At a glance

  • Council tax is set to increase by more than the inflation rate in many local authorities – and by at least 5% in more than half of them
  • There are also further tax rises on the horizon as the government seeks to pay back the money it borrowed during the pandemic
  • It’s possible to offset many of these losses – for example, by keeping a close eye on your spending, getting cash back on your shopping, using price-comparison sites or following the ‘30-day rule’ and learning how to reduce your expenditure
  • It’s also worth seeking expert advice to see if you can reduce the other taxes you pay

At a glance

  • Council tax is set to increase by more than the inflation rate in many local authorities – and by at least 5% in more than half of them
  • There are also further tax rises on the horizon as the government seeks to pay back the money it borrowed during the pandemic
  • It’s possible to offset many of these losses – for example, by keeping a close eye on your spending, getting cash back on your shopping, using price-comparison sites or following the ‘30-day rule’ and learning how to reduce your expenditure
  • It’s also worth seeking expert advice to see if you can reduce the other taxes you pay

At a glance

  • Council tax is set to increase by more than the inflation rate in many local authorities – and by at least 5% in more than half of them
  • There are also further tax rises on the horizon as the government seeks to pay back the money it borrowed during the pandemic
  • It’s possible to offset many of these losses – for example, by keeping a close eye on your spending, getting cash back on your shopping, using price-comparison sites or following the ‘30-day rule’ and learning how to reduce your expenditure
  • It’s also worth seeking expert advice to see if you can reduce the other taxes you pay

Many local authorities in the UK are soon set to increase their council tax bills by more than the rate of inflation – and more than 50% are likely to impose an increase of 5% or more1.

This means that if you live in an average Band D property in England, and are faced with a 5% increase, you’ll be liable for just over £90 a year extra2 . That might not seem like a lot – but when the £20-a-week top-up to universal credit is scrapped or if you find yourself in a new tax bracket and having to pay more in the future as a result of the income tax threshold being frozen, it can all add up and put a big dent in your finances.

So, if you’re wondering how to save money fast and offset some of these losses, here are seven smart saving options that could help to counter those tax hikes.

1. Keep a regular eye on what you’re spending

If you want to save money – and stick to a budget – understanding your outgoings is key. That can sometimes be tricky, especially if you’re busy or not great with numbers. Fortunately, lots of banks have easy-to-use mobile apps that will break down your spending into categories. And once you realise exactly how much you’re spending per year on takeaways, for example, you might find it easier to rein in your addiction to chicken baltis.

2. Save money on insurance renewals by using price-comparison sites

Many insurance companies offer their best rates to new customers while increasing renewal rates for existing ones in the hope that you won’t bother to switch. The same is often true of mobile and broadband providers. However, it’s usually quick and easy to see if you can find a better deal on sites such as moneysupermarket.com and comparethemarket.com. Sometimes the difference can be a significant sum per year, making this one of the best ways of saving money.

3. Get cash back on your shopping

If you’re buying online (and, let’s face it, who isn’t these days?), when you go through a cashback website – such as TopCashback or Quidco – it will give you a percentage of your purchase price back. It may not be a lot every time, but if you do it regularly, the amounts can soon add up. Another great way to get money back is to use a credit card that pays you rewards: most American Express cards do this, as do those issued by retailers such as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Just keep an eye out for annual fees and make sure you pay off your bill in full every month to avoid the high interest charges.

4. Read your bank statement

In particular, take a moment to look at all the Direct Debits that are going out regularly. Do you know what they’re all for? Chances are, you could be paying for something you no longer need or had forgotten about, such as an Amazon Prime subscription after you forgot to cancel the free trial period, or extra space on a cloud storage site you no longer use. If that’s the case, cancel it immediately! It’s also worth keeping an eye out for automatic renewals of services you don’t need.

5. Pay off your debts asap or consolidate them into one place

If you have savings and a loan, it’s nearly always worth using the savings to pay off the loan. This is because the interest you’re earning on your money will be less than what you’re paying on the sum you borrowed. If you don’t have the savings to do that, but have multiple loans, it’s worth thinking about consolidating them into one, as you’ll often end up paying less interest in total.

6. Follow the ‘30-day rule’

This is a great way to reduce your expenditure if you tend to be an impulse buyer. Every time you’re about to splash out on an expensive item, persuade yourself to wait for 30 days. If, at the end of that period, you still want the latest iPhone or new Nike trainers, then go for it. But you might also be surprised by how often you decide you don’t want them, or could manage without them, after all.

7. See if you can reduce the other taxes you pay

If you pay higher-rate income tax, pay into a pension scheme, own stocks and shares that aren’t held in an ISA, or think you might be liable for Capital Gains Tax, it’s often worth consulting an expert for advice on tax planning. They can ensure you’re making the most of your annual tax allowances and not paying too much – as well as checking you’re paying everything you should, so you’ll avoid being hit with a hefty fine.

The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief generally depends on individual circumstances.

 

Many local authorities in the UK are soon set to increase their council tax bills by more than the rate of inflation – and more than 50% are likely to impose an increase of 5% or more1.

This means that if you live in an average Band D property in England, and are faced with a 5% increase, you’ll be liable for just over £90 a year extra2 . That might not seem like a lot – but when the £20-a-week top-up to universal credit is scrapped or if you find yourself in a new tax bracket and having to pay more in the future as a result of the income tax threshold being frozen, it can all add up and put a big dent in your finances.

So, if you’re wondering how to save money fast and offset some of these losses, here are seven smart saving options that could help to counter those tax hikes.

1. Keep a regular eye on what you’re spending

If you want to save money – and stick to a budget – understanding your outgoings is key. That can sometimes be tricky, especially if you’re busy or not great with numbers. Fortunately, lots of banks have easy-to-use mobile apps that will break down your spending into categories. And once you realise exactly how much you’re spending per year on takeaways, for example, you might find it easier to rein in your addiction to chicken baltis.

2. Save money on insurance renewals by using price-comparison sites

Many insurance companies offer their best rates to new customers while increasing renewal rates for existing ones in the hope that you won’t bother to switch. The same is often true of mobile and broadband providers. However, it’s usually quick and easy to see if you can find a better deal on sites such as moneysupermarket.com and comparethemarket.com. Sometimes the difference can be a significant sum per year, making this one of the best ways of saving money.

3. Get cash back on your shopping

If you’re buying online (and, let’s face it, who isn’t these days?), when you go through a cashback website – such as TopCashback or Quidco – it will give you a percentage of your purchase price back. It may not be a lot every time, but if you do it regularly, the amounts can soon add up. Another great way to get money back is to use a credit card that pays you rewards: most American Express cards do this, as do those issued by retailers such as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Just keep an eye out for annual fees and make sure you pay off your bill in full every month to avoid the high interest charges.

4. Read your bank statement

In particular, take a moment to look at all the Direct Debits that are going out regularly. Do you know what they’re all for? Chances are, you could be paying for something you no longer need or had forgotten about, such as an Amazon Prime subscription after you forgot to cancel the free trial period, or extra space on a cloud storage site you no longer use. If that’s the case, cancel it immediately! It’s also worth keeping an eye out for automatic renewals of services you don’t need.

5. Pay off your debts asap or consolidate them into one place

If you have savings and a loan, it’s nearly always worth using the savings to pay off the loan. This is because the interest you’re earning on your money will be less than what you’re paying on the sum you borrowed. If you don’t have the savings to do that, but have multiple loans, it’s worth thinking about consolidating them into one, as you’ll often end up paying less interest in total.

6. Follow the ‘30-day rule’

This is a great way to reduce your expenditure if you tend to be an impulse buyer. Every time you’re about to splash out on an expensive item, persuade yourself to wait for 30 days. If, at the end of that period, you still want the latest iPhone or new Nike trainers, then go for it. But you might also be surprised by how often you decide you don’t want them, or could manage without them, after all.

7. See if you can reduce the other taxes you pay

If you pay higher-rate income tax, pay into a pension scheme, own stocks and shares that aren’t held in an ISA, or think you might be liable for Capital Gains Tax, it’s often worth consulting an expert for advice on tax planning. They can ensure you’re making the most of your annual tax allowances and not paying too much – as well as checking you’re paying everything you should, so you’ll avoid being hit with a hefty fine.

The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief generally depends on individual circumstances.

 

Many local authorities in the UK are soon set to increase their council tax bills by more than the rate of inflation – and more than 50% are likely to impose an increase of 5% or more1.

This means that if you live in an average Band D property in England, and are faced with a 5% increase, you’ll be liable for just over £90 a year extra2 . That might not seem like a lot – but when the £20-a-week top-up to universal credit is scrapped or if you find yourself in a new tax bracket and having to pay more in the future as a result of the income tax threshold being frozen, it can all add up and put a big dent in your finances.

So, if you’re wondering how to save money fast and offset some of these losses, here are seven smart saving options that could help to counter those tax hikes.

1. Keep a regular eye on what you’re spending

If you want to save money – and stick to a budget – understanding your outgoings is key. That can sometimes be tricky, especially if you’re busy or not great with numbers. Fortunately, lots of banks have easy-to-use mobile apps that will break down your spending into categories. And once you realise exactly how much you’re spending per year on takeaways, for example, you might find it easier to rein in your addiction to chicken baltis.

2. Save money on insurance renewals by using price-comparison sites

Many insurance companies offer their best rates to new customers while increasing renewal rates for existing ones in the hope that you won’t bother to switch. The same is often true of mobile and broadband providers. However, it’s usually quick and easy to see if you can find a better deal on sites such as moneysupermarket.com and comparethemarket.com. Sometimes the difference can be a significant sum per year, making this one of the best ways of saving money.

3. Get cash back on your shopping

If you’re buying online (and, let’s face it, who isn’t these days?), when you go through a cashback website – such as TopCashback or Quidco – it will give you a percentage of your purchase price back. It may not be a lot every time, but if you do it regularly, the amounts can soon add up. Another great way to get money back is to use a credit card that pays you rewards: most American Express cards do this, as do those issued by retailers such as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Just keep an eye out for annual fees and make sure you pay off your bill in full every month to avoid the high interest charges.

4. Read your bank statement

In particular, take a moment to look at all the Direct Debits that are going out regularly. Do you know what they’re all for? Chances are, you could be paying for something you no longer need or had forgotten about, such as an Amazon Prime subscription after you forgot to cancel the free trial period, or extra space on a cloud storage site you no longer use. If that’s the case, cancel it immediately! It’s also worth keeping an eye out for automatic renewals of services you don’t need.

5. Pay off your debts asap or consolidate them into one place

If you have savings and a loan, it’s nearly always worth using the savings to pay off the loan. This is because the interest you’re earning on your money will be less than what you’re paying on the sum you borrowed. If you don’t have the savings to do that, but have multiple loans, it’s worth thinking about consolidating them into one, as you’ll often end up paying less interest in total.

6. Follow the ‘30-day rule’

This is a great way to reduce your expenditure if you tend to be an impulse buyer. Every time you’re about to splash out on an expensive item, persuade yourself to wait for 30 days. If, at the end of that period, you still want the latest iPhone or new Nike trainers, then go for it. But you might also be surprised by how often you decide you don’t want them, or could manage without them, after all.

7. See if you can reduce the other taxes you pay

If you pay higher-rate income tax, pay into a pension scheme, own stocks and shares that aren’t held in an ISA, or think you might be liable for Capital Gains Tax, it’s often worth consulting an expert for advice on tax planning. They can ensure you’re making the most of your annual tax allowances and not paying too much – as well as checking you’re paying everything you should, so you’ll avoid being hit with a hefty fine.

The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief generally depends on individual circumstances.

 

References

1. Local Government Chronicle, January 2021

2. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Council Tax Levels Set By Local Authorities: England 2020-21

References

1. Local Government Chronicle, January 2021

2. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Council Tax Levels Set By Local Authorities: England 2020-21

References

1. Local Government Chronicle, January 2021

2. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Council Tax Levels Set By Local Authorities: England 2020-21

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