Consumers should start by reviewing their outgoings and cut any unnecessary costs.
Write a monthly budget
“If your income has reduced, you will have to consider your spending and one of the best ways to do this is by working out a monthly budget. Start by working out how much money you will need to cover your monthly essentials such as your rent or mortgage, utility bills, Council Tax and any other debts, such as credit cards and/or personal loans.
“Once you’ve done this, you should have a clearer picture of how much money you have to spend on areas such as your weekly shop.”
Check your benefits entitlement
“It can be complicated to work out what state benefits you are entitled to. Turn2Us have a Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to means-tested benefits. The results page will tell you which means-tested benefits and tax credits you may be entitled to and how much you may receive.”
Shop around and switch your household bills
“You can save money by shopping around and looking for better deals for energy, broadband, and car and home insurance. Normally, you would be able to save money on energy bills by switching from the standard variable tariff to a better deal.
“However, volatile energy pricing means that this may be the cheapest option at the moment. It’s worth double checking with your provider that you are on the best tariff available to you. Broadband tends to be more expensive for those who are ‘out of contract’, 20 million customers according to Ofcom are ‘out of contract’ and therefore likely to be overpaying.”
Check your eligibility for help with Council Tax
“If you don’t think you will be able to afford to pay your Council Tax because you’re now on a lower income or claiming benefits, you might be eligible for a council tax reduction. What you get will depend on where you live, your circumstances, your household income and whether you have children or other dependents living with you.”
Review your subscriptions
“If you are having to get by on a reduced income, your focus should be on covering essential costs such as your mortgage or rent, utility and food bills and cutting back on non-essential spending.
“It’s worth having a quick look through your bank transactions and credit card statements over the last few months to remind you of any regular payments that come out. You may be surprised at some of the things you are still paying for, but don’t need or use any more.”