Martin Lewis has offered a survival guide after making a grim prediction that the cost of living crisis has only just begun – and told Brits to prepare for even more energy price hikes
Martin Lewis today offers his 12-point plan for surviving the crippling cost of living crisis after sounding the alarm for even more eye-watering bill hikes.
He urged the government to get to work on Monday morning to tackle the problem, as he warned energy prices could rise by another 30% within five months.
After offering the grim outlook, the money-saving expert shared some of his best tactics for staying afloat as the situation is set to get worse for millions of hardened families across the UK .
Martin says things are as bad right now as they have been since he started his job more than two decades ago.
Then he ominously predicted that this was just the start – and that more skyrocketing bills could arrive by October.
“We are not in the middle of a cost of living crisis, we are at the beginning of a cost of living crisis,” he said.
“It will almost certainly get worse – the problems will peak in the winter months, starting in October, when we expect to see energy bills rise again by 30 per cent.
“I don’t think there’s much hope of it ending before Christmas,” he said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday.
To help combat staggering energy price issues, Martin regularly embeds his Money Saving Expert website with must-have tips.
His action plan will help millions of people, and the survival guide has all sorts of helpful tips.
1 Choosing between heating and eating? Speak to your local council. The councils have just received a further £500m for the Household Support Fund – to prioritize money to cover essential costs – you don’t need to be on benefits.
2 Some 16 million people are out of contract on their broadband and mobile – and could easily cut their bills in half. Many are on older contracts that still pay the standard full price. Yet two minutes on MSE’s comparison tools often find deals that save over £200 a year. Or do you benefit from a broadband “social tariff”? If you have a lower income – for example, if you apply for Universal Credit – MSE has a list of social rates, from £15 a month.
3 Household income below £30,000 (or £50,000 in rare cases)? Spend 10 minutes to check if you are eligible for benefits. I’m not saying you’ll get it, just that at this income level it’s worth spending time on it, especially if you have kids. Even if you’re only eligible for a small amount, it can open the door to other help, such as municipal tax cuts and reduced utility rates. Use our benefits checker in 10 minutes.
4 Whether you have a toddler or a big teenager, childcare costs can be huge. Yet hundreds of thousands of working parents are missing thousands of pounds of help. The MSE has a guide to childcare costs which lists the available arrangements.
5 Direct debits, standing orders and recurring payments allow money to flow from your accounts without needing your approval. Your bank should be able to provide you with a list of the first two. Recurring payments are little known and hidden. This is where you authorize companies to take a “payment” each month from your debit or credit card.
6 If you live alone, with students, have a “severe mental impairment”, have a carer, receive a pension credit or have a low income, you could benefit from a reduction in council tax. They vary from 25% to 100%, depending on the circumstances.
7 Get paid to recycle old clothes or beauty containers. Many high street shops offer incentives to recycle their old clothes and beauty containers – from £5 for old clothes, to ‘free’ MAC lipsticks and more. Check the website’s list of recycling rewards.
8 Last year more than a million people in England would have been better off using an NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate, a kind of subscription. This is a single package that covers all prescriptions for a period of three months or one year. If you use more than one a month, it’s worth it.
9 Watch the weather. Using your washing machine on a 30 degree cycle and drying clothes outside rather than in a tumble dryer saves around £28 a year on your energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
ten Check if you are in too high a housing tax bracket. Due to the odd way properties were valued when the council tax system was launched in 1991, more than 400,000 homes are in the wrong range. Use Martin’s council tax audit challenge on the MSE site.
11 Know the best times to get the biggest “yellow sticker” discounts. Yellow stickers are goodwill for bargain hunters. It is the items close to their expiry date that supermarkets reduce in price. But the key is to be ready to pounce at the right time. MSE has gathered inside information from supermarket staff and shoppers about when stores want to unload their stock.
12 Can’t afford to wipe out all of your credit and store cards each month? You can’t afford not to check if you can get a 0% balance transfer. We are not advising you to navigate your way through the crisis. But if you have credit and store card debt and are paying interest, it’s still worth seeing if you can save with a balance transfer card. These allow you to transfer debt from old cards to a new one at 0% interest, so each repayment reduces your actual debt.
Visit the Money Saving Expert website here.