Making ends meet and having enough to pay your bills is an ongoing struggle for many — and it’s affecting more people than ever as we dive headlong into a cost of living crisis. As a result, people are now making serious choices about how and where they spend their money.
Homeowners have a range of options that may be out of reach for those renting their homes. So if you’re having to choose between heating or eating, filling up the car with petrol or paying for the weekly shopping, here are some ways to tackle the cost of living crisis. While there’s no magic spell to ease all of your money issues, these homeowner tips could free up more cash than you might think.
There are some costs to running your home you simply can’t avoid or change. Council tax and mortgages, for example, can be rigid, but if you have any home insurance policies, you might be able to reduce your monthly spending.
Your first step is to negotiate with your current insurance provider. Check your home insurance details (you can do the same thing with your car insurance), and if your current provider isn’t being flexible, start shopping around. It’s straightforward to switch to a new insurer, and it can easily lead to some significant savings that you can reallocate.
While mortgages tend to be set in stone, nothing is stopping you from remortgaging your home. With base rates being raised by the Bank of England and more rises expected, reexamining your mortgage details is a great idea. If you currently have a fixed-rate mortgage coming to its end, or you’re on a variable rate mortgage, it’s time to look at ways to keep your mortgage rates as low as possible.
There aren’t any limits on how often you remortgage your home. Most people tend to do it only when their fixed-rate period has ended. However, it’s best to talk to a mortgage broker to find out more about your options. Never go into a remortgage without being clear about what’s involved.
We mentioned earlier that council tax payments are pretty much set in stone, but that’s not always 100% accurate. For example, if you bought your home and live alone, you could be entitled to a single person’s council tax discount. This is around 25% of your usual council tax bill. So while it’s probably not a lot of cash when looked at weekly, it can mean a big chunk of money over a year.
This option isn’t just for homeowners either, and there may be additional discounts available to you. For example, if you have a child who’s a student living with you, their presence won’t add anything to your council tax bill as it would if they weren’t studying. Carers can also get discounts on their council tax if they’re acting for an adult who is severely mentally impaired.
This is something that renters won’t be able to do, but installing a water meter can lead to immediate savings for homeowners. Water bills tend to be one of our highest monthly outgoings, and they’re always higher in larger homes. Water meters mean you’ll only ever pay for the water you’ve used.
If you don’t have a water meter installed, your water bill will likely be fixed. If you start using less water, that bill won’t change. With a water meter, you can take a lot more control over both your water use and how much you’ll pay every month.
This last tip for coping with the cost of living crisis is a big step. Selling your current home quickly and moving somewhere smaller and cheaper is becoming incredibly popular right now and for good reasons. With property prices continuing to skyrocket, it’s a seller’s market, and the money you make when selling your current home can make it much easier to move into somewhere smaller.
That’s going to mean savings across the board. Your council tax will likely be lower, your monthly bills won’t be as high, and maintenance will be much easier too. Taxes and insurance policies are likely to be cheaper as well. It’s not an easy decision, but now is a great time to downsize.
It’s not easy to make ends meet right now, and people are looking for as many ways to save money as possible. From cancelling streaming services and researching the cheapest petrol stations in the area to signing up for supermarket rewards and making positive lifestyle changes, there are a lot of options to consider.
Homeowners have a little more control over their spending, but many may overlook that fact. That’s why learning more about saving money on your daily and monthly spending is so important.
If you’re considering downsizing your property, you will need a conveyancing solicitor — and the earlier you get your solicitor involved, the faster it will be to buy a new home and sell your current one. You already know how the conveyancing process works, so you know it’s always a good idea to get your conveyancing solicitor working on your behalf as early as possible.
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