Dealing with the Increased Costs of Living this Winter
With the increase in energy prices and the overall increased costs of living, more and more families are struggling to pay their bills. The cost-of-living crisis is affecting so many households across the country and now that winter is here, it’s likely to get worse.
The government is slowly incorporating ways to support the people who need the help most. The Energy Bills Support Scheme will give families a £400 energy bills discount to support households this winter and there is also a government initiative, backed by Ofcom, that offers cheaper broadband and phone packages for people on benefits – a social tariff which is available from many providers in the UK. You can read more about this below.
- Social Tariff – Discounts for People on Universal Credit
If you’re on Universal Credit, you might be eligible for the above-mentioned reduced prices for certain services. Many broadband providers and some mobile phone providers offer a social tariff, a reduced price if you’re in receipt of some sort of government benefit or pension.
There’s a website called Social Tariff that specialises in helping people in receipt of benefits research how to get discounted products with lots of helpful information about how to find out what discounts are available for broadband and phone contracts for example. This information can save you a lot of money each month – did you know that you could save up to 50% off your monthly bill? The average household can save £144 per year which is great! You just need to read up and see if you’re on the right benefits to be eligible. You can find lots of tips and many articles to help you on socialtariff.co.uk.
- More Ways to Save Money this Winter
Saving money with the social tariff prices is a great way to reduce your monthly bills this winter. There are many other things you can do to help save money too, like using less energy at home which is a great way to reduce costs. Here are few quick tips for reducing your energy consumption at home:
- Turn the heating down a little bit and wear more layers instead.
- Turn lights off in rooms that are not used.
- Turn plugs off at the sockets.
- Batch cook affordable meals from scratch – homemade vegetable curries, bean chili, and lasagna are all great meals for this.
- Don’t boil more water than you need in your kettle – if you have any hot water left over, put it in a flask ready for your next cuppa.
- Try using your washing machine less and wash at lower temperatures.
- Don’t use the dryer unless necessary and let your washing dry on an airer instead.
- If You Can, Create a Savings Pot
If you’re on a low income, you can get government help with your savings. The Help to Save scheme allows some people who are entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over 4 years. You can save between £1 and £50 each calendar month but you don’t have to put money in every month. At the end of the second and fourth years, you will get a bonus based on how much you’ve saved. This is a great way to get started building some savings for your family – it’s always good to have a rainy day fund.