It’s all we seem to hear about these days – inflation, the cost-of-living, and the sky rocketing price of groceries. It’s no secret that costs are rising faster than most of us can keep up with, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all. It might help to hear that you’re not alone – and we want you to reassure you that there are plenty of ways you can cut costs to protect your family’s future.
What’s behind the cost-of-living crisis?
Inflation is a part of modern life. Prices go up over time, but salaries tend to rise too, balancing out the cost of living to a certain extent. But by the end of 2022, we saw inflation rise to 11.1% - the highest it’s been in over 40 years. Even though inflation dropped slightly to 10.1% as of January, the average income hasn’t had a chance to catch up, and as a result, families across the UK have found themselves scrambling to make ends meet.
So why is this happening? Well, there are a few things that contributed to the out-of-control rate of inflation, but put simply, it comes down to energy costs. Since the pandemic, there’s been more demand for oil and gas. These resources are in short supply due to the war in Ukraine, and this is driving energy prices up, which is effecting every other market too. All of this trickles down to the consumer, so families across the UK are feeling the pinch.
How can I save money?
In stressful times like these, it’s natural (and smart) to cut back wherever we can. When there’s less disposable income to spare, this can seem like an impossible task, but there are plenty of little ways to save here and there.
When it comes to energy bills, groceries, and other outgoings at home, every person under your roof contributes to the cost of daily resources. So, it only makes sense that keeping those costs down will take some group effort.
Since soaring energy prices are the driving force behind this crisis, it makes sense to start here. If you have kids at home, you can get the whole family in on some new energy saving habits, and even make a game of it! For example, keep a tally every time someone turns off the lights in an empty room or unplugs their unused electronics, and get creative with non-monetary rewards. You could give the “winner” a weekend pass on little chores like taking out the rubbish or walking the dog.
Heating costs should ease up as the weather gets warmer, but it’s never too early to prepare for next winter – or the inevitable cold snaps along the way! Make a family pact to keep the thermostat to a comfortable but low temperature, by layering up your clothes at home and using extra blankets at night. Lowering your heat by just 1 degree celsius is not only eco-friendly, but can help you save up to 10% on your bills.
Groceries make up a huge amount of monthly spending for many families. Especially if you’re raising children – as every parent knows, kids could graze all day and still find a way to eat you right out of house and home. Food costs have only increased since supply issues spiked the price of fresh groceries, alongside the already higher prices caused by inflation. It might seem like a difficult cost to get around – we all have to eat, after all. But there are still some small ways to cut your grocery bill, even in times like these.
For example, in 2022, it was estimated that the average UK family loses £470 a year on food waste. So, planning out your meals for a few days in advance could be a good way to cut down on waste as you’ll only buy what you need. If you can manage to do two trips a week, even better – the less time your fresh food spends off the shelf, the less chance there is that it’ll go bad before you can use it!
You can also turn to social media and parenting blogs for inspiration. For example, Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe is chock full of free, delicious recipes that literally cost pennies to make. Even better, most of them only take a few minutes to whip up!
As a family grows, so do the bills! And even if it’s only one or two of you under one roof, it can be easy for little costs to pile up over time. For example, did you know that in 2022, the average UK household spent around £40 a month on subscription services? That’s over £480 a year! So, if your family uses multiple streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and NowTV, this might be a good time to review which services you actually use. If there’s something you want to watch on each service, you could always alternate subscriptions every few weeks or months to save money. Let the kids know when you’ll be switching to the next service, and you can all catch up on your favourite shows. Maybe it could even prompt some cosy movie nights while you’re making the most of your subscription!
As for necessities like phone and broadband, it’s always worth having a look around to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Comparison sites like MoneySupermarket and Which? can help guide you if you’re not sure where to start.
How can my life cover help?
When you took out your life cover, you made a decision to protect your family’s future, so it makes sense to think about that future at a time like this. The good news is, having life cover in place during any global crisis can lend you some peace of mind, and the financial crisis is no different. As far as monthly expenses go, the premium you pay for your Smart Insurance is one outgoing that actually gives back.
With Smart, you’re investing in long-term security for your loved ones. And since inflation hits every corner of our economy, a gift like that is priceless. An unexpected blow like the loss of a loved one can hit even harder in times of hardship, so your life cover could make a huge difference to your family if they’re faced with unexpected tragedy. If your goal is to protect your family from financial stress, keeping your policy in place could really help them in the long-term. Any financial support you can leave in place could help them chip away at outstanding debts and bills if you were to pass away, which could take some of the pressure off.
All told, holding on to your life cover could save money for the people you love, even past the end of this financial crisis. So, no matter what’s happening to the economy, you can rest easy knowing you’re protecting them through the cost-of-living crisis and beyond.
What else can I do?
If you’re worried about money, there’s support out there for you.
- You can visit the Gov.uk website to find out what Cost of Living payments you might be receiving in the coming months.
- Citizen’s Advice have a great page full of information about all the support available depending on your circumstances. Or if you’re struggling with money or debts, you can also chat to them online.
As always, we're here to help too. If you’re worried about paying your premiums, or you want to apply to make changes to your policy, call our friendly customer service team for free. We’ll be happy to talk you through your options. You can reach us on , Monday to Friday from 9am-7pm (excluding bank holidays).