With inflation expected to rise to above 4% by the end of the year, many of us are likely to see a noticeable drop in the amount of spare cash we have at the end of each month. So, where are biggest price rises expected to appear? To get these rising costs on your radar, we’re running through the biggest upcoming price jumps and what you can do lessen the effect on your bank balance.
1. Food prices
First up, it’s food prices. With a shortage of lorry drivers as well as bigger supply chain costs post Brexit, it’s thought that food prices could rise by at least 5% this winter.
So, what can you do about it? Well, although you can’t avoid this incoming price hike, there are some things that could make your food shopping cheaper this winter.
Food money saving tips
- Shop at cheaper supermarkets
- Cash in supermarket loyalty points
- Check if you’re eligible for food vouchers
- Gradually stock up on tins and frozen food
- Check if your kids are eligible for free school meals
- Set a weekly food budget
- Freeze your leftovers
2. Energy prices
Probably one of the biggest costs we’ll be facing this winter is for energy. Next month, there’s set to be a £139 price increase on our energy bills as the global gas crisis drives up prices. There’s also a predicted energy bill increase for next spring, which could add between £178 and £294 to the price of a default dual-fuel energy tariff.
Although many of us will be facing higher energy bills over the next few months, there are some quick ways to cut your energy costs.
Energy money saving tips
- Switching your energy supplier can save you around £250 a year*
- Make sure you’re not on your supplier’s standard variable tariff*
- Check if you’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme
- Turning your thermostat down by just one degree can save you £80 a year
- Turn off electrics while not in use, including chargers, laptops and lights
- Opt for energy efficient appliances and bulbs
- Wash your clothes on a cooler setting and avoid using a tumble dryer
- Check if you’re eligible for boiler grants or free loft and cavity wall insulation.
Although traditionally switching your energy supplier and making sure you’re not on your supplier’s standard variable tariff has traditionally been one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy bill, the current energy crisis has pushed up the price of fixed rate tariffs so much that this may no longer be the case.
As your supplier’s standard variable tariff is restricted under the price cap, you may find it is currently cheaper than the best fixed rate deal out there. If you’re currently on a standard variable tariff, your current energy supplier has gone bust and you’ve been moved to a new supplier, or your current deal is coming to an end, you may want to consider remaining on the standard variable tariff until April when the price cap is going to rise. This is because by switching to a fixed rate, you may be locking in a higher price for energy for a couple of years. Make sure you carefully consider all your options before deciding what is best for you and your circumstances.
3. Fuel prices
Petrol prices are currently at an eight year high in England and Wales and we can expect to see around £16.50 added to our monthly fuel costs. What’s more, recent fuel panic buying and supply chain difficulties has made petrol even harder to get a hold of.
Admittedly reducing monthly fuel costs can prove tricky, yet there are still a few things you can do.
Fuel money saving tips
- Only use your vehicle for essential journeys
- Shop local
- If you’re using your own car for business, check if you can claim back your fuel costs
- If you’re using your own vehicle for work, check if you can claim back tax relief
- Carpool with colleagues
- Spend more time in your local area
If you’re worried about rising costs this winter, there is help out there. You can check if you can reduce your household energy bills using Uswitch in myfreedom, as well as if you’re missing out on money from the government via entitledto. Log in to myfreedom now to find out.
Paying interest on loans and credit cards? You may be able to give yourself more wiggle room in your monthly budget by consolidating. Check if you’re eligible for a loan with a lower APR or if you can spread your costs out over a longer period by quickly checking your loan options.
If you are thinking of consolidating existing borrowing you should be aware that you may be extending the term of the debt and increasing the total amount you repay.