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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.

  1. Review Your Mobile Phone and Broadband Contracts
  2. Take a Look at Your Utility Bills
  3. Don’t Forget Your Council Tax
  4. Explore Your Options for Grocery Shopping
  5. Cancel Your TV License
  6. Consider Your Travel Expenses
  7. 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

Mobile Phone ContractsInitially, 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

 

Cutting 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

Grocery ShoppingIn 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

Travel CostsWe 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.

 

12 thoughts on “How to Lower Your Bills During Lockdown

  1. I needed to see this. My family is very fortunate that we haven’t yet had any adverse economic effects from this pandemic lockdown, but there is no way of knowing how long this will last, or what future troubles it will bring for us. I think it’s important to be frugal and mindful of expenses right now, even if you seem to have been spared. Unfortunately, with the whole family at home, I think we’re actually spending more money. We keep ordering stuff online! I guess we’re bored. Being in the U.S., a couple of these do not apply, but I’m sure we could bring our utility bills down with some effort. Same goes for subscriptions services. We definitely need to pay attention to grocery expenses. If we stop binge shopping, we don’t want to replace it with binge eating. Great list! Stay safe. This too will pass.

    1. It’s great to have readers from all over the world. It makes me quite humbled.  It’s also interesting to see the differences that you consider.  I know the US doesn’t have a TV license and I respect the US for that. I really dislike the system we have here in the UK..

      But it’s the other services that you don’t mention that have peaked my interest in the differences between the US and the UK.  I would have thought that mobile phone contracts and car insurance costs would have been very similar in the US to the UK. To me, these are actually the biggest savings. Your car is usually the second biggest cost to any family, after any house. If lockdown pushes the car off the road and drives us to walk to the local supermarket then surely the savings must be massive, if we take the right steps.

      1. The other thing I had in mind was the council tax. That’s not something we have where I live. We have taxes, of course, but it works differently, as far I understand it. Mobile phones, car/insurance are generally similar, though in my part of the country, those likely less expensive than they are for you. Our cost of living is lower than in most parts of the U.S., as well.

        1. Thank you for your reply Randy.

          Now I understand you. Yes are council tax system is certainly unique, made even more complex because we have a system that gives a lot of financial power at town and county level but very little political power in my view. Our council tax is on a town level and pays for everything from local police (a big proportion of it) to refuse collection. It can be very expensive depending upon what political affiliation your town council has and what the category of your house is… i.e generally bigger / posher houses pay more than social state houses, flats or apartments

  2. This is good and a very helpful one during this period. It is agreeable that most things during this period will be on a pause including some means of income and as such, it greatly affects the flow of money with us and there is a requirement to ensure that our cost of living is minimized in time. Cutting cost on virtually everything and limiting the way we spend would help a lot during this period and you have listed such great ways to minimize the spending.

    This is really great to see here. Thank you

    1. Hi Angela

      Glad you like our article and that you found it useful. All of your comments are of course 100% true. Cutting costs is often overlooked. Most of us actually believe we live to our means, but cutting your bills is a real opportunity to open up money for little things like Easter Eggs at these hard times or even the new business opportunity that I mentioned.

  3. Keeping utility bills down with a large family is a little than I thought it would be. There is nowhere to go, and the kids just keep leaving the lights on or are constantly showering. Our utility company has been pretty good; we’ve worked something out to keep our bill small. But I guess we will when the final bill arrives for this time. 

    1. Hi Eric,

      I understand your struggles. I remember my dad constantly telling me to turn off the lights when I was a child, and here I am telling my grandkids exactly the same thing.  

      I’m glad you’ve took the step and contacted your utility provider. They usually do help, mainly because they’d rather keep you as a customer than lose you to a competitor.

  4. This is a very informative post. Most of us didn’t think about that because we are to busy stressing about the present situation. Also, for people who do have credit cards, they can call their credit card company and ask them to lower the interest. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Carole,

      Thank you for comments and your very valid point about credit cards. To be honest, I was aware of this possibility but I haven’t researched it fully and am not convinced that it applies for all companies. I have heard rumours of banks increasing their charges and so am wary of advising people with non-factual information etc,.

  5. Hi,

    As I read your post I remember the saying “A penny saved is a penny earned”. You have articulated and touched all the areas which are often overlooked by a lot of individuals. In my case I am going to re-look at my subscriptions and mobile data plans.

    Also, considering the current slowdown, I am keen to explore other business opportunities or a freelancing option which I do from home – Thanks for sharing this post.

    1. Too right, a lot of people tend to believe they are living to their means no matter what their income is and hence overlook the savings they can make by reviewing their lifestyle. A review of a bank statement, in the right frame of mind, can result in so many opportunities to cut your expenditure. We are all frequently guilty of just letting life pass us by and not actually stepping back and reviewing what we are doing and what we are actually spending our money.

      Thank you very much for your comments. I’m glad our article has been useful and that you will take the opportunity to re-look at your subscriptions etc.

      Good luck with exploring business opportunities.

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