Financial Planning

Rising Living Costs? 8 Cost-Cutting Tips

Rising Living Costs? 8 Cost-Cutting Tips

This content is for information and inspiration purposes only. It should not be taken as financial or investment advice. To receive personalised, regulated financial advice regarding your affairs please consult an independent financial adviser.

It is difficult to predict exactly what will happen to the economy in 2019-20. Yet it is reasonable to assume that prices are likely to rise and wage growth remain weak, even as the minimum wage has been raised and the benefits freeze is set to be lifted.

Regardless of whether or not these predictions transpire, it can be a noble endeavour to try and cut unnecessary spending and make some cost-efficiencies. In this short guide, our financial advisers here at Cedar House will be sharing eight suggestions for reducing or eliminating needless outgoings.

If you would like to know more or discuss your own financial plan with us, then do get in touch to arrange a free consultation: or 020 8366 4400.

#1 Taxes

This is one of the areas where consulting a financial planner can potentially add a lot of value. However, there is also much you can do yourself to reduce unnecessary taxes on your income.

One idea is to check your tax code, to make sure you are on the right one. Another is to ensure that you submit your tax return by the required deadline to avoid any avoidable penalties.

If your salary is creeping into the 40% Higher Rate, then you might want to consider putting some of that income towards your pension. Not only will this lift some of your income out of this tax bracket, but you can also benefit from tax relief on your pension contributions.

#2 Pointless direct debits

If you’re in the habit of not checking your bank statement regularly, then it’s easy to miss the monthly direct debit payments for services you might no longer be using.

You might have an Amazon Prime membership which you never use, for instance. Or a Spotify subscription or Netflix account which is essentially dormant. If so, ask yourself whether the hundreds of pounds you are potentially spending needlessly should continue.

#3 Price comparison

Car insurance, mobile phone contracts and similar packages can add up to large sums over 12-24 months, even if the monthly payments appear small. So it can be really worthwhile to shop around to find the best deal using reputable price comparison websites.

Consider shopping at certain times of the year, where different industries/sectors might be offering seasonal discounts. For financial products such as car insurance, moreover, consider whether you might save money in the longer term by buying the product outright, rather than paying it off month by month.

#4 Debt

Interest payments can be a huge burden on a household’s outgoings, sometimes amounting to hundreds of pounds every month. In which case, consider whether you might benefit from transferring your debt to a credit card with a 0% balance-transfer deal.

These cards will allow you to transfer your debt and not pay interest on it, for a set period. This can give you “breathing space” to start paying down the principal before this period expires.

#5 Loyalty schemes

If you regularly spend money on particular retail outlets (e.g. supermarkets) which you deem “necessary expenditure”, then make an effort to resource their loyalty schemes. Sometimes you can store up “points” on a loyalty card through in-store purchases, which then be “cashed-in” later (e.g. money-off vouchers at select restaurants or clothing stores).

#6 Bulk-buy

A very sensible way for many people to save, bulk-buying items which you are likely to purchase repeatedly over the coming weeks and months can reduce unnecessary spending over the medium-long term.

For instance, at the time of writing some supermarkets will offer a 10-25% discount on wine if you purchase multiple bottles, together. Just be careful with this approach, however. It is easy to start making lots of needless purchases through “buy one get one free” deals, for instance.

#7 Travel

Could you save money on commuting by getting involved with your employer’s “Cycle to Work” scheme? Perhaps you could save money on expensive car parks by buying season tickets for the bus or train, instead of driving regularly to work? Alternatively, are there any ride-sharing schemes or apps you could use to share a car with other commuters, and split the costs?

For longer-distance travel (e.g. holidays to other parts of the country), would it be worthwhile to buy a relevant railcard? 16-25-year-olds can save up to 1/3rd on rail fares, for instance, as can couples who travel together.

#8 Bills

Are you spending money needlessly on heating during the winter months? Perhaps you could simply wear warmer clothes whilst indoors. Moreover, turning your heating off both at night and also during daytime working hours (when everyone is out) can be an easy way to reduce the amount you are consuming on fuel.

Similar approaches can be taken for your electricity consumption. Are you leaving a mobile phone to charge overnight, for instance, when they could be charged just before bedtime over the course of an hour (instead of 7 or 8)?

Are laptops, PCs and tablets needlessly plugged into active wall sockets, “sitting idle” or in “sleep mode”, when they could easily just be turned off?

Final Thoughts

The above represent just a handful of possible ways you might be able to reduce your outgoings as we approach the end of 2019. This is especially important to think about in the winter months, as outgoings tend to skyrocket in many households due to Christmas spending.

If you would like to know more about financial planning, money management or to discuss your own financial plan with us, then do get in touch to arrange a free consultation: or 020 8366 4400.



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