It’s really happening and it’s effecting every one of us. No matter who you are or where you are living the CoronaVirus is absolutely bound to be having an effect on you at the moment, including financially. That’s why we are going to take a look at how to lower your bills during lockdown.
Unfortunately the effects of lockdown are not going to be just for the next few weeks Financially, at least, lockdown could effect us for many months to come.
Here at Potters Magical Money, we set out to share our own ideas, tips and techniques for making and saving money. At this horrible time in the world’s history it is even more relevant now to consider your budget and the opportunities that are in front of you. We understand that people are worried!
The UK is in lockdown, several people have either lost their source of income or had it drastically cut. The government have installed some measures to assist people during this time, but the fact is, for most of us, it simply isn’t going to be enough.
Whether your a self-employed tradesman, a non-essential shop assistant, a factory worker who has been forced to self-isolate or one of the key workers on the frontline, it is very likely that you will need to review your income and expenditure during this very tough time.
So Let’s take a look at ways you can lower your spending during lockdown. We have identified seven quick ways to cut your bills that will apply to most of us.
- Review Your Mobile Phone and Broadband Contracts
- Take a Look at Your Utility Bills
- Don’t Forget Your Council Tax
- Explore Your Options for Grocery Shopping
- Cancel Your TV License
- Consider Your Travel Expenses
- Suspend Your Non-essential Subscriptions
We’ve split it down to make it easy for you to identify the individual bills that are relevant to you. Click on one of the links above to go directly to our tips and advice for the relevant way to cut that bill or carry on reading through the whole article and hopefully you’ll be able to save yourself hundreds of pounds during lockdown and beyond.
Review Your Mobile Phone Contracts
Initially, it might seem like a crazy idea. We are in lockdown, separated from our friends and family, surely we are going to use our phones and broadband more?
The fact is you can probably make a saving by considering your home and mobile contracts together, especially in respects to data charges.
These days your home broadband usually comes with unlimited data and when you are locked down at home, you are likely to be using mobile phones connected to your broadband via Wifi. Therefore, take a look at reducing the data you are paying for on your mobile phones. This is usually the most expensive part of the mobile phone bill.
Additionally, a lot of broadband contracts come with free minutes from your home phone. A considerable amount of people don’t take advantage of these minutes. Again take a look at the broadband contract and the mobile phone contracts for you and your housemates and consider what calls you really will be making. There is a small opportunity for a saving here with some contracts.
Look at Your Utility Bills
Again, you may initially think, we are in lockdown surely our utility bills will actually increase due to us using more electricity and gas?
But firstly, it’s coming up to summer. We will not need the heating on so much! Heating our homes is probably the biggest part of most of our utility bills.
More importantly, this is an ideal opportunity to do some price comparisons. Many of us have been too busy in our normal lives to really have a proper look at our utility bills and the options that are available. There are some great deals available that could really save you hundreds of pounds a year against the standard rate. So you now have more free time on your hands, get on those comparison sites and find the best deal for you.
Additionally, utility companies tend to overcharge us initially on our monthly bills, especially if you are paying direct debit. They use the excuse that it is saving for the winter expenses etc. But in reality they want your money in their account in advance rather than risk you not paying the bill later. Frequently customers are in credit with their utility bill providers and in these tough times, this is money that it is better off in your bank. Contact them! Tell them you want your credit money returned and your direct debit reduced! Most of them will listen and offer you a better deal.
Finally also consider your water bill. Most local water authorities offer budgeting schemes that can help people during tough times.
Council Tax Options
Your Council Tax is probably the only bill that can end you up in serious trouble with the law. Fines and prison sentences are still possible for non-payment of the Council Tax .
But that doesn’t mean you cannot make a saving.
Firstly, the government have introduced a scheme that means you can defer payments to later in the year.
Additionally, the Council Tax benefit scheme is not directly related to the other benefits that the state currently offers, such as Universal Credit. You need to contact your local authority and discuss your circumstances separately. If you are on low-income it is very likely that they will be able to help with the Council Tax benefit, reducing your bill.
Your Grocery Shopping List
In this time of long queues at the supermarkets and social distancing, we really should take the chance to look at our options for grocery shopping.
Whilst it may be tempting to stock-up and reduce your outdoor trips, take a step back and really consider what you are doing.
Plan your meals! We don’t mean that you have to rigidly set-out what and when you are going to eat. But look at it sensibly. There is no point having a fully stocked fridge if half of the contents is going to go off and be thrown away in a couple of days. You may as well burn your money before visiting the shops.
Seriously take a look at what you will need for each week and only buy from that list. As a bonus you will also be reducing your time in the supermarket and therefore the chances of cross-infection etc.
Also consider where you are shopping. Whilst your local corner shop may be slightly more expensive for bread and milk than your supermarket, if that’s really all you need, then take a walk to your local shop thereby saving on fuel or bus-fares etc. Additionally, the cheaper supermarkets, such as Aldi and Lidl, are becoming far better these days. They have fresh British produce and can offer a considerable saving to your weekly grocery bill.
Finally, look at online shopping. Whilst it is pretty difficult to get a delivery slot at the moment, it does force you, with a little self-discipline, to stick to your list and budget.
Cancel Your TV License
What? you may say! ‘I’m in lockdown, I need my TV!’. Well yes, we understand you, but do you really need live TV and BBC IPlayer. You can cancel your TV license and still watch catch-up TV, such as ITV-Hub or use subscription services such as Netflix and use the internet to keep up on the news.
One of our sister sites at Potters Magical Money is actually campaigning for everybody to cancel your license. It is sensible option and there are many reasons to do it and very few to keep paying it.
So cancel your TV license today and save yourself over £150 a year.
Cut Your Travel Costs
We are at home in lockdown, so surely our travel costs are already cut, aren’t they?
Well, yes a significant amount of us have probably already made a significant saving in our fuel bills etc. But we can go further, if we think about it.
For a start, if your a public transport user, then consider canceling your travel card. You really should no longer need it, unless you are still working. Most of us have a local shop or supermarket within walking distance nearby and online grocery shopping is an option.
If your a car owner, then there are far more options available to you, especially if your in lockdown.
Why not put your vehicle on your driveway, hide away the keys and cancel your insurance and even your road tax. Talk to your insurance provider first to ensure you don’t lose your no-claims bonus etc but there is a real opportunity here. If your a two or three car family, even taking one of the cars off the road could save you hundreds of pounds.
As a last resort, if you need some quick money in your bank, then why not consider selling your car. You can always get a new one, once we are back up and running.
Suspend Your Subscriptions
Finally, let’s take a look at those non-essential subscriptions that all of us have built up and slowly drain our bank accounts.
If your a Sky Go subscriber, your not going anywhere during lockdown, cancel it. Amazon prime offer next day delivery on our shopping but money is tight and we are not buying anything, so cancel it. Look at your other entertainment subscriptions such as Netflix, and consider whether you really need them but maybe look at canceling your TV license first.
Magazine subscriptions, newspaper deliveries, charity donations, gym memberships and local sports club memberships should all be looked at. Do you really need them? Will you use them during lockdown? Can you really afford them? Are there cheaper alternative available?
And Many More
We have addressed the seven opportunities to cut your bills, that most of us could do very quickly. But each and every one of us is an individual and has different desires and needs, so you should really look at them all against your own personal circumstances.
In addition, take a look at every aspect of your life and look for savings. Scan through last month’s bank statement and see where, if anywhere, you wasted money and could cut your bills this month.
Unfortunately CoronaVirus is here to stay for a while. It is not going to disappear after a few weeks and is likely to be having an effect on our lives for many months to come, especially financially.
Here at Potters Magical Money, we have tried to share our own ideas and tips for cutting your bills during lockdown. It’s a worrying time for all of us and it is relevant to consider our budget and the opportunities in front of us.
Alongside saving money, we should also take the opportunity to look at what being in lockdown means to us making money. As stated earlier the government have installed some measures to assist people with their income during this time, but is there anything else we can do to generate income at this time.
A lot of the options are off the table at the moment, but Potters Magical Money can suggest one method that we truly believe could give your income a boost and you could start whilst you have more free time available during lockdown. Please take a look at one of our 2020 Best Business Opportunities, which you can do from home.
Please don’t forget to bookmark our site and come back to us for more money saving ideas from Potters Magical Money. If you have any comments or ideas that you would like to share with us, please feel free to comment below.