Guide to Surviving the Cost of Living Crisis 2023
The cost of living crisis in the UK is hitting many of us extremely hard. Private businesses, government funded organisations and, of course, individuals, are all feeling the effects.
We’ve created this helpful guide for our readers to offer advice, tips and pointers on how to survive the UK cost of living crisis in 2023. As financial experts, we’ve also included guidance on taking out loans and second-hand mortgages, as these could be the safety net you’ve been looking for to get you through these hard times.
Wherever you pick up one simple trick to cut back on your energy usage or you move forward with a second charge mortgage, we hope you can get something of use out of this guide.
We also want to point out that everything included in this guide is advice with the aim to help and assist. Not all tips and advice will be applicable to everyone and you should always put your health first when it comes to cutting back on heating or on other essential bills.
It is our wish that we didn’t have to write this guide but unfortunately, we are all in this crisis together. Therefore, we hope to help you through it as best we can.
Our top tips for surviving the UK Cost of Living Crisis
You may not be aware of it, but there are loads of small changes you can make to your daily routine and household appliances that can actually cut down energy use, improve heat retention and ultimately, save you money.
Below are some of our top energy-saving tips along with some helpful practical advice on how to keep warm without running up the heating bills.
Heat the human, not the home!
Through central heating, we heat up our homes and in turn, heat up ourselves. Of course, this makes sense, especially for bigger families and households that are spread out in rooms throughout the house.
However, as we know, turning on the heating is becoming increasingly expensive and it just isn’t feasible to have it blasting throughout the home every hour of the day. Instead, we can think about heating the human instead of the home, which will help keep us warmer without having the heating on.
So, what are some of the best ways to keep warm at home without switching on the heating?
Wear fingerless gloves if you work from home and spend a lot of time typing
Buy heated gloves! Heated gloves can be charged through a USB port which is one of the most cost-effective ways of charging devices. Stick them on and wear them when in the house and you’ll notice a huge difference.
Buy a heated gilet. Again, this can be charged up via a standard USB port and worn at nights or throughout the day. With an upfront cost of around £50, this could be a great investment for over the winter months
Put an electric blanket on your bed. Instead of having to heat up your full bedroom at night in order to keep warm, simply buy an electric blanket for £15-30 (price will depend on size) and switch it on before you get into bed. That way you’ll be warm and toasty under the covers without any need for the heating to be on!
Electric throws work in much the same way. Whilst you’re sitting on the couch struggling to keep warm, use an electric throw to heat up you. This way you’ll heat up your body temperature and have no need for the full room to be heated.
Hot water bottles. Classic yet timeless. A hot water bottle can make a huge difference to your internal temperature without impacting your bills significantly, just make sure you take extra care when filling the water bottle!
Worried about Christmas presents? Buy second hand!
Not only is buying second hand cheaper, it’s actually in fashion and it’s better for the planet.!
There are now a host of amazing second-hand clothing apps, such as Vinted and Depop, where people are selling their old clothes at amazing prices. In addition, Vinted is completely free to sell on, so if you’re looking to make some extra money from your old clothes then get selling as well as buying.
If you’re looking to buy cool clothing gifts for your teen children or friends, they’ll be sure to appreciate some of the amazing finds that are on Vinted and other vintage clothing apps.
As they say, one man’s junk is another man's treasure, so get buying second hand this Christmas and save yourself a pretty penny!
Save £100s on bills with simple temperature adjustments
As simple as it sounds, there are some basic temperature and setting adjustments we can all make to our household appliances that could end up saving us hundreds of pounds on bills.
Boilers are a main source of energy use for both gas central heating and water temperature, however, are your boiler settings costing you money?
By default, many boilers have their flow temperature set to far higher than is needed. Most boilers work best with a flow temperature of 60°C or below but you’ll often find that your boiler is set to a temperature of between 70°C-80°C.
By simply turning down the temperature we’ll still receive hot water and toasty radiators, but just not a heightened temperature that will scold us and eat up more energy that is needed. Check out the money saving boiler challenge to ensure your boiler settings are optimal for saving you money on your energy bills.
Other simple adjustments you can make to your home appliances include:
Turn down the thermostat to 18degrees. Research has found this is the optimal heat temperature for adults (young children and pensioners may need higher). Don’t waste money over-heating the home!
Adjust your Fridge freezer settings. Your fridge is another main source of eating up electricity and if you have it set cooler than need be, you’re wasting energy! Optimal fridge and freezer settings are 5°C and –18°C respectively.
Be more conscious of your energy use!
Our final tip on how to save on your energy bills and survive the UK cost of living crisis is a simple but effective one; Be more aware of your energy use!
This might sound obvious but it can actually make a huge difference to your overall energy bills. Some helpful tips to try which could see a massive reduction in your energy usage are:
Standby? We say stand OFF! Turn off electric items that are normally left on standby, such as TV
Try using your microwave or an air fryer instead of your oven for smaller meals. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but as they use significantly less energy in comparison, it could turn out to be a big saver over time.
Fill your kettle only for what you need. Again, a simple but effective tip. If you’re making one cup of tea, only fill the kettle for one cup, that way you won’t be using unnecessary electricity.
Loan & Financial advice from the experts
All of the above tips and tricks can make a big impact on your overall energy usage and bills, but with costs rising in every area, from food to petrol, we understand that many will still struggle even when implementing this advice.
As expert financial advisors and mortgage brokers, The Lending Channel are well placed to give professional loan and financial advice that could make the difference in getting you through these tough economic times.
Below, we’ve delved into some of the most relevant loans that are available to UK adults and could make the difference in supporting your finances in the current economic climate.
2nd charge mortgages
A 2nd charge mortgage is a great loan solution for UK home owners looking for an extra influx of cash so they can better handle mortgage payments, bills, taxes and debt repayments.
Essentially, a 2nd charge mortgage, also known as a secured loan, is an extra loan on top of your existing mortgage. The loan is secured against the equity in your home meaning that a 2nd charge loan can only be arranged if you already own your own home and have an existing mortgage in place, hence the name ‘second charge’.
Therefore, you’ll have two mortgages on your home simultaneously. This means you are not changing your mortgage loan but are simply paying two loans back at once.
This extra influx of cash can help support home owners through the difficult financial times, and gives you assurances that your bills, mortgage and other repayments can be met.
However, although the loan repayments will be relatively low and spread out across a number of years, you need to be aware that they could impact you further down the road. Having job security and financial support in the long run is essential when taking out a 2nd charge mortgage as it ensures you can pay back both the first and second mortgage loan over time, without falling behind on repayments.
Fortunately, The Lending Channel is here to help guide you through the full process of applying for a 2nd charge mortgage. Just give us a call on 01738 583008 or make an online loan enquiry to see how much you could borrow.
Consolidating existing debt can better help you manage your finances, get a grip on your repayments and ultimately have more money in the bank. So, let’s explain a little bit more about consolidation loans and how they might help you survive the UK cost of living crisis in 2023.
When you consolidate your loans, you take all of your existing debts and repayments and combining them into a single monthly payment. This is known as a debt consolidation loan.
The principal idea is to let individuals pay off their debt in a more straightforward and manageable way. By not making multiple payments every month, your debt is much easier to keep track of. You'll only have a single interest rate to be aware of, and you'll no longer have to keep tabs on multiple outgoings every month, meaning you can better understand your finances and manage your money better so it lasts.
As food, products and bills become more expensive, more and more people will be eager to take out loans. However, this can leave you in a precarious position where your debt overwhelms you and repayments become too high to handle. Clear your debt faster and reduce financial stress with a debt consolidation loan.
How The Lending Channel can help
As financial advisors and professional mortgage brokers, The Lending Channel can find you the best and most suitable loans to match your circumstance. We can also offer our free, no-obligation advice on how to better manage your debt, finances and loan repayments to help you through the difficult cost of living crisis that we are all experiencing.
Contact us today to take advantage of our financial services and together we can work towards a more secure financial future.