10 ways to save £1,000 (and help offset energy price hikes)
The energy price cap will be £1,971 from April, nearly £700 higher than the current level of £1,277. Meanwhile the Bank of England base rate has risen to 0.5%, upping the cost of mortgages, loans and credit cards for many.
The government is offering every household £200 off their energy bills, although this will be clawed back in future years. Some households might also be eligible for extra help with their energy bill.
Unfortunately for many, this help won’t be enough. So, here are 10 things you can do to help offset rising bills.
1) Switch bank accounts for £150
Banks are so keen to attract new current account customers that they’ll give you up to £150 for switching. The number of switching offers has increased in recent weeks with RBS the latest bank to offer new customers a cash incentive.
2) Get a council tax rebate
The government announced that households in England which are in council tax bands A to D will receive a £150 rebate from April. This one-off payment will be made directly by local authorities and it won’t need to be repaid.
3) Check your council tax band
It’s possible you’ve been paying too much council tax for years – this will be the case if your property has been placed in the wrong band. You can challenge your council tax band with the Valuation Office Agency.
If your home is in a higher band than it should be, it will be moved to the correct band and you’ll get a rebate on the council tax you’ve overpaid.
4) Claim the marriage allowance
Married couples and those in a civil partnership may be eligible for a tax break of £252 a year via the marriage allowance.
It lets a non-taxpaying partner transfer their personal allowance of £12,570 to their higher income-earning partner. The personal allowance is the amount of income you don’t have to pay tax on, so by transferring your allowance to your partner, they are able to earn more income tax-free.
5) Claim working from home tax relief
If you work from home for just one day in a tax year you can claim working from home tax relief of up to £125 a year. The idea is the cash goes towards the extra costs of working from home such as heating your home and running a computer.
Make sure you act quick – there are rumours the government is thinking about shutting down this tax break.
6) Switch to a cheaper supermarket
Aldi was recently crowned the cheapest supermarket by Which?, just pipping Lidl to the title. Overall Aldi was the cheapest supermarket for six of the 12 months in 2021 while Lidl was the cheapest for five months, including December.
Looking at a set basket of 22 items in December 2021, the shopping cost £23.29 at Aldi – but £32.85 at the most expensive supermarket Waitrose, working out to 41% more.
7) Review your subscriptions
Take a look through all the direct debits and continuous payments set up on your bank account. Are there subscriptions you pay for but no longer use or could live without?
According to Compare the Market, one in five (21%) people are paying £265 each year for subscriptions they no longer use.
8) Are you eligible for benefits?
Many people may be eligible for benefits such as Universal Credit, a council tax reduction, personal independence payment or working tax credit.
Speak to Citizens Advice or charity turn2us.org to find out what you might be entitled to.
9) Haggle your telecoms contracts
According to Which?, households can save cash by negotiating with suppliers when their broadband or mobile contract ends.
The consumer champion reported an average saving of £85 a year on broadband, £128 on broadband and TV, and £35 on mobile bills, by haggling at the end of a contract.
It also found that those who switched providers saved an average of £35 a year on broadband, £65 on broadband and TV, and £40 on mobile bills.
10) Get a side hustle
If you want to increase your income, a second job or ‘side hustle’ could be the answer if a pay-rise isn’t on the cards. The number of people taking on second jobs to survive is on the up, according to Credit Karma.
Popular side hustles include buying and selling items online, private tutoring, or joining focus groups.