Being Truro's Community Radio station, CHBN is here to support our community. We know it's becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet but there are a great many websites which give advice on obtaining financial aid, money management, budgeting, frugality etc. Our Community Help Show team have gathered as many of these sources of help together into one place for you and we sincerely hope that this page is a useful resource...
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk is the Citizens Advice web site
www.cornwall.gov.uk the Cornwall Council website
www.uk.gov.uk the UK Government website
www.gov.uk/helpforhouseholds This is the government's web site which provides a comprehensive set of pages of information offering help with
- Household costs
- Income support
- Energy bills
- Childcare costs
- Transport costs
- Finding work
- Discounts and Offers
The Energy Price Guarantee:
The Energy Price Guarantee: will reduce the unit cost of electricity and gas so that a typical household in Great Britain pays, on average, around £2,500 a year on their energy bill, for the next 2 years, from 1 October 2022.
The consumer saving will be based on usage, but on average usage a household will save £1,000 a year (based on current prices from October). Energy suppliers will be fully compensated by the government for the savings delivered to households.
Your actual bill and savings could be higher or lower depending on the size of your home, how well it is insulated, how many people live there and how much energy you use.
£150 of this £1,000 a year saving will be delivered by temporarily suspending environmental and social costs (including green levies) from being passed onto consumer bills. These costs will be transferred to the government, while customers still benefit from the low-carbon electricity generation. Payment of the Warm Home Discount will be unaffected.
This is in addition to the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme (see below) which will be paid, in Great Britain, in 6 monthly instalments from October.
The most vulnerable UK households will also continue to receive £1,200 of support provided in instalments over the year, through discounts to Council Tax and Cost of Living payments for those in receipt of certain benefits.
Households who are unable to benefit from the full extent of the Energy Bills Support Scheme and/or Energy Price Guarantee scheme (for example, households not on standard gas/electricity contracts) will receive equivalent support but go to www.gov.uk and put Energy bills support into the search box and you will be taken to links to the relevant factsheet.
How the new Energy Price Guarantee will be applied to energy bills in Great Britain The Energy Price Guarantee limits the amount you can be charged per unit of gas or electricity, so your exact bill amount will continue to be influenced by how much energy you use.
You do not need to apply, and there’s no need to contact your energy supplier.
Energy Bills Support Scheme
The Energy Bills Support Scheme provides a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with their energy bills over winter 2022 to 2023. All households with a domestic electricity connection in England, Scotland and Wales are eligible for the discount.
With fuel bills in the stratosphere many of these websites give tips for using less fuel. Visit your own energy supplier’s website. Most of these are abvious commonsense but here are a few:
- Turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees
- Put on more layers
- Wash full loads clothes and dishes
- Take shorter showers
- Adjust radiators to the lowest setting which feels comfortable
- Put lids on saucepans
- Cook a ‘full load’ in the oven
- Get a slow cooker (a huge saving, and wonderful if you are working all day).
- Do not heat rooms which are not in use. Draw the curtains at dusk.
If you bank online or have your fuel or other utility providers on line they are all sending emails saying "if you cannot pay your bills or are in financial difficulties tell us".. These organisations can be sympathetic, and give you time to pay if you keep them informed.
www.moneysavingexpert.com Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert site has been going for about 20 years. It covers everything to do with saving, spending, managing money. Sign up for the weekly email every Wednesday which details all the latest financial news, offers, discounts, special deals. It is very interactive with (probably millions) of people giving comments, advice etc. We reckon this is the first place to look at all your utilities and services (insurance etc) and ask if you can get a better deal, and maybe change supplier – their weekly email gives the latest best offers. Then look at reducing your day to day expenses, and the best way to do this is to make a budget writing down everything you spend.
www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/series/p02pc9xt The Martin Lewis Podcast
www.moneymagpie.com Jasmine Birtles is a financial guru who does the same sort of thing. Also sign up for the weekly email.
www.financiallyfabulous.co.uk is a website associated with Good Housekeeping and other Hearst magazines. Sign up for the fortnightly email.
www.capmoneycourse.org is a free money management course run by Christians Against Poverty. Some of these are run in local churches. Visit the website to find help nearest to you.
www.uswitch.com Utility companies and Internet providers rarely reward loyalty so you can often save you money by switching to a different supplier once you are out-of-contract. This site will help you to to find the cheapest alternative providers/
www.pinterest.com Pinterest has loads of blogs and websites about saving and spending. Most of these are USA so not so useful. The best we found is www.tuppennysfireplace.com which is for ‘real’ people who don’t have much money and want to learn how to make the best of it.
www.stepchange.org is a charity which helps people with serious debt and can sometimes negotiate with creditors or else advise on the steps to take to negotiate with them yourself.
Food prices are rising along with everything else, and this is where serious savings can be made...
www.ons.gov.uk The Office of National Statistics website states that in 2018 (the latest stats) UK households wasted 6.6. million tonnes of food, making 70% of the overall total.
www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/good-food-habits is a website all about meal planning, shopping, stock control and storage and cooking. Anyone who follows the guidelines will save money. If we think in advance we will not end up buying food which goes off before we can eat it.
We are lucky in Truro to have such a wide choice for food shopping with several supermarkets as well as the Farmers Market twice a week and some food suppliers in the Pannier Market. Shopping around can take time but most prices can be accessed on line.
There are also loads of websites with recipes for eating on a budget, which does not mean having sub standard meals. Put ‘economical meals’ into Google search.
And let us not forget books – remember them? Things with pages that you turn. In Truro Library there are probably a few hundred cookery books with lots of the ‘eating on a budget’ type. But of course, you can reserve books from anywhere in Cornwall in its library stocks.
And here is another way to save money. JOIN THE LIBRARY if you are not already a member. Visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/libraries. You can join online or call in to the library in Union Place. If you click on ‘browse the online library catalogue’ and put ‘budget meals’ or something similar in the search bar there are loads of titles. Also put in ‘money management’ or ‘saving money’ etc and there are lots of books on that theme. There even books for children to teach them about money before they grow up..