Energy bills are expected to keep rising going into the winter months, so now is a great time to learn some cost-saving tips. Laura Howard, financial expert at Forbes Advisor, has come up with some top tips to help people slash their costs.
Budgeting may seem daunting, but Ms Howard recommends taking basic, easy steps to save money.
She said: “Small changes to ingrained daily behaviours can also pay dividends over time. For example, making a commitment to use less energy.
“This could simply mean hanging out washing as the weather improves rather than using the tumble drier, turning the heating down by a degree or two, or switching off lights or radiators in rooms that you don’t use.”
Away from home, people can slash their costs with good habits such as looking out for free parking, or taking a pre-packed lunch rather than eating out, which Ms Howard said could reduce daily costs by £25.
People can end up with a huge bill paying interest on credit card balances at the typical 20 percent.
“It’s possible to move balances from several card providers up to, say 90 percent or 95 percent, of your allocated credit limit, to a zero percent balance transfer card,” Laura said.
“While you’ll need a top credit score to be accepted, applying through an eligibility checker means you can view your chances before making an official application.
“This protects your credit report from visible searches which could put off subsequent lenders.”
Consumers who rely on their credit card to pay for essentials can switch to a card that offers an interest-free period on purchases.
Ms Howard said: “Some of these deals offer up to two years at zero percent to the most credit-worthy applicants so if you are forced to borrow, at least you can do it without paying interest.”
Parents with a child between three and four can get 30 hours free childcare and extra help for everyday costs is available through the Household Support Fund.
Many banks now have apps for customers, and these are great tools for managing finances and keeping an eye on spending.
Budgeting apps such as Snoop, Yolt or Money Dashboard are also helpful to keep a track of a person’s outgoings.
Ms Howard said: “Using an open banking agreement, these apps allow you to view all of your accounts in one place which can provide greater transparency around the reality of your spending.
“If you opt for the basic version, many are also free.”
Supermarkets often have a range of bargains, which can be found on their loyalty app.
These apps can also be used to scan and collect points from purchases, which can be redeemed for discounts in store.