Cost of living – top tips
The cost of living – everybody is talking about it
Here at Perennial we are very aware that the rising cost of energy bills and the rise in inflation has pushed up prices for pretty much everyone. It has affected people in different ways and some more severely than others.
Below you’ll find some suggested top tips that everyone can take now, whether it’s to ease existing worries or to potentially prevent issues moving forward.
Managing your money better is a way of staying on top of your bills and may even help you save some every year, which you can use to pay off debts, add it to your pension or spend on a holiday, your car or van.
Ten top tips
1/ Small changes can add up
Making lots of small changes can add up to big savings. Little things such as turning lights off when you leave the room, having shorter showers or running low temperature clothes washes can help bring down your bills. For example:
- If you have games consoles you might consider switching them off at the wall and save up to £25 per year, per console!
- Air drying your clothes where possible is guaranteed to save money, and depending on the tumble dryer model you have, this could be up to £180 per year.
- Lighting your house with energy saving LED lightbulbs, instead of older incandescent and halogen bulbs, could save you up to £400 per year.
Search online for other great life-hacks which could help save you those vital few pounds.
2/ Shop smart
Making a shopping list and sticking to it can limit grocery expenditure. Meal planning is a great way to do this as it can mean less impulse purchases or fewer occasions of accidentally buying ingredients you may already have stashed away in the back of a cupboard (how many tins of chopped tomatoes is too much!?).
Choosing where to shop is also key. Consider discount supermarkets if you haven’t before as these can often prove to be cheaper than big supermarkets. Many shoppers will visit these to buy all of their staples, then only use the big four for any specific items they can’t get at the cheaper shop.
A recent study found the price of a basket of 48 ‘household essentials’ can vary by up to £23 depending on where you shop!
3/ Meet nudge – support for your financial wellbeing.
nudge is a free financial management tool for everyone. Using tailored-to-you online information and regular reminders (or ‘nudges’), it can help with your everyday spending and budgeting, as well as your financial plans for the future – helping you stay in control and hopefully contribute to your increased financial wellbeing.
Search for ‘cost of living’ on the nudge home screen to find up to date specific bitesize articles relative to you right now.
4/ Filling up
Often a significant expense for people working in the industry is fuel, so filling up as economically as possible is very important. Small things can benefit fuel economy, including travelling with a lighter load, having tyres at the correct PSI or limiting the use of air-con when its warm.
Filling up at the right time and place is also key. Often supermarkets will be cheaper than standard petrol stations, and much cheaper than motorway services, so try and plan your routes and fill up at the best, and cheapest, time for you.
5/ Track your spending
Being honest with yourself is key. It’s important to note down all your monies that comes in and goes out. This can help you potentially identify places where you can cut back. Creating a budget is the first step to taking control of your money, regardless of income or wealth. Budgets can be done online, via excel spreadsheets, or just with good old pen and paper.
You can use the simple budget planner available through nudge. Once you’ve logged into the website simply use the search bar to look for ‘Creating A Budget’.
6/ Resist temptation
Ever been tempted to get a takeaway, buy a new outfit or sample a new beer after an offer has popped up on your screen? The best way to avoid temptation is to block notifications from delivery services and retailers – you can do this on your phone by going to ‘Settings’.
It’s also worth unsubscribing from marketing emails if, like many, you find yourself tempted by sales and discounts. Next time you’re online you could do it in ‘incognito mode’ – this disables cookies and trackers which means less personalised marketing pop-ups and less enticing sponsored ads on your social media, reducing the risk of being lured into an unnecessary purchase.
7/ What other help is out there?
Many people do not apply for the benefits they are already entitled to and receiving these could make a real difference to your income. Checks can easily be done online to see if you are owed anything. Take a look at our Benefits pages for advice, information and how to check your eligibility.
There are many other areas of ongoing support from the government. For up-to-date information and an overview of the support packages currently on offer visit the Help for Households website to find out more.
8/ Pay attention to your energy bills
The Energy Bills Support Scheme and the Energy Price Guarantee should automatically provide you with support paying your bill and some security that it won’t spike moving forwards. However, you should still always be looking for new and cheaper tariffs if you are near the end of your deal. Also, many energy companies are issuing grants and/or vouchers, so don’t be afraid to ask. Take a look at our Energy Support and Advice pages.
9/ Look after your physical and mental wellbeing
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when things aren’t going your way. It’s more important than ever to exercise when you can, maintain a balanced diet and take time to care for yourself and your loved ones. For hours of wellbeing content sign up for free to Perennial’s Health and Wellbeing service brought to you in partnership with Spectrum Life which has wealth of fabulous information around nutrition, sleep, fitness and mental health.
10/ Talk about it
It’s good to talk, be that to friends and family, or with professionals who can help. Talking can help you straighten things in your own mind, get extra support where needed and perhaps even pick up one or two tips that might help. Don’t bottle things up, get things off your chest and focus your mind. Through Perennial you are able to speak to a qualified clinician 24/7 with our ‘In the Moment’ support line, accessible through the free Health and Wellbeing service mentioned above.
If you would like further help, our team of debt and money advisers can work with you to manage your money. Please complete the Services Contact Form or speak to one of the team on 0800 093 8543.
Our opening hours are Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4pm (excluding bank holidays)