The UK is currently gripped by a cost-of-living crisis. Energy prices are going up, tariffs to trade have increased the cost of consumer goods, wages have stagnated, and the average family is feeling the pinch. While this crisis may be a temporary one, for many it is impacting household savings and future planning as a result. But there are ways to bring down household costs which may seem otherwise fixed – and here are just a few.
Review Your Council Tax Band
An often-overlooked possibility for reducing your household costs lies in your council tax contributions. There are eight council tax bands, lettered A to H – and a ninth, reduced-rate A band which includes a disability discount. These tax bands increase incrementally in annual cost, and are applied to households according to their market value in 1991. This means that more affluent neighbourhoods tend to have a higher council tax rate than others. However, since not every property existed in 1991, estimations are often made with regard to other properties in the area – and errors in judgement are often made. As such, if you believe your council tax bill is too high you can challenge your tax band. You could also be eligible for discounts or reduced rates, depending on a number of factors, including if you are on low income or live alone.
Your monthly bills are always going to be a sore point when it comes to expenditure, and with the cost of energy skyrocketing, things could be getting a lot sorer. You can check out Power to Choose Dallas to compare Texas electricity rates and make better choices for energy plans. Usually, shopping around for energy deals and switching supplier can bag you a significantly cheaper rate, but due to the current energy landscape this is no longer a viable way to cut your energy costs. Instead, the best way to ensure you aren’t paying over the odds for energy is to switch to your supplier’s variable rate. Any fixed-rate tariff you agree to will have you paying over the odds for energy, where Ofgem’s price cap is a cheaper and safer option. Bills will still be high, but the price cap is currently cheaper than any tariff.
Carry Out Your Own Home Repairs
DIY can be an absolute lifesaver when it comes to cutting down on costs, as the emergency expense of bringing out a handyman to rectify common household issues can eat into your savings. Simple investments and the following of a few online tutorials can get you most of the way there for many issues which spring up from time to time; investing in sealants for your kitchen worktops and bathroom units means you can prevent leaking and mould propagation, preserving your floorboards and kitchen units in the long run. Up-front expenditure on basic power tools and gardening equipment lets you take care of your own landscaping and decoration, reducing costs for landscaping and interior design. Even washing your car on the drive instead of using a car wash can save some crucial pennies.
While times may be hard for the average UK family, the silver lining is that there are numerous ways you can reduce your costs without losing your quality of life. The ideas mentioned here are the tip of the iceberg for saving money – and with a bit of practice, you’ll be saving significantly without breaking a sweat.
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