Tips on how to cope with the cost of living crisis

Split image. Image left: UK cash. Image right: A person looking at their bills.
Unprecedented levels of energy bills and inflation have helped to drive the cost of living crisis in the UK. Credit: PA

Many households up and down the UK are growing increasingly concerned about how they are going to cope with rising bills, which have been created by the cost of living crisis.

Energy bills, for instance, could soar to £4,266 next year, according to the energy consultancy firm Cornwall Insight. Consequently, UK residents would have to shell out £355 per month as opposed to the current average of £164.

Inflation is now at 9.4% and has pushed prices for everyday goods and services to unprecedented levels.

With many analysts expecting things to get worse as we approach the tail end of 2022, how can you fight back against the financial blues?

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Tips on how to save money

  • Reach out for help

Saleem Shafi, Deputy CEO of the debt advice charity Money Buddies, told ITV News "there is support" for families fearing the worst.

He insisted that the first step anyone with money concerns should take is to reach out for help.

Mr Shafi acknowledged that some people may not feel comfortable seeking help and urged them to consider the impact a short conversation could have on their circumstances and wellbeing. 

“First of all you’re not alone. It’s not a sense of failure and no-one will judge you when you come for help,” he said. 

“This sector is a caring sector. A five minute chat with Money Buddies or another organisation could be the difference between sleeping, eating and getting on with your life."

Saleem Shafi told ITV News that since last January Money Buddies have seen a "400% increase" in the number of people reaching out for help.

Anyone who is unsure of what their local debt advice charity is can find out by visiting the money and pensions service website

In the UK debt advice is free and many agencies offer a number of different services to those who reach out to them. 

Assistance can include bespoke legal debt advice and conducting an energy assessment of a person’s home. 

Agencies can also help people to better understand their homes by providing walkthroughs on how to read their meters correctly and check their boiler settings. 

  • Check you're receiving benefits you're entitled to

Mr Shafi revealed ⅓ people who approached his organisation for help were found to be eligible for benefits which they were previously unaware of. 

He said: "I'm not saying it's going to be enough for everybody because it isn't. Benefits are around 65% of where they should be.

"But there are people who could be getting more support from the government who just don't know it's there."

  • Put into practice 'easy wins'

Alongside professional advice people can also save more by making a number of quick fixes to their daily habits. 

Putting your washing machine on a 30C cycle, completely filling up your dishwasher, having shorter showers and batch cooking were all examples cited by Mr Shafi. 

He also advised those looking to make a change to conduct a “general sense check” of their household activities at the end of each month. 

For instance, people could take a closer look at how often they shop, drive their car and eat out with friends or family. After doing so they could then evaluate whether there’s any need to cut back on certain aspects of their lives.