Households have been hit hard as the cost of bills and other goods continue to rise. The cost of household bills have risen twice as fast as salaries over the last decade, according to a study. So what are the main culprits?
Gas and electricity are the biggest drivers of the increase – rising 73% and 72% respectively over the past 10 years, while water bills have increased by 41% – all significantly higher than inflation at 32%. Basic household bills have increased by an average of 43% overall, more than double the rate of wage growth, the figures suggest.
Council tax has risen by 27%, and TV, phone and broadband prices have all gone up by 24%, albeit slower than inflation but still faster than wage growth of 19%.
Some 13% of the average UK adult’s salary is spent paying basic domestic bills, so what can we do about it? Here are some useful tips.
- You could reduce the amount you pay by switching gas / electricity supplier, changing to pay by monthly direct debit or looking at the different tariffs your current supplier offers.
- Installing a smart meter can help you to see the energy that you are using and help you to cut down.
- Switching to a water meter can help save money if you are in a household that doesn’t use much water as you only pay for what you use.
- Shop around for your mobile phone tariff and make sure you are only getting what you need.
There are some bills that you can’t find better deals for such as your tv licence and council tax. Unfortunately the only way to pay less council tax is by moving to a property in a lower council tax band, but that might be a bit drastic! You can, however, pay for these in monthly instalments to make these bills more manageable.
Make sure you shop around for things like home insurance, tv, broadband and telephone. Using a comparison website to search for these and your other household bills can give you the better deals, meaning you could save a small fortune.
Depending on your age and/or circumstances it could mean you are entitled to a reduction or help with certain household bills, so it is worth checking if you are entitled to anything. The best place to start is //www.gov.uk/