We’ve put together 8 handy hints to help you make the most of your money.
- Assess your current expenses:
Start by reviewing your monthly expenses to identify areas where you can cut back. Review your recurring bills, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, internet, and TV packages, and adjust them if possible. Consider negotiating with your service providers for discounted tariffs or more affordable packages, such as social tariffs if you are on certain benefits.
- Create a budget:
Creating a budget can be helpful in managing your finances. Prioritise your essential expenses, such as food and household bills. Try keeping a spending diary and allocate fixed amounts for non-essential expenses. By sticking to a budget, you can have better control over your finances and may be able to find areas where you can make further savings. Try our own Budgeting Tool or the Budget Planner on the Money and Pension Service Moneyhelper website.
- Reduce housing costs:
If possible, you could consider downsizing or seeking alternative cheaper living arrangements. If you own a property and have a spare room, you could take advantage of the governments ‘Rent a Room Scheme’.
You could speak to your mortgage provider about reducing your monthly payments in the short term or to discuss any support they can offer. Specialist advice should be received before making any changes to your mortgage to fully understand the implications.
- Cut back on non-essential expenses:
To save money during a cost-of-living crisis, evaluate your discretionary spending habits. Reduce expenses on dining out, entertainment, subscription services, and impulse purchases. Look for low-cost or free alternatives for entertainment, such as exploring local parks and free local events.
- Explore energy-saving options:
Reducing your energy consumption can lead to substantial savings. Consider switching to energy-efficient appliances, using power-saving settings, turning off electronics when not in use, and adjusting thermostat settings. These small changes can make a significant impact on your utility bills.
- Shop ‘smartly’:
When food shopping, create meal plans and shop with a list to avoid waste and impulse buying. Take advantage of the supermarkets reduced and discounted sections, often shopping later in the evening will allow you to grab some bargains in the reduced sections. Consider shopping second-hand for clothing, furniture, and other items. Make use of vouchers, cashback apps, and loyalty cards to stretch your money further.
- Look at your travel options:
With rising fuel costs, consider alternative modes of travel to reduce expenses. Car sharing, using public transport, biking, or walking can significantly cut down on fuel and maintenance costs. If feasible, consider downsizing to a more fuel-efficient vehicle or using a car-sharing service for occasional needs.
- Seek advice
If you are struggling to pay your household bills and/or falling behind on your debt repayments, you can get free, independent, and impartial advice on your options. You can contact one of our debt advisers today by calling our Debt Telephone line on 0808 278 7839 or complete the online form to arrange an appointment.