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Simple tips to help you tackle rising living costs

Posted on 24 September 2018

Rising living costs can put a dampener on your spirits. But, as they chip away at your disposable income, it can be hard to recognise when to put the brakes on your spending.

Instead of feeling worse off, here are a few practical and sustainable ideas that will help you reduce your day to day costs without having to miss out on any of the good stuff.

Get creative

Did you know that cinema tickets cost on average nearly £30 for a family of four? And that’s before you’ve bought the inevitable popcorn and drinks.

Today we spend more of our time and money on things such as gym memberships, entertainment, and eating out. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows we spend around £50 a week on restaurants and hotels alone.

But days out with your grandchildren and quality family time needn’t break the bank. Why not enjoy a picnic in the woods, arrange a treasure hunt or pop to the local amusements to spend hours on the 2p machines.

You could also make a night a sleepover to remember. Think gardening in the daytime, then baking and cake decorating and board games to wind-down. Even something as simple as building and sleeping in a den in the lounge can be exciting for young children.

grandson watering the garden

Do it yourself

Many over-55s want cash for funding home improvements, but it can get very expensive when you hire in professionals. Instead of forking out a fortune on a decorator, why not channel your inner creative and have a go yourself? Just be sure to put the old rags down so you don’t get anything on the carpets.

A fresh lick of paint can make all the difference to the look and feel of a room. Changing the colour can especially make a room look bigger, lighter or even cosier.

Other small home improvements can make a big difference, too, without the fancy price tag. Give old furniture a modern makeover, by stripping the wood or adding a bold new colour, shabby chic style.

Sometimes simply decluttering a room by selling items that you no longer use or care for can create an entirely new feel and even make you some money at the same time.

As long as you’re physically able, DIY home decoration can save you hundreds of pounds. Whilst a lick of paint may not directly increase the value of your home, it’s always worth keeping your home in good condition as you never know when you might sell-up or hand it down to your children.

lady painting a blue wall

Shop savvy

Before committing to a purchase, there’s little to lose in taking a few minutes to check for a cheaper alternative.

A comparison website will probably exist for the product you’re looking for, making it easier to check different quotes for taking out insurance policies, switching broadband or choosing a hotel, for example.

Becoming a savvy shopper will help you save money while inflation and prices remain high. There’s nothing worse than buying something and realising you could have got it cheaper elsewhere.

Weekly budgeting

None of us really know how much money we’ll need in retirement but, if you haven’t already, now is probably a good time to understand your weekly spending and consider how it could be cut if needed.

Nowadays, contactless means we often tap our cards as if it’s free money and lose track of what we’re really spending. If you're someone that doesn’t regularly check your account, it can be a shock when you find out how much you’ve spent in a week or a month.

Weekly budgeting is not only a great way to prepare for the future when you may be living off just your pension, but it’s also a fantastic way to make little savings, giving you more money to spend on the things you really want.

There’s plenty of ways to set and keep to a weekly budget. If you have a smartphone, you could download one of the many budgeting apps available or even keep note of your spending in a notes area on your phone.

Simply checking your bank more regularly and logging what you buy will make you more aware of where you're spending unnecessarily.

Weekly food shops rather than daily visits to the local express shop can surprisingly save you a significant amount of money, especially when you compare the cost at the end of the week.

piles of coins

We hope we have provided you with simple and practical tips on how to save extra cash when rising living costs are making it harder to spend and save.

Many who require larger funds later in life consider releasing money from their home. If this could be an option for you - try our equity release calculator to get an idea of how much you could release.

There are many ways to access money later in life, but read what is equity release to find out more about using the equity tied up in your home.

Find out more about The SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service

For more information and to check your eligibility, call on 0800 633 5566 or request a call back.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services. Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.