check the weekly deals pages for items that are on offer. For example, you won’t find branded goods like Heinz ketchup or Kellogg’s cereals in these stores, but there are usually plenty of store brands that taste just as good.

You could save even more money by planning your weekly meals and sticking to a shopping list. Savings can be made by bulk-buying ingredients, cooking in bulk, freezing meals and cutting down on food waste.

How to trim your budget

So, how do you trim your budget? The good news is that many of the most common household outgoings can be reduced, often with little hassle. 

First, find out if there are better deals available on insurance and credit cards. 

You could also save money by switching your broadband deals, cancelling your landline or moving to SIM-only so you don’t pay for unwanted extras such as premium TV channels, call charges and roaming.

Netflix

Another way to save money is to cancel your subscription services. If you have too many subscriptions, try to replace a couple with cheaper options.

Small savings

If you’re struggling to save at the moment, there are still some good deals available. The best rates are available on accounts that either require you to lock up your money for a set period of time or make regular contributions each month.

Small savings accounts are perfect if you can’t commit to saving every month or don’t want to wait years before you get your money back. There are lots of accounts to choose from, from low-risk regular savings accounts (where you’re paid a fixed amount of interest) to more risky accounts that could pay higher interest but come with added risk.

ISAs can be a great way to save. They offer various tax benefits, and you don’t pay tax on any interest earned. The government increases your savings with a 25% bonus if you use your money for a first home or retirement.

Conclusion

We know the year ahead will not be easy for any of us, but we hope these tips will help you save where you can. 

If saving on your energy bills is important to you, then moving to one of our new airtight, energy-efficient homes will not only add to the environmentally friendly green movement but will save you money in the short and long term.