The lockdown enforced to combat the spread of Covid-19 and the effect it has had on jobs has been tough on people's finances. With businesses shut, many workers have been made redundant or placed into the Government’s furlough scheme, which pays 80pc of a salary up to £2,500 a month.
A smaller income – plus a bit of time on their hands – might be the impetus for people to tidy up their finances. Small changes can make a large difference.
Here are four simple, cheap ways people in lockdown can cut their bills and save money.
At-home energy improvements
There are a number of things people can do around the house to reduce their energy bills every month. Little things like switching electronics off properly rather than leaving them on standby can save as much as £30 per year, according to Laura McGadie of the Energy Saving Trust.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appBigger changes can also have a noticeable effect. If you have a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank, fitting a water-efficient shower head will reduce your hot water usage without losing power.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appShe said: “This could save a four-person household as much as £70 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £115 a year on water bills if they have a water meter.”
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appSwitching to LED lightbulbs would also reduce energy usage. To replace an entire house worth of light fixtures would cost around £100 but save about £35 a year on bills.
Switch energy provider
With more of us spending time at home, we are using more energy yet fewer people are switching providers2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app, according to Energy Market Data Hub.
People could be losing out on possible savings of £360 per year, according to energy watchdog Ofgem, so shopping around is important. Even if you do not decide to switch, check the tariff you are on as there may be better deals with the same provider.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appFinally, if your account is in credit it may be possible to ask for a refund, which would provide an immediate cash injection although may raise your monthly payments slightly.
Move to a higher-rate savings account
Now might also be the time to switch your savings account. This week savers using Santander’s flagship 123 current account, previously one of the best on the market2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app, were told the bank would reduce the interest rate 1pc to 0.6pc from August 3.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appMany accounts pay very little, but the top easy-access savings accounts from Investec, Marcus and RCI Bank UK pay 1.2pc to savers with no monthly fee.
Get your Isas and pensions in order
Finally, reviewing your Isa providers could save thousands of pounds in fees. Our guide shows which fund shops are the cheapest whether investors have a lump sum or are paying in monthly instalments, breaking it down into pounds and pence.
Those with multiple pension pots should also look to consolidate these during lockdown if they can. Having just one pension fund can reduce charges for savers and maximise the potential to grow the pot over time. Charges in small pots can wipe out any gains over the long term.