Money-saving tips from Martin Lewis in March – storing energy
Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert shared his advice for Brits looking to save money on an ITV special last night. There were a few takeaways from the show that talked about the cost of living crisis
Martin Lewis has shared advice on how to tackle the cost of living crisis as bills and price hikes hit Britons’ bank accounts from next month.
The financial guru has shared advice on how the UK can avoid soaring costs set to come into effect in April, such as an average £693 increase in the energy bill cap from April.
Tax increases and inflation will also play a role, as will the war in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s war means that the sanctions put in place by the British government will have a ripple effect on the price of oil and gas.
Although deemed necessary to impact the Russian economy, this means petrol prices are already climbing to record highs, further impacting Britons in extremely difficult times.
With all of that in mind, the advice shared by Lewis could be vitally important to many in the months to come during the cost of living crisis.
Why is it important to make payments in March?
It is important to make payments now before payments increase in April.
April marks the start of the financial year and with it a new budget from Chancellor Rishi Sunak. The budget should deal with the rising cost of living and inflation.
Already announced in the previous budget a rise in the National Insurance tax – an increase of 1.25 percentage points – and Ofgem has since confirmed that it is raising its price cap by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 from April 1 – a 54% increase.
We can’t do much about these payments, but some other necessary ones like Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), prescriptions and energy bills can be prepaid now before the increases kick in. vigor.
VED will be cheaper in March than in April, and the combination of energy storage and paying for an NHS prepayment certificate (PCC) could save Britons a small fortune.
You can anticipate the following invoices:
- Energy bills
- Water bills
- Mobile phone bills
- Housing tax
How can I help myself save money?
A key takeaway from Lewis’s advice was that Britons should try to take matters into their own hands as they look to save some extra cash.
Part of the government help will come from a council tax refund of £150 for people in AD tax brackets. However, the responsibility of being in the correct tax bracket is not the duty of HMRC or your employer, but yours. You could miss the payment if you are in the wrong tax bracket.
To help you, MoneySavingExpert has a free tax code calculator.
Similarly, Lewis encouraged people in households with incomes below £30,000 to check if they are eligible for benefits.
“It’s important for me to say to anyone struggling at the moment, if you have a family income of less than £30,000 then my rule of thumb is it’s definitely worth spending ten minutes on a calculator benefits to see what kind of benefits you might get.”
If you are also unable to pay your energy bills, it is up to you to find a method of payment with your supplier.
The British can store energy
Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Britons with older prepayment meters can store energy now before prices rise even further.
Storage involves paying a large payment all at once, instead of the usual, more regular top-up. The advantage is that you buy the same amount of energy all at once, but do so at a lower price. If you buy the same amount of energy but after the April 1 price hike, you will pay more.
Lewis explained: “That means if you max out your recharge in March before the rate increases, that’s what you’ll get, even if you then use that energy in April.
“So you can extend the cheap rate we currently have for longer by maximizing your top-up if you can afford it – and I know not everyone on prepay can.”
With the huge rise in energy prices just weeks away, Brits should check to see if they can store energy.
Of the major energy suppliers contacted by Money Saving Expert, only Scottish Power said the trick would not work.
Unfortunately, those on direct debit plans cannot store energy.