Six ways to save some cash during lockdown, from tax relief to insurance
PUBLISHED: 13:26 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:26 20 April 2020
Getty Images/Ridofranz/AlbertPego/Natee Meepian
Many people may be looking to save some money during the coronavirus crisis - and there are some easy ways to go about it. Here are six ways you could save during lockdown.
- Time to switch
Ofgem estimates the average household can save £300 per year by switching gas and electricity supplier.
Some people will have more free time at the moment, so why not use it to shop around for a better deal.
You can find tools to find the best tariff for you at Money Supermarket, Simply Switch and Uswitch - they are all signed up to the Ofgem code.
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- Car insurance
Now might also be the time to start looking for a new car insurance policy.
Data published today by Confused.com has shown the average price of car insurance in the East of England has accelerated by £27 (4%) in the past year to now stand at £681.
However, one in six (17%) of UK drivers who saw their renewal increase said that they could save more than £100 from shopping around.
- Working from home? You can claim £6 a week.
If your employer has asked you to work from home you can claim increased costs due to bills like heating and electricity.
At the moment many employers may be struggling to pay basic wages, which is why it might be easier to apply for tax relief direct from HMRC instead.
You can claim relief on the equivalent of £6 a week for the period you worked at home, and you won’t need to provide evidence of extra spending.
For basic 20% taxpayers this is £1.20 a week, and 40% taxpayers £2.40 a week – it’s not much but every little helps.
- Apply for a mortgage holiday
For customers struggling with paying their mortgage, banks have agreed with the chancellor that they will offer ‘forbearance’ (tolerance and help) on mortgages.
This means they all should offer those struggling a three-month ‘holiday’, allowing customers a temporary break from having to make mortgage payments during this time.
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However – it is worth noting this is a voluntary agreement and isn’t compulsory for banks to offer.
The latest figures from UK Finance show that 1.2 million customers have taken a payment holiday since the coronavirus pandemic began – one in nine of all mortgages in the UK.
It’s worth noting that you will still be charged interest for the time you’re not making payments.
Customers do not have to pay it back immediately – it’ll be added on to the total cost of your mortgage and factored into repayments when you start making them again.
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- Pausing subscriptions
You can pause a number of subscriptions and services under new regulations brought in by a number of providers.
1. Sky Sports: Sky and its providers have said it will let you ‘pause’ your subscription – which means you can stop paying for the time being.
You can do this online – via the pause Sky Sports page.
While your account’s paused, you won’t be charged but you will still have access to all 11 Sky Sports channels. As soon as live sports returns, Sky will automatically restart your subscription.
2. BT has told customers they will be credited for two months of BT Sport. To get this customers need to go to the BT Sports page online.
You can also choose for BT to donate the credit to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal.
- Turn it off
It sounds simple – but when there are more people in the house it’s more likely that lights will be left on, doors opened, and screens left switched on.
According to thinkmoney switching off unnecessary lights and lamps could lead to annual savings of £170, while stopping leaving items on standby could mean billpayers save £30 per year.
While leaving plug switches on is something many will do without realising, it could be coming at a cost – 27p a day to be exact.
Turning off one unnecessary plug over the course of the year could then add up to save £99.
Please note - this article does not constitute financial advice.
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