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10 Money Management Strategies To Combat Price Increases Before The End of The Month



10 Money Management Strategies To Combat Price Increases Before The End of The Month

Businesses are starting to implement their yearly pricing hikes this month, which will result in a sharp increase in a number of household necessities. There will be increases in water, TV license fees, broadband, mobile phone, car road tax, and streaming subscription services in April.

Following some hurried discussions between local councils and the Scottish Government, council tax will stay frozen in Scotland for the 2024–2025 fiscal year. All 32 local authority areas will see an average increase in water prices of 8.8%.

Customers who use mobile phones and broadband are advised to compare costs on comparison websites in order to find a cheaper deal, as most providers are raising their rates by about 8% this month. It’s also a good idea to look into social tariffs, which could reduce monthly payments to as little as £12. Households will pay an average of 7.9 percent more per month for broadband services from many of the largest companies, including BT, EE, Plusnet, Shell Energy, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, and Vodafone. These price increases occur every April and are in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Retail Price Index (RPI).

Just like it does with its mobile and broadband contracts, EE is raising the price of its subscription television package by 7.9%. Customers of EE TV, formerly BT TV, can receive both premium and free-to-air channels, including TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport).

Virgin Media’s 8.8% hike also applies to its subscription television service, while starting on April 1, Sky will charge television consumers an average of 6.7% more.

In addition, starting on April 1, viewers will have to pay an annual fee of £169.50 instead of £159 for a TV licence, which allows them to watch or record live TV programming on any channel on any device. This covers any content viewed on BBC iPlayer.

It indicates that the tax, which is currently £180 per year, is probably going to increase to about £190 per year for automobiles registered after April 1, 2017. On the other hand, older or carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles will cost more.

Positively, after Ofgem decreased its price cap in reaction to wholesale pricing, the average household energy bill will drop to its lowest point in two years starting on April 1.

The price cap for a typical dual fuel home in Scotland, England, and Wales is being dropped by 12.3% by the regulator from £1,928 to £1,690. This represents a decrease of £238 over the course of a year, or roughly £20 per month.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt responded to the price increases by announcing in the spring budget that National Insurance Contributions will be reduced by an additional two percentage points starting on April 6. This reduction is expected to return an average of £900 to the pocket of the worker over the course of the upcoming year.

However, according to recent data from WEALTH at work, a renowned authority on retirement planning and financial wellbeing, almost one in five UK workers (22%) reported having to borrow money from friends and family in the previous year due to financial concerns, and a fifth (20%) reported going into debt.

Of the 2,000 respondents, over a quarter (26%) had put in more overtime, and over one in ten (11%) had taken on a second job.

Now more than ever, taking charge of your finances is essential to navigating the cost of living problem, as rising expenses are continuously placing strain on household budgets.

Ten Strategies To Avoid The April Price Increases

To assist you with budgeting, saving, and maintaining financial control in the upcoming months, WEALTH at Work has provided ten of the best money management suggestions.

1. Establish A Spending Plan

Making a budget is the first step to taking charge of your money. Gathering a summary of your earnings and expenses may be quite beneficial, even though it could seem like a difficult effort.

First, find out how much you make and how much you spend each month by looking through your bank statements. Next, enumerate all of these monthly expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, energy costs, debt, auto insurance, grocery and dining out, regular subscriptions, etc. This will show you where your money is going and provide opportunities for savings.

Subsequently, terminate any memberships and subscriptions that you haven’t utilized or can’t afford – this is the ideal moment to do so!

2. Give Priority To Debt Management

Debt comes in a wide variety with variable interest rates. Rates on credit cards and overdrafts range from 18% to 40%, while rates on payday loans go as high as 1,500%.

Prioritizing the repayment of expensive debts is frequently a wise idea. You might be paying more interest on your credit card debt payments than you should be if you have any outstanding balances. By comparing rates, you might be able to switch to a card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers or one with a reduced interest rate.

Consolidating your obligations into a 0% or low-interest balance transfer card may also be a smart move if you have several debts because more money will go toward paying them off and allowing you to pay them off faster.

3. Keep Tabs on Your Money

Following the creation of a budget, it’s critical to monitor your finances. Setting up routine budget check-ups can provide you a clear understanding of how your money is spent. You may make sure your spending patterns are in line with your financial objectives by going over your credit card and bank statements. If not, you’ll see areas where you might be spending too much and have time to make immediate adjustments.

4. Practice Wise Shopping

Arranging your weekly shopping in advance will give you more time to look for the greatest discounts and spend less on unnecessary products. A cost-saving measure is to switch brands.

5. Reduce Home Expenses and Automatic Renewals

Many auto, house, and travel insurance policies automatically renew every year; if you let this happen, though, you might be paying more than you should.

Find out when your contract expires and mark a few weeks ahead of time in your diary to make sure you receive the best deal possible and prevent any potential price spikes. This will guarantee that you have enough time to compare prices or, if necessary, bargain. Look online at price comparison websites to find the best deal; they are a quick and simple way to compare deals and save money.

6. Seek out Alternative Sources of Income

You ought to think about exploring alternative avenues for augmenting your earnings. Is it feasible to take on other occupations like dog walking, childcare, or freelance work, or to rent out a room? Having several sources of income can help you manage your debt, save more money each month, and improve your financial security.

7. Establish a Future Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund on hand is a smart idea in case you get laid off, get incapacitated, or experience unforeseen expenses. If you can, try to aim for three to six months of your salary.

8. Establish Early Savings

The sooner you start saving, the more time the money has to grow. Making sure you start saving for your pension early on is also crucial. Many people currently automatically contribute 5% of their wages, plus the employer’s 3% portion, to their workplace pension. We are aware, though, that a lot of businesses will match further contributions—up to a certain amount.

In your twenties, you can boost your retirement pension by 25% by contributing an additional 1% annually, with your company matching your contributions.

9. Take Care of Your Pension

It could be alluring to attempt and save money by cutting back on or suspending your pension contributions if you are having financial difficulties. But before you do, consider your options carefully because choosing to forgo your pension will significantly affect how much money you have when you retire and should only be done as a last choice.

10. Watch Out for Scams

Since con artists frequently appear and sound entirely real, it is understandable why so many people fall for their tricks. It is crucial to verify if a company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) if you receive a seemingly too good-to-be-true offer. You can also check out the FCA’s ScamSmart website, which has a list of businesses to avoid that operate without permission or are involved in scams.

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