Coronavirus money tips: Millions could be saved if people follow this advice – expert view
Coronavirus has forced the government and other public bodies to take action and we are now living through an unprecedented lockdown. This means that businesses we all visit on a daily basis have shut their doors, which includes bars, cinemas and restaurants.
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By examining the latest figures from the recently released “Family Spending in the UK report” from the ONS, we can see just how dramatic things have got.
John Ellmore, a Director for knowyourmoney.co.uk, used figures from the report to analyse what it means for families moving forward: “Firstly, people are going to be saving money due to their inability to travel and socialise. Indeed, average weekly household spending in the UK during the 2018-19 financial year was £585.60 – of this, transport, housing, recreation and culture were the largest components of household spending, together accounting for 44 percent of total expenditure.
“This ought to mean that while people might have seen their income fall – or are worried that it will do so soon – there could be a little extra breathing room afforded by the fact we do not have to pay transport costs, nor can we visit pubs, bars and restaurants.”
John urged consumers across the country to take the excess time we now all find ourselves with to do an in-depth review of their finances.
It can feel like a stressful endeavour but dedicating a bit of time to it now can be real dividends in the long term.
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John highlights that cutting out unnecessary purchases is a good place to start, as is halting non-essential services.
Energy is another key area which could generate some serious savings for people, as he elaborated: “Equally, it is important to consider switching suppliers.
“ONS data shows that UK households spend an average of £34.40 a week – or £1,788.80 a year – on gas, electricity, water and other fuels.
“Yet, according to Ofgem, households can save an average of £300 per year by switching gas and electricity supplier.”
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It’s not just the bills themselves that can be altered, as John revealed that small changes made around the house can save consumers a surprising amount of money.
As he continued: “Importantly, little changes can go a long way.
“For example, the Energy Saving Trust states that if UK households made a number of small adjustments – such as turning appliances off rather than keeping them on standby and putting a basin in the sink when doing the washing up – they could collectively save £690 million.
“It would also curb the release of 1.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions.”
There is one final element of personal household matters which many people may not consider to be part of a money saving plan.
As panic over coronavirus kicked up, millions across the UK hit the supermarkets to stock up on essentials and food.
This may be calming down now but it is still likely that families across the country have a lot of food to get through.
It may be the case that people put this to the back of their mind and go on to buy more supplies which could be an unnecessary expense, something that John really puts into perspective: “My final piece of advice is, when it comes to food and drink, take stock of what is in your cupboards and use it up.
“On 21st March 2020 the UK Government announced that an extra £1billion worth of food had been bought by the general public in the space of three weeks as a result of stockpiling.
“Now may be the time to tighten expenditure and begin eating through the stockpile.”
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