Ten tips to help you reduce your living expenses
Living on a reduced income can be difficult to manage, especially with little time to prepare. If you’re having to adjust to a new income, read our ten tips to help you cut back on your living expenses and save money.
- 1. Jump to Create an emergency budget
- 2. Jump to Review your household bills
- 3. Jump to Cancel or freeze monthly costs like season tickets, gym memberships and subscriptions
- 4. Jump to Get refunds for cancellations
- 5. Jump to Look out for free services
Create an emergency budget
A budget can help you work out the shortfall between your income and spending, as well as identify areas where you could save money. Our handy budget calculator will help you work through your income and outgoings step by step. You can then see if you have any savings or income you can use as a backup.Back to top
Review your household bills
Review all your utility bills and check whether you could get a better deal if you switch your energy or broadband supplier. Our Mobile Banking app customers can review standing orders and direct debits as well as reviewing all outgoings using our spending insights tool. Simply click on the options button next to your bank account and select ‘spending insights’. If you are struggling to pay your utility bills, please contact your provider to see what support they can offer.
Many local authorities are offering council tax holidays or extra support if you are unable to keep up payments due to coronavirus. However, this support is not readily available to all so it’s worth checking your eligibility using the Gov.uk checker.Back to top
Cancel or freeze monthly costs like season tickets, gym memberships and subscriptions
You may be paying for services that you no longer require or can’t use due to the impact of coronavirus.
Many public transport providers will allow you to cancel your season ticket if you’re not travelling to your workplace due to coronavirus. It’s worth getting in touch with your public transport provider to see if you can claim a refund on your season ticket.
Most gyms have now reopened, but you may be able to ask for your gym membership to be frozen if you are not using these services. Similarly, you may be able to cancel subscriptions such as streaming services which you no longer require.Back to top
Get refunds for cancellations
While most suppliers have now resumed their normal delivery services, they should offer you a refund if they need to cancel your order. If you’ve paid for concerts or holidays that have been cancelled, please see our coronavirus FAQs or our travel disruption FAQs to find out about your consumer rights.Back to top
Look out for free services
As well as cutting costs, it’s worth seeing what services are being offered for free. For example, some mobile phone providers are offering free extra minutes or data to their customers. Several health and wellbeing apps are also offering free content and subscriptions during the outbreak.Back to top
Check if you’re insured
Check whether you have insurance that could cover your mortgage, loan or credit card payments or replace some of your income. These policies include: Payment Protection Insurance; accident, sickness and unemployment insurance; and income protection. They may have been offered with life assurance policies or when you took out your mortgage, credit card or loan.Back to top
Speak to your loan and credit card providers
If you’re worried about missing a credit card or loan repayment, contact your finance provider before it happens. They may be able to support you by offering a payment holiday or other options to ease the pressure temporarily.
You need to be aware that when agreeing to a payment or repayment holiday, the amount you owe may go up, as you would still be charged interest during your payment or repayment holiday.
If you have a loan or credit card with us, our support tool helps you explore your options. Please also visit our money worries page for more tips and advice to help you stay on top of your finances. Additionally, the Money Navigator Tool on the Money Advice Service also gives instant help based on your circumstances.Back to top
Apply for a mortgage payment holiday
You may be able to apply for a payment holiday of up to three months on your mortgage. A payment holiday is when you temporarily stop paying all or part of your mortgage. If your income has been impacted by coronavirus and you have a mortgage with us, you can apply online and get an answer within three to five working days. It is worth bearing in mind that interest will still be charged on mortgage payment holidays.Back to top
Review your car finance and car insurance
If you pay for your car on a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) agreement and are worried about meeting your repayments, contact your car finance company for help. If you are no longer using your car for work, you may also be able to reduce your car insurance premium if you remove ‘commuting use’ from your policy.
Further support is available if you have a car finance agreement with us including information on payment holidays.Back to top
Watch out for scams
People are using the coronavirus outbreak to try new scams. Remember, we'll never call, text or email to ask you to move money, or for your banking details. And when you shop online, it's best to pay by card – that way you protect your cash. You can find more details on how to stay safe from scams on our Fraud Hub.Back to top