‘Good starting point’ – Britons urged to consider ‘simple but rewarding’ ways to cut costs

Martin Lewis gives three money saving energy bill tips

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HSBC are constantly looking for new ways to empower customers, giving them access to the additional support they need to live a financially healthy life. Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Steve Reay, head of financial wellbeing at HSBC UK on how Britons can reduce their costs and improve their financial fitness.

He said: “People are facing increasing pressure to manage their finances as a result of the rising cost of living.

“As the cost of essentials like groceries, fuel, and bills continues to rise, finding ways to cut back on your daily spend will likely make a big impact on your overall finances.

“In times like these, it can feel difficult to save money without having to cut back on the things you enjoy.

“So, if you’re struggling to reduce your spending, here are some ways to start saving and improve your financial fitness for the future.”

Mr Reay gave his top tips for reducing costs and improving one’s financial health for the months coming up.

Make a game plan
He explained that a good place to start would be a Financial Health Check, designed to help people achieve their financial goals. People should take advantage of the tools available to them to assess their current situation.

Britons can seek advice from financial advisors that will evaluate their current financial status and make recommendations based on their goals. If people are unsure who they can talk to, they can always seek help at their banks for guidance.

Set a budget
Like a balanced diet for one’s health, a budget can be the first step to better financial health.
Mr Reay said that budgets should include essentials like rent or mortgage, utility bills and transport, as well as variable expenses like eating out, entertainment, and travel.

He continued: “One way to start budgeting is by using the 50-30-20 rule: 50percent of your income is to be spent on essentials (bills, mortgage), 30 percent on wants (non-essentials), and 20 percent on contributing to savings or paying off debts.

“Use this simply as a guide, but it could be a good starting point if you struggle to allocate your money to different areas of your life. “

It can be easy for people to sign up for different subscriptions and forget about them, so it’s important to be sure to regularly review the direct debits that one is paying, he explained.

Mr Reay continued: “We’ve all been enticed in by a free trial and forgot to cancel it, so go through all the subscriptions you currently pay, and cancel any that are no longer of use to you.

“Perhaps pop the saved money into a separate savings account.”

Supermarket spending
This is often one of the larger weekly bills across the UK. With grocery prices on the rise, it really pays to assess one’s supermarket spend.

Planning meals ahead of time, reassessing where people shop and how often, and getting creative with their leftovers are all easy ways to start bringing down the food bill.

Mr Reay said: “Searching for discounts online is a simple but really rewarding way to save money on your next order from a retailer.

“Many businesses offer first-time buyer discounts, or 10 percent off for signing up to their company newsletter. Be sure to check out the available offers before you make an order online.”

If someone is struggling, he urged that they should not hesitate to seek advice.

He said: “If you’ve missed a payment or are worried about missing one in the future, talk to your bank or financial service provider as soon as possible.

“Visit Money Worries for more information on support that is available.

“Several government organisations and charities can provide help and independent advice about managing money, including Citizens Advice, AdviceUK, National Debtline, and StepChange Debt Charity.”

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