With the rising cost of living, you may be struggling with your everyday expenses or considering leaving your pension scheme. To help you get the support you need, we’ve put together some useful tips and information below.
1. Check if you’re eligible for government support
Did you know that the Government have introduced extra payments to help with living costs? Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for state benefits and extra financial support.
2. Look at what you really use
Are you paying for an entertainment streaming service but rarely use it? Now may be a good time to re-evaluate your spending and see where you can cut back on costs.
You may find that you’re paying for unwanted subscriptions or full-package deals but not using them regularly or getting the most out of them. That’s why it may be useful to see if there are cheaper deals out there or if cancelling is a better option for you.
3. Save on energy bills where possible
Being more energy efficient at home is another way to reduce your energy bills. For example, you could switch to LED lightbulbs or turn your appliances off standby mode. For more useful energy saving tips, visit the Energy Saving Trust or Government website.
4. Shop around
It may seem obvious, but shopping around at different supermarkets could make a big difference to your grocery spending. Different supermarkets have various deals and offers, which could help cut costs on your regular food shops.
As well as groceries, other items like furniture or electrical appliances may be cheaper to buy online. Online retailers often have more exclusive sales and discounts than in-store – so you may be able to find the same items for less.
To help make your search easier, you could try using a price comparison site, which searches a range of retailers for the best deals.
5. Keep track of your spending
It’s easy to lose track of your daily spending, but it doesn’t have to be. It might be good idea to log what you’re spending money on, by using a tracking system that works for you (like a notebook or spreadsheet).
There are also many budgeting apps than can help track your spending. Using an app that fits your needs is a convenient way to see how and where you’re spending money. Whichever method you choose, tracking your expenses could be a helpful way to review and adjust your spending habits.
6. Set a budget
Budgeting could help you stay on top of your finances. You may find it useful to look at what sources of income you have coming in and how much goes out.
Working out a budget may help you get a clearer picture of what you can afford and where exactly your money goes. There are many free, online budget planners you could use like MoneyHelper or Citizen’s Advice.
Considering opting out?
If you are still paying into a pension scheme, you might find the following information useful.
Leaving your pension scheme is a big decision to make. If you’re struggling financially, it’s understandable that you may be considering opting out of your scheme. While stopping your pension contributions may provide you with extra money now, it will impact the amount you get in retirement.
Pay less if you’re an LGPS member
As an LGPS member, you have the option of reducing your contributions by switching to the 50/50 scheme. This allows you to pay half the contributions you would do in the full scheme for half of the benefits.
Where can I get help and support?
If you’re worried about how rising costs of living will impact you, there are many charities and services that can help.
Find out if you’re eligible for financial support or use the Government’s new Money Midlife MOT tool to check your financial situation including your savings, pension and any debt.
If you’re struggling with debt or need someone to talk to, try the links below for free advice and support.
The rising cost of living may impact your health and wellbeing but there are many charities that can help.