Personal Finance

Advice on how to prepare your finances for a challenging winter

Thu.17.Nov.2011 GMT

Following the recent fuel price hike from the Big Six energy companies, the Payments Council has teamed up with Esther Rantzen to help ease the additional pressures the cold season brings. They have produced a video and leaflet as part of the PayYOURway campaign to raise awareness around the different payment options which can help make life that little bit easier in winter.

It is estimated that for every one per cent rise in energy bills, an extra 40,000 households fall into fuel poverty , and over 3.5 million older people (in 2.8 million households) already live in fuel poverty in the UK.  Every year, more than 30,000 older people die from preventable causes over the winter months, and additional deaths from cold weather contribute to 1 in 20 of all fatalities each year.

Research from the Payments Council shows that UK over-65s could save hundreds of pounds by

taking advantage of money management measures – including simply changing the way they pay.

The research pointed towards many over 65s being savvier than their younger counterparts about some money management measures: with 79% knowledgeable of energy efficiency grants compared with just 57% of the overall population; and 87% having loft insulation compared with 71% of the overall population. However, there were several key areas identified where older people in particular could be saving money and hassle this winter, including internet and telephone banking, clearing bills by direct debit, checking they are on the best energy tariff and reclaiming money they have overpaid to utility companies.

The video features Esther Rantzen and Mark Bowerman from the Payments Council providing their advice on how to save money and ensure you can still manage your finances when the snow and ice makes it more difficult to get to the bank. www.payyourway.org.uk/resources

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