Inflation could reach 11% within months, putting more pressure on household finances so we’ve put together some information to help you with the cost of living crisis.
Global inflation – the rate at which prices rise – is at its highest since 2008 and prices are rising by 9.1% a year in the UK – the highest rate for 40 years. The Bank of England has warned inflation might reach 11% within months, as the prices of fuel, energy and food put pressure on household budgets. The cost of living crisis is hitting us all so here are some cost of living support resources that might help you cope.
The guidance listed below is current at the time of publishing (18 July 2022) but we will aim to update this page when new details become available.
Do You Urgently Need Food?
If you’re in immediate need of food you can contact the many foodbanks across Devon. Use these links to find your nearest food bank in Devon.Download the list of Devon Foodbanks PinPoint: Foodbanks in Devon Foodbanks in West Devon South Devon Foodbanks
Do you want to speak to someone for advice?
Call our Living Options’ Time 2 Talk helpline
Our free, confidential listening support and advice helpline, for those with a disability or long-term health condition. Time to Talk is a telephone and online service, provided by a friendly team who can listen and offer peer support, provide information and advice, and signpost or refer you to other appropriate services. Contact Time to Talk today:Call Freephone 0300 303 3691
Call our Living Options HUB Team
If you need to talk to someone about your concerns you can contact one of our friendly Hub Hosts and they will be able to assist and advise if any of our services can help.Contact The Living Options Hub
Call Devon Communities Big Energy Network
Devon Communities Big Energy Network are able to work with individuals or households to look at specific ways you can mitigate against the impact of rising energy costs and explore ways in which you could access additional financial and wellbeing support.
For a confidential chat you can email firstname.lastname@example.orgCall 07984 001542 Call 01392 248919
Where can I get help with debt?
If you need help with managing your debts. The current cost of living crisis and lingering effects of the pandemic means more people are struggling with debt.
No debt problems are unsolvable.
There’s always a route 🙂
It might not be easy or quick to resolve your debt, but there’s always a route. And the earlier you tackle them, the easier they are to deal with.
Where can I get debt support in Devon?
There are many local organisations that can guide you and talk you through where to start.PinPoint: Devon Debt Support West Devon: Debt Support
You can also get debt support from national debt support organisations.UK Government: Money Helper MoneySavingExpert: Debt Help Plan National Debtline
Can I reduce my Tax? Can I get Benefits?
As the cost of living continues to affect households across the UK, the government has announced a new package of payments to help most households that are claiming benefits.
What is the Household Support Package?
You might be asking, What are the cost of living payments? The UK Government has created a household support package that offers financial support. The information below is what the UK Government has published about the support package:
People on means-tested benefits will receive a payment of £650 this year (2022), made in two instalments. This includes all eligible households receiving at least 1 pence on the qualifying date of the following benefits; Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
The first payment of £326 will be made to households in payment of a qualifying benefit between April 26 and May 25 from July 14, with a further £324 to be paid from September – totalling £650. For eligible households on tax credits only, the first payment will be made in September and the second in the winter.
Payments will be made automatically via usual payment methods – people do not need to contact HMRC or DWP or apply for the payment.Read more about Cost of Living Payments
There will also be a £150 payment made to people on qualifying disability benefits which can be in addition to the above due to be paid in September.
There will also be an extra £300 for pensioner households paid as an increase to their winter fuel payment to be paid from mid-November.
In addition to these payments, there is also the Energy Bills Support Scheme which will see all domestic energy customers receive a one-of rebate of £400 paid by their energy providers. This money will not need to be paid back.
Read more about the Energy Bill Support Scheme
Households liable for Council Tax in Bands A-D in England have received a £150 Council Tax Rebate to help with the rising cost of bills.
What benefits can I get? 10-minute Benefits Check
You can check what benefits you might be entitled to using the Entitledto website tools. Entitledto also publishes the latest cost of living support information.Entitledto: Cost of Living Information Entitledto: Benefits Calculator
Do I qualify for Council Tax Discounts?
If you live alone, with students, have a ‘severe mental impairment’, have a live-in carer, receive pension credit or are on a low income, you could get a council tax discount.
Discounts can range from 25% to 100%, depending on your circumstances. Moneysavingexpert.com publish the latest Council tax discounts eligibility information.Moneysavingexpert: Council Tax Discounts
Can I reduce my Tax?
If you’re working as an employee or pensioner you should check your tax code is correct. Millions of workers and pensioners are on the wrong tax code and may be owed money back.
Tax codes are the short series of numbers and letters, such as 1257L, that tell employers or pension providers how much tax to take from you. You can use the Moneysavingexpert tools to check if your tax code is correct.MoneySavingExpert: Tax Code Calculator
Can I get a grant?
Financial Support Grants could be available to you.
Apply to The Family Fund for disabled children
If you’re on benefits and have a disabled child, you could get cash from the Family Fund. If you’ve got a disabled child (17 or under) who lives at home and you receive certain benefits (such as income support or universal credit), the Family Fund has grants to help make life easier. These can be used on items or activities such as washing machines, computers and holidays.Family Fund Grants
Where can I find grants?
You can search for available grants at Turn2Us.Search for Grants
You can learn more about Energy and Water support at Turn2Us.Turn2us: Energy and Water Turn2us: Energy Schemes Guide
How do I reduce my water costs?
Water Meters and Usage Reduction
Moneysavingexpert has seen water bill savings of £100s by fitting water meters and cutting down on water usage. You can learn more about water cost savings on their website.MoneySavingExpert: Water Bill Savings
How do I reduce the cost of petrol?
Save on Petrol and Diesel
The price of petrol and diesel is at near-record highs but there are some guides available on how to reduce your vehicle fuel costs.Petrolprices.com: Cheapest Fuel Near You MoneySavingExpert (RAC): Cheap Petrol & Diesel
Save by Cycling
It may sound obvious, but think before you drive short distances. If you’re able to cycle, switching to cycling could save your fuel costs and there are savings available for hiring or buying cycles.MoneySavingExpert: Save Money by Cycling
Make your car lighter
Not having a heavy load in your car will automatically make your fuel go further. Half fill your tank, a full tank is heavier than half a tank. Don’t carry an unnecessary load!
How do I create a budget?
How to create a budget.
If you want to reduce your household bills and need to know how to budget then this guide gives you some helpful tips and tricks. The guide includes a free budget planner, which analyses your finances to help you manage and control your cash.MoneySavingExpert: Budget Planner
How do I save money on TV services?
Reduce your TV costs with streaming services
Many modern TVs come with streaming services built in, but you can use dedicated devices to keep your favourite apps in one place sometimes at a lower cost.
Streaming TV devices, or sticks, are also used to transform a non-smart TV into a smart TV. Streaming TV sticks are a simple way of playing shows from apps such as Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Apple TV+, Twitch, Disney+ and more.
With many streaming TV sticks, you pay for the stick and there is no monthly cost. So once you’ve paid for the TV stick, there’s no additional cost. You just use your streaming device to watch its available TV channels.
However, several of the apps and channels available on streaming devices will still require subscriptions in order to access them. This includes major streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, BritBox, Apple TV+, and Hayu.
In recent years, major tech and entertainment brands have released their own sticks, giving you plenty of options to choose from. You can read about various different streaming devices in this article from the Radio Times.Read about Streaming TV Devices
Can I go to the gym for free?
Free Leisure Cards
If you claim benefits you could be entitled to a free leisure card which gives you discounted swimming and other activities at council-run leisure centres. To apply, you’ll need to contact your local authority.
There are council-funded outdoor gyms that are free-to-use all year round, they’re mostly found in open recreation areas and parks. So if you need to cut back on gym membership, consider giving free outdoor gyms a try.Find Torbay Outdoor Gyms Find East Devon Outdoor Gyms Find North Devon Outdoor Gyms
Additional Cost of Living Support Information
Help with the cost of living – Devon County Council
Learn About The UK Government Support Package – Moneyhelper.org.uk
Cost of living survival guide – Moneysavingexpert.com
Published: 6 September 2022