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How to beat this April’s price hikes

Your Money
Thursday 30 May 2019
In case you missed it, April brought several price hikes that could hit your bank balance.  
Although it’s common to see outgoings rise at the start of a new financial year, the beginning of 2019/20 seemed to make a larger impact than most. 
Here are five rises in outgoings you should be aware of. 

Council Tax

Every council across England and Wales upped its Council Tax rates in April 2019 bar one, with a third going up by more than 5%. 

Council Tax increase 
An eye-catching 130 councils put the rate up by more than the 4.99% cap, while almost 30 increased rates between 5.8% and 5.99%. 

How can you avoid the 2019/20 Council Tax increase?

There’s no definitive way to overcome the increase, although it’s worth knowing what you may be entitled to. 
If you live alone or with a full-time student, you could claim a 25% discount. Alternatively, if you think your home has been wrongly banded, you can apply to change it. This might lower the cost. 
You can see which band your property belongs in at gov.co.uk

TV licences

Another price increase April 2019 brought with it was the rise in cost of a TV licence. 
This financial year saw a £4 increase in the annual price, taking the full amount up to £154.50. 

Future concerns for over-75s

Currently, if you’re over 75, you don’t have to pay TV licencing fees. But that could soon change. 

Family sat together watching the television 
With the BBC set to lose crucial government funding in 2020, there’s a chance it could scrap that rule, meaning you may have to pay no matter what. 

How can you avoid the 2019/20 TV licence increase?

Without putting an end to watching live TV and BBC iPlayer, you can’t avoid paying. Although you could still save money. 
Should you really want, you can take a trip down memory lane and watch your shows on a black and white television, which takes your licence fee down to £52 a year. However, you’ll have to find yourself a black and white television first. 

Energy bills

Despite introducing an energy cap in January, energy regulator Ofgem raised its ceiling in April. 

Smart energy meterThat means a typical household will go from expecting to save, on average, £76 a year on a default tariff, to paying £117 more. 

How can you avoid the 2019/20 energy price increase?

Amid the April energy price rises, you should consider switching plans or even providers. 
There are several comparison sites for you to choose from to find the best deal for you, including,Compare the MarketuSwitch and Money Supermarket

Water bills

Another bill that saw an increase in April 2019 was your water. Although unlike energy, where you can pick your provider, you can’t with water, as it’s based on geographical location.

You can, however, find ways to avoid the predicted 2% annual rise.   

How can you avoid the 2019/20 water bill increase?

It’s simple enough, be more cautious with your water usage. The Eden Project has 10 tips to help you save water, including turning off the tap when brushing your teeth and installing a water butt to your home’s drainpipes. 

Car tax

It wasn’t just in our homes where prices rose in April. It was on the roads, too. 

Car driving along a road at speed 
Car tax, or Vehicle Exercise Duty (VED), increased, leaving most owing at least an additional £5 a year and some car owners facing as much as an extra £65 a year. 

How can you avoid the 2019/20 car tax increase?

Buying a car is a difficult decision. And it’s probably not one that solely hinges on how much car tax you’ll have to pay. 
But it’s also something you should consider when making your choice. The more CO2 emissions your car releases, the more expensive your VED will be. 
That’s why, in 2019, it’s wise to have a cleaner engine. The less CO2 produced, the cheaper the car tax. And if you want to pay nothing, go electric. Check out our latest article on how to choose your next car here. 

You can always save money somewhere

No matter what, there’s always another way to save on your outgoings. Even if you think that the tips above can’t help you, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some out there that can help. 
Take a look at our financial expert, Sara Benwell’s columns for money-saving advice. She’s got tips on how to budget better and asks why anyone would pay full price
Page last updated: Thursday 13 June 2019