The UK has plunged into the largest recession on record after months of lockdown measures causes a 20.4 percent contraction between April and June, the biggest slump of any major global economy. While post-lockdown bounce back is being recorded, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy is still a long way off from recovering the record falls seen in March and April.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the ONS figures “confirm that hard times are here”.
He said: “Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.”
With the uncertainty of lockdown, furlough and the fears of a second wave, many Britons are assessing their finances in the hopes of finding ways to save.
However, data from YouGov reveals more than a third (34 percent) of UK adults claim financial matters confuse them and 73 percent say they are more careful with their finances than they used to be.
Read More: Savers urged to check their savings as UK crashes into recession
1. Get on the best home energy tariff
It’s likely that your energy usage at home will have increased over the last few months and will continue to stay higher than usual.
If you’ve not switched your supplier for a while, it’s something you can do quickly, easily and you could save more than £350 a year.
Data has found around 90 percent of people in the UK won’t switch energy supplier this year.
When across the UK more time is being spent at home using hot water, heating, and other appliances – being on a more affordable deal can make a big difference.
It’s worth taking five minutes to pick a new energy supplier – everything else can be handled directly between your old and new supplier.
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4. Check your mortgage payments
If your mortgage is on a standard variable rate, or if you are at the end of a fixed promotional period, you could save over £5,000.
Remortgage product rates continue to remain competitive following the Bank of England base rate cut to 0.1 percent, offering homeowners the opportunity to bring down monthly expenses.
5. Cut your card interest
If you think you’re paying a bit too much interest on your existing credit card balances, a zero percent interest balance transfer card could help you avoid interest on your card debts for as long as three years.
6. Improve your credit score
Improving your Experian credit score by one Experian score band could see the APRs available to you fall.
Generally, the higher your score, the better your chances of being accepted for credit, at the best rates.
7. Speak to your providers
If there are any regular payments you think you cannot make, speak to or email your provider and let them know your situation as soon as possible.
Payment holidays are being offered for various bills, with breaks on payments available for mortgages, loans and credit cards.
You may be charged interest, so it is worth checking the overall impact deferring payments may have.
Many providers are experiencing high call volumes so you may find it easier to reach them online.
8. Consolidate any debts
If you’ve got a few different loans and overdrafts that are stubbornly sticking around, a debt consolidation loan could help spread the cost.
9. Sort your savings accounts
Setting aside some savings is a very sensible move, helping you to manage any further economic turbulence over the rest of the year and beyond.
However, following the Bank of England’s rate cut to 0.1 percent, your savings rate may have dropped.
Many of the top interest rates are disappearing so it’s important to act quickly in seeking out the best account for your savings.
10. Check your credit and debit card transactions
Have a look through your regular payments and contact any companies to pause or cancel anything that you can’t or won’t make use of for the next few weeks.