Review

Finding Stability Amidst the UK’s Rising Cost of Living

The cost of living continues to rise at a breakneck speed in the UK, with just about everything from fuel to food ticking up in price. There’s very little that we everyday people can do to quell the rise, leaving us to adapt and adjust to the seemingly unstable situation.

April 2022 alone saw many changes, which the Big Issue lists, including the energy market regulator Ofgem bumping up the price cap significantly, National Insurance going up, Council Tax going up, rent price hikes, hospitality VAT increases, and water bills rising. With so many key expenses now being subject to price rises and price fluctuations, many people are seeking reassurances and fixed stability, wherever possible.

Household energy bills to remain volatile

Many factors have come into play to create a state of uncertainty, as the BBC explains, with the result being an anticipated doubling of household energy bills. The only certainty from this uncertainty is that prices will continue to rise. It’s very rare that we have this much forewarning of such hikes. Price inflation impacts all aspects of the economy, so on top of energy bills going up, so too will other expenses.

While it’s all well and good knowing that prices will go up, it’s the unknown amount by which peoples’ bills will soar that’s causing the issues. Ofgem has been attempting to bring in market stabilization efforts, which didn’t go down well with money-saving expert Martin Lewis, per The Guardian. The upside to all of this is that it’ll result in households being more environmentally friendly and energy-conscious, but that’s of little comfort to those who simply can’t afford the increases.

Finding consistency in household bills

While energy bills can bounce around at will in these times, the key expenditure that you can take by the reins is your mortgage. Seeking mortgage advice from Trussle before rates get any higher can end up saving your monthly outgoings as well as bring some consistency to your expenses. On average, customers save £339 per month when they remortgage, and better still, a new mortgage can have a fixed rate.

Getting the opening two or even five years of your mortgage at a fixed rate rather than going off of the variable rate could bring an element of stability to your finances. Initial rates for these fixed terms are currently knocking around at between 2.3 and 2.8 percent but could well go up in the coming months. Still, even at a higher rate, you’ll know how much you’re spending every month on the mortgage.

While it won’t stop the increases, it’s evident that having a smart meter integrated into your home can help you significantly. This is because you can see exactly how much you’re spending per day or even per switching on of an appliance. At least with an early look at your weekly energy costs, you can then calculate roughly how much the bills will be with each percentage increase in prices.

It’s going to be tough to gauge the energy market for a while, so it’s always wise to use as little as possible, switch off unnecessary appliances, and try to budget for what could be a doubling of costs.

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