Four Ways to Overcome Financial Difficulties this Winter

For many of us, Winter 2022 is set to be amongst the most challenging yet. A combination of domestic and international factors has conspired to drive down the value of the pound, to drive up the price of food and energy, and to generally make life more difficult for everyone in the UK. This matters especially if you’re at the very bottom of the socioeconomic pile.

There are a few things you can do to get through the cost-of-living crisis unscathed. Let’s take a look at some of the more effective ones.

Shop around

There is now a cap on the price of a unit of energy. This means that you won’t pay more than 34p per kWh of electricity, on top of a standing charge of 46.4p per day. For gas, the figures are 10.3p and 28.5p respectively.

This means that it isn’t worth shopping around for a superior deal – you won’t find one. However, you might find that your energy firm is offering short-term fixed deals which will work out cheaper in the long-term.

There are other ways of saving money that you might be on the lookout for, however. Try to buy and cook in bulk on your groceries and favour the foods which are cheaper. For example, while the price of pasta has skyrocketed, the price of potatoes has actually remained quite stable.

Look to liquidate some of your assets

If you have some stuff lying around, then you might look to sell it. Unused pieces of electronics, furniture and musical equipment will tend to hold its value well. You might also elect to sell your home and downsize, or to access some of the value of your home with the help of an equity-release mortgage.

Know your benefits

It might be that you are entitled to aid from the government. This isn’t just there for people who are looking for work. You might be entitled to Universal Credit if you’re studying, or if you live with a disability. Retirees can claim a state pension instead, but you might still be entitled to UC as a couple until both you reach the qualifying age.

Don’t suffer in silence

Financial hardship can be hugely stressful, especially if you’re going through it alone. Make sure that you make time to reach out to other people, and to participate in social group activities. A simple phone call might make the world of difference!