Don't have time to read this blog? Our Head of Financial Education, Jason Butler has summarised the key takeaways for you in this short video.Energy Prices & The Cost of Living Squeeze
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As you probably know, energy bills and fuel prices are on the rise, and from April most households will see their monthly energy bills go up by as much as double when something called the ‘energy price cap’ gets reset.
“Energy bills are high right now because the price of the energy that we buy on the global energy market has gone up by over 300% in the last year. This is driven by things like unusual weather conditions, global supply and demand since we’ve all come out of Covid, and political uncertainty.” -Rebbeca Dibb-Simkin, Chief Marketing Officer, Octopus Energy
So what can you do about it? Here’s what you need to know
The first thing you should do is find out what help is available and what support you might be entitled to from your local authority. If you live in a property in council tax bands A to D, you are likely to receive a £150 council tax rebate from the government to help with the rising cost of living in April. If you are unsure of your council tax band, check your printed council tax bill or find out online here. Alongside the Energy Bill Rebate, the government is introducing additional measures to support working families and low-income households. You can find out what extra support you might be eligible for by getting in touch with your local authority directly.
Do you have non-mortgage debts that you could consolidate like credit cards or a store card? You could find out if you are eligible for a salary deducted loan via your employer through Salary Finance which could help consolidate monthly debt repayments and free up extra cash to help with the rising living costs and bills. You can also find out whether debt consolidation is the right option for you by reading this blog here.
Follow the Smart Spending System to get control of what you spend your money on. This means cutting out waste, optimising your essential spending and deferring any new spending if possible. You might not be able to switch energy suppliers for any savings right now but have you considered if you have the best deals on other bills like insurance and broadband? Check if your employer offers access to a deals and discounts platform - make the most of your employee benefits and make the things you’re already doing as cheap as possible.
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