In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a cost-of-living crisis on. As of May 2023, a whopping 95% of UK households reported that their cost of living had increased in the last, while the inflation rate – despite decreasing a little in recent months – is still over ten times higher than it was in 2021.
Unless you’re particularly well off, it’s likely you’ll have felt the pinch on all sorts of life’s essentials, from your monthly utility bill through to your weekly grocery shop. But what can you do about it? Here are four tips for wise budgeting during what is a particularly tricky time.
Get to grips with your utilities
In light of a few rather serious events, namely the COVID pandemic, Brexit and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, fuel prices on all fronts have skyrocketed over the past couple of years. Even with price guarantees and caps in place, utility costs present one of the biggest challenges to the average household.
With that in mind, one of the first things you should be doing when looking to cut your spending is checking in with your utility providers to see if you could be paying less for your essential services like gas, energy and broadband. Comparison websites are your best bet here as you’ll be able to get a full picture of what’s on offer in today’s market.
No luck cutting your bills via a provider? You can always try and save money by bringing down your usage instead.
Look after your car
If you drive, there’s a good chance you’ll be highly dependent on your car for all sorts of key life bits. Because of that, if something goes wrong with your car, you’ll probably have to deal with it straight away, and that could mean taking on a big cost that you weren’t expecting – something that can be a particularly big burden in the current climate.
To steer clear of those unexpected costs, do what you can to look after your car and prevent anything going wrong. When you book your MOT online you can always throw in a service to make sure everything is up to scratch – and there are all sorts of simple checks you can do at home to get ahead of any unnecessary problems.
Stay on top of your subscriptions
Citizens Advice found that people in the UK spend over £300m each year on unused subscriptions. This is due to auto renewals now being the norm and the overwhelming amount of subscription-based services out there on the market today.
So, what subs have you got that you aren’t using? Take a look at your transactions and get rid of the services you forgot you had taking money from you.
Make savings on your weekly shop
It’s easy to get carried away when browsing the supermarket aisles during your weekly visit, but staying strong and not chucking that extra bar of chocolate in the trolley can help add up to savings over the course of the year. Save £5 on your weekly shop and you’ll save £260 over the year. Cut your weekly spending by £30, and you annual saving will be a rather tasty £1,560.
With cost-of-living issues set to continue for the foreseeable, it’s essential that average households are doing as much as they can to stay on top of their finances through such a testing period. With tips like those above put into practice, you’ll hopefully have a few extra quid spare at the end of each month.