At The Money Charity, we understand well that many people are currently feeling very anxious about rising energy bills, increases to National Insurance contributions, mortgage rates increasing as well as the general cost of living. Many people are going to be facing tough choices trying to make ends meet, so it is important to make sure you are receiving any support you might be eligible for and to keep up-to-date with all the changes. If you are on a low income or pay a lower band Council Tax, there is support available. There is lots of information on the government’s MoneyHelper website or on Citizen’s Advice website.
While we would usually recommend shopping around for your energy provision, currently, with wholesale energy prices so high, there is little to be gained from switching providers. The price cap is due to rise in April and most suppliers will price their standard tariffs near that point.
If you are really struggling to pay your mortgage or utility bills, get in touch with the provider or company straightaway to let them know. Ignoring bills will only ever make matters worse. Cutting off your supply or repossessing your home will always be a last resort and they will want to help you find a solution. Some energy companies have charitable trusts, and you can find out more by contacting your energy company directly, or by searching on the Turn2us Grants Search.
We are all going to need to keep a closer eye on our expenditure and this will mean updating our household budgets and trying to cut back where possible. Our Budget Builder is a great free tool, available on desktop or mobile, to help with setting up a budget and tracking your income and expenditure.
Money Saving Expert always has lots of helpful tips and advice on how to save on everyday expenditure as well as including some household energy saving tips.
Lastly, if you find yourself in a really difficult situation with unmanageable debt, talk to a debt advisor as soon as possible. StepChange Debt Charity offers free debt advice and will be able to help you work out a plan to get your finances back on track.