While there are a select few who won’t need to adapt to the rising cost of living that we’re experiencing, most people are seeing prices rise to the point that it’s forcing a change of habits. Heating the whole house a couple of times a day, buying higher-priced foods for a special dinner, or even just checking banking apps for when payslips come through are all tendencies being questioned now.
The cost of living crisis is hitting each region of the UK differently, and according to reports from real people, the North East is one of the most affected regions. As the map showcasing all of these reports demonstrates, there’s a tight collection of issues across the range of housing, energy, and food here. While the map doesn’t showcase all of the people having problems, it can be seen as representative.
Grants are being given out by the government, but regardless of the size of these, people are being asked to make the big changes themselves. So, here are some things to look out for while you adapt.
Utilising monthly budgeting and insights
With the prices of fuel, food, and energy going up, and your income likely not adjusting, it’s time to realign your budgets. This can be difficult as, for some, budgeting isn’t a monthly activity, but now that prices have been at this new peak for a while, it’d be wise to readjust. As everything’s not increased at the same rate, reviewing outgoings over the last few months on the big three specific categories is key.
To help adjust to the rising cost of living, new tools have been developed. When it comes to money management, vision and plans are everything. This is why there’s a budget planner integrated into banking services, as well as spending insights within banking apps that categorise transactions. Through these tools, you can quickly see where your expenditures have increased the most and can budget accordingly.
Keeping tabs on the consequences of using less energy
One of the big topics right now focuses on how to keep the people in your house warm at a minimal cost. The phrase “heat the people, not the home,” is a great one to adopt into your energy usage set-up, such as by switching off radiators in rooms that won’t be in use when the heating comes on in the evening. However, as winter bites, you’ll need to make sure that your cost-cutting strategies don’t incur a heavier price.
Particularly if you’re looking at reducing your heating output to be more energy efficient – which is a smart move regardless of the cost of living crisis – you’ll need to keep tabs on your pipes. These metal pipes that deliver warmth to the home stay intact by operating as usual in the winter. Those that aren’t used can freeze over, and, if brought back too quickly, can burst to incur around a £9,000 fee. So, be sure to check for frozen pipes, and use warm towels and hot water bottles to slowly thaw them.
Creating your best-before dates
If you have a slow cooker, particularly a big one, you can bulk cook several meals with minimal effort, by using far less energy than with an oven, and can save money by not wasting food and buying the bigger packs. However, cooking all of that food and putting it in tubs for the freezer doesn’t mean that it’ll last forever. You should adhere to the cold food storage charts and date your meals on their tubs and your calendar.
Most people need to adjust to the rising cost of living, but adjusting goes further than penny-pinching. By having a regular budgeting session, reading banking insights, tending to your pipes, and dating your frozen meals, you can safely try to adjust to the new state of play.