Following the announcement that those living in the UK should expect their council tax and energy bills to rise by hundreds of pounds from next year, Nick Drewe, money-saving expert at online discounts platform, WeThrift, is warning Brits to prepare for the hike now.
Nick says: “Under government spending plans, a rise of at least 3.6% on council tax bills will be required every year in order to maintain services at pre-pandemic levels. We can therefore expect council tax price hikes to continue for at least the next three years.
“By 2024/25, many are speculating that council tax prices will have increased by up to 5%. Consumers should also be prepared for further volatile gas prices and the potential collapse of more suppliers within the industry.
“Outlined below are some budgeting tips for anyone feeling concerned at the prospect of increased energy bills and council tax ahead of next year.”
1. Keep checking your bills regularly: Whilst some energy suppliers have been known to either make changes to tariffs or make mistakes when charging customers, it’s always a good idea to check your regular household bills.
With winter approaching, those who continue to work from home or have flexible conditions may opt to stay at home, therefore bills for water, energy and mobile data are likely to increase.
2. Research before choosing a supplier: While many bill payers may instinctively choose an energy supplier they are familiar with, this may not always be the most cost-effective option. Really delve into a wide range of energy suppliers available and compare their prices.
Also note, if you are looking to switch energy suppliers, be sure to analyse each company’s exit fees, and opt for one that won’t charge the earth if you want to leave.
3. Understand your energy bill: Whilst there is often a lot of terms and conditions to read, attempting to understand the information related to your energy tariff and household consumption could help you keep the costs of your bills down.
The personal projection on the bill is the amount your household is expected to spend over the next 12 months, and the tariff comparison rate figure helps you understand how much you’re spending per kilowatt hour of gas and electricity.
Knowing this information will make it easier when comparing energy deals if you are planning to switch to a cheaper one, or help you monitor your current energy consumption.
4. Living alone? Make sure companies know: If you currently live alone, there are ways to cut the cost of living that you may not have realised. If you didn’t already know, living alone allows you to take advantage of a 25% discount on your council tax bill, saving you hundreds of pounds a year, making a particular difference when prices go up.
It’s also worth checking any benefits you may be entitled to, often based not only on your individual wage, but on total household income. Those who live alone can be eligible for financial assistance you’re not receiving.
5. Cancel payments for unused services: With council tax prices increasing, it’s time to assess whether all those streaming subscriptions you signed up for during the peak of lockdown boredom are worth the monthly cost moving forward.
If you are still paying for a TV subscription you are barely using, it is worth canceling these to help you save as much money as possible.