National Insurance to hit 13.25% this year – how you could save ‘hundreds of pounds’

Martin Lewis provides advice on national insurance credits

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The average salary of full-time workers is around £30,000 before tax. Under the new proposal, those earning this amount pay around £255 more in National Insurance contributions annually. The higher demand for oil and gas also means that millions of households will see their energy bills increase by 50 percent in the next few months when the price cap is removed. New bills could be £700 more a year. spoke exclusively to Nick Drewe, a money saving expert at Wethrift, about ways households can save money.

He said: “After a challenging couple of years for the British economy, the overall cost of living is increasingly rising but there are several things you can do to help you save money.”

1. Keep checking your bills regularly
He explained that while some energy suppliers have been known to either make changes to tariffs or make mistakes when charging customers, it’s always a good idea to check regular household bills.

He said: “With winter among us, those who continue to work from home or have flexible conditions may opt to stay at home, therefore bills for water, energy and mobile data are likely to increase.”

With the year just beginning, this could be a good time to go through all direct debits and cancel any which aren’t needed.

He said:“Now is the perfect time to log on to your online banking and scour your direct debits and standing orders to see if you can cancel anything that’s become an unnecessary spend.

“Whether it be a gym membership you aren’t quite getting your money’s worth for, or a streaming service you signed up for during lockdown that you no longer make the most of, cutting these small outgoings will make a difference to your bank balance in the long run.

“Also, make sure all of your monthly direct debits look correct, and if there is any questionable outgoings from your account to immediately ring your bank to query them.”

3. Understand your energy bill

Whilst there are often a lot of terms and conditions to read, attempting to understand the information related to one’s energy tariff and household consumption could help keep the costs of bills down.

He said: The personal projection on the bill is the amount your household is expected to spend over the next 12 months, and the tariff comparison rate figure helps you understand how much you’re spending per kilowatt-hour of gas and electricity.

“Knowing this information will make it easier when comparing energy deals if you are planning to switch to a cheaper one, or help you monitor your current energy consumption.”

4. Time your supermarket trips wisely
He suggested that people should try to time their supermarket trips for when their local stores are likely to have just added yellow ‘reduced’ stickers to stock that needs to be sold that day.

Mr Drewe added: “Making the most of these heavily discounted deals will help you to fill your freezer up with discounted meat, fish, and freezer meals for cheaper food options in the coming days and weeks.

“Normally supermarket workers will start discounting products that are about to pass their sell-by-date later on in the afternoon or early evening, so a food shop after work is the perfect time to grab a bargain.

“Many supermarkets also have clearance sections where products that cannot be sold at their RRP or may have damaged packaging can be found.

“Just make sure to check you are happy with the item and that the goods aren’t compromised before heading to the checkout.”

5. Living alone? Make sure companies know

Nick said: “If you currently live alone, there are ways to cut the cost of living that you may not have realised.

“If you didn’t already know, living alone allows you to take advantage of a 25 percent discount on your council tax bill, saving you hundreds of pounds a year, making a particular difference when prices go up.

“It’s also worth checking any benefits you may be entitled to, often based not only on your individual wage but on total household income. Those who live alone can be eligible for financial assistance you’re not receiving.”

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