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Cost of living: what are your biggest concerns?

With price increases and shortages becoming more frequent, we want to make sure we’re addressing the right questions. What are you most concerned about?

02/12/21: Christmas concerns

18/10/21: Cost of living

Between the hikes in energy prices, fuel panic buying and retailers warning supply chain disruption could lead to price rises and shortages of some products, you’d be forgiven for thinking that things feel a little chaotic at the moment.

It can all feel a bit overwhelming, but as the UK’s consumer champion, we want to make sure we’re giving you the practical advice, tips and information you and your family need to help get through what could be a tricky time for household finances.

We’ve got a lot of useful information across Which? that could help already:

Energy price hike: what you can do now

How to spend less at a supermarket

Saving tips to make your money stretch further

But we also want to hear from you. Let us know your questions and concerns in the comments and we’ll get our experts working on finding you some answers. 

Cost of living: what are your biggest concerns?
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There could be tough times for some of us ahead, but we’ll always be here – fighting your corner and working to make you as powerful as the businesses you deal with on a regular basis. 

Comments

Energy prices are the worst for me. It is difficult to work out how much they have increased, because Winter consumption is greater than Summer consumption and I haven’t been keeping tabs on the meter readings. The calculations with standing charges and conversion from therms to kilowatts is complex and I need to spend time with a calculator to work out what’s happening. The physical evidence is a monthly increase of around £65 a month and the likelihood that a cold snap will mean further increases. Petrol prices are high and I am glad to be able to visit the pumps around once a month now with only half a tank to fill. Grocery prices have gone up steadily and my bill for a small top up shop in now nearer thirty pounds than the twenty it was before.
Today I was charged £486 for new glasses, but, for the first time, the bulk of that was for lenses and not frames. An extra eye scan (all of five minutes) cost me £25. It is easy to understand that, for some , this Inflation will mean more careful shopping and less energy use, to avoid debt.

I agree with you, Vynor. There is a creeping rise in prices for everyday necessities [sometimes disguised by adjustments in the size, volume or quantity].

What might not be taken into account in considering energy bills is that people are staying indoors a lot more these days and using more heating fuel. This might be offset to some extent by reduced travel costs, but in your case, with a hybrid vehicle and some long journeys, what you save at the pumps might cost you more at the electricity meter.

Many of us are already fairly frugal in our lifestyles and making further savings or cutting back becomes increasingly difficult.

Vynor – If you are interested in keeping a track on energy costs you could have smart meters installed free. My display unit shows that since midnight I have used £3.37 since midnight, made of 90p electricity and £2.46 in gas. It is bitterly cold today and the total could reach £4.50 by midnight. I can look at the website and see how much I am spending each day. At present I have a credit balance of £5.04. Smart meters have been criticised but for those who worry about the next bill and don’t understand what costs most to run they are helpful. When I get round to buying an EV I hope to have a smart charger that automatically uses cheap rate electricity overnight.

I’m not using the car at the moment because it is covered in ice. I should have cleaned off the snow promptly but I’m not as smart as my meters. As John has said it costs more if you are in most of the day.