Yesterday’s news was brutal: inflation hit NINE%.
He is at his highest level in 40 years and Chancellor Rishi Sunak has admitted there is little he can do to help.
But there are things you can do to reduce your expenses, and every little bit will help.
Tara Evans, Head of Consumer Affairs at Sun, shares her NINE tips for beating inflation. . .
DON’T MISS THE BENEFITS
This is exactly what MILLIONS and BILLIONS of pounds go unclaimed every year.
To check what help you can get, use free calculators at gov.uk,titleto.co.uk or benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk.
Sarah Coles, of financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “There are 850,000 pensioners not claiming pension credit, on average £1,900 a year.
“A quarter of a million pensioners are also missing out on £4,000-a-year housing benefit.”
Poverty relief charity Turn2Us has a free tool, grant-search.turn2us.org.uk, to help you search for grants – usually non-refundable, to help with bills and food.
REDUCE CAR COSTS
FUEL costs are hitting motorists hard.
Be sure to shop around before you fill up – try petrolprices.com for good advice.
You can also save up to £50 a year with more economical choices when driving.
Remove excess weight from your car and turn off your stationary engine.
Driving on the highway at 70 mph rather than 80 mph can cut your fuel mileage by a quarter, according to the AA.
Turn off your vehicle’s air conditioning – open the windows instead.
Also remove your roof box, if you are not using it.
GET FREE SUPPORT
YOUR local council may be able to give you cash or vouchers to help pay your bills under the Household Support Fund.
If you’re having trouble paying rent, mortgage, or council tax, let your landlord, lender, or council know. They may be able to give you “breathing space” or other help.
With bills such as energy and water, many businesses have free pools to help them out.
Get free debt advice from StepChange, National Debtline or Citizens Advice.
Victoria Leyton, of consumer site hotukdeals.com, said: ‘If you are at risk of defaulting, talk to suppliers to see if there are ways to reduce payments.
GET A FIXED RATE MORTGAGE
IF you have a tracker or variable rate mortgage nearing the end of its term, plan to upgrade to a fixed rate deal.
To fight inflation, the Bank of England raised interest rates for the fourth time since December 2021, and mortgage lenders are passing this on to so many customers facing higher monthly payments.
If rates hit 1.25%, repayments on a typical £250,000 trailing mortgage would rise by £32 a month, or £384 a year.
But Laura Suter, of financial services firm AJ Bell, said: “There is more pain in store as markets expect rates to rise to 2.5% by next year. “
GO TO YOUR BRAND
At the supermarket, exchange premium branded goods for cheaper branded goods.
Many big name manufacturers also make the same for supermarkets, and they cost up to 50% less.
Every week at the-sun.co.uk/money we test supermarket branded products, from toilet paper to orange juice.
If you have branded favorites, you can save by buying in bulk.
Sarah Coles said: “Look down, closer to the supermarket floor for own brands and economy brands. You can cut the costs in half or more.
FIND HIDDEN DISCOUNTS
ALWAYS check if you can get money through cash back, coupon codes or discounts.
Sign up for newsletters and cashback sites to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Money-saving blogger Jordon Cox said, “Hidden discounts and tricks to keep your costs down exist, whether through apps, websites or just having a quick Google for discount codes before buying anything. thing.
“Spending a few extra minutes every time you buy something could mean a huge difference to your bank balance in the long run.”
REVIEW YOUR OUTINGS
KEEP a constant eye on this to know where you can save.
Switch providers and ditch subscriptions and insurance you don’t need.
Sarah Coles said: “Keep a spending diary that will reveal where your money is going. This should help you identify money leaks that you can plug.
Martyn James of consumer site Resolver added: “Also try canceling insurance you don’t need for items like your cooker or washing machine if you’re covered for breakdowns or damage.”
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BARGAIN
YOU can save a small fortune if you take the time to do it right.
If you’re nearing the end of a contract, just consider dropping it and see what incentive to stay is offered to you.
Many consumers report making gains this way on broadband services or device insurance.
If you take one or more products from one company, ask for a combined discount. Just because it’s not part of their sales pitch doesn’t mean they can’t make it happen.
Always be ready to go. Many companies would rather keep you on board for a little less than lose you completely.
MAKE SMART SWITCHES
SMALL changes around the house will help you save money – and can really add up.
For example, turning devices off, from sleep mode, can be worth £35 a year.
A third of people are now taking shorter showers to save on their water and energy bills, according to consumer insights group Toluna.
You may also need to consider larger changes.
Sarah Coles from Hargreaves Lansdown said: ‘Try not to leave anything out here, from holidays to where you live and owning a car.
“These changes can be difficult but quickly reduce expenses.”