Credit Union Office
CR1, Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge, Middx, UB8 1UW

t: 01895 250958

Cost of Living

Cost of Living Help

We have put together a number of useful tips and links to various guidance and tools available from trusted resources. We will be updating this information as it becomes available. If you have any content or tips you would like to add please email

The basics

When was the last time you reviewed all the direct debits and payments that leave your bank account or recurring payments on your credit card. Here are real examples that we have come across with members when reviewing their finances. There will be plenty of other examples – the key is to ask what is the payment for and do I need it. If not needed cancel it!!

Gym membership – monthly membership adds up, with costs often from £19.99pm – this is £240pa. When was the last time you went to the gym – can you pay per visit instead to reduce costs? One member had two contracts and did not realise!

Credit File access – we still see members paying £14.99 for access to their credit file. There are many sites/apps that give you this information for free. Just type “Free credit search” into google – there are many choices. This would save you over £179pa

Breakdown cover – when did you last review the cost of this service – do you still have a car that you had the policy for? Use one of the main comparison sites to get quotes that are specific to your needs and see how much you can save.

Household appliances – many people take out breakdown cover for household goods such as fridges freezers etc.  Do you still have the appliance that the insurance relates to? Can you get the cover cheaper through a comparison site – insurance brought at the time you buy the product can be expensive. Always shop around. Web addresses for the most popular comparison sites are at the end of this page.

Budget planner

It is very worthwhile completing a budget planner to help you plan your finances. Use the information from your bank statements to help you complete this. We have seen members surprised to see that they spend more on their phone/TV/Broadband than they do on food. A good planner is available on the following link which is available on the government web site, Money Helper

Energy costs

This is the area causing the greatest concern, following the unprecedented increase in costs following the war in Ukraine.  The two key areas of help are based around using less energy and obtaining grants, payment plans and government support.

Energy efficiency

There are a number of areas where it is possible to reduce energy consumption, from improving insulation, reducing drafts, turning off lights in unused rooms, turning down the thermostat 1c. A good web site for more information is the Energy Savings Trust

The New energy cap

From October 2022 the new price cap comes into force. Your utility company will confirm your new tariff.  The key takeaways from the announcement on the 8th September 2022 are:

  1. The new price guarantee starts 1 October, and for someone on typical use will be £2,500 a year and will last for two years.
  2. The current price cap is £1,971 a year rate at typical use, and was due to rise to £3,549 a year (and likely £5,400 a year in January). It was £1,277 a year last winter.
  3. This will be a cap on standing charges and unit rates, so use less you pay less, use more you pay more. There is no total cap on what you pay, the typical rate is just a figure for illustration.
  4. The £400 payment to all homes (paid as £66 a month over winter) will continue. That will take the average payment to £2,100 for the next 12 months.
  5. To estimate what you’ll pay, over a year, multiply your current costs by 6.5% (each £100 becomes £106.50). This includes the £400 discount (but not other payments).
  6. For those with lower than typical bills, the % increase will be lower, for higher users higher (as the £400 payment is flat regardless of use, so has a bigger proportionate reduction on lower usage).
  7. The £650 payments to those on many benefits will continue (half’s already been paid). As will the £150 to those with disabilities and £300 to pensioners. There’s no announcement on whether these payments will be in place next winter but details will be issued next year.

 Financial support with energy costs

Where a resident is in debt to their energy supplier, you may be able to get a grant from the supplier to help pay it off.

Here's a list of energy suppliers who offer grants to their customers:

FYI - if you can’t get a grant from your own supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer to be eligible.

Members may also be able to access local grants and you can see what's available in your area on the Simple Energy Advice website.

Further information on how the £400 Government support is received depends on how you pay for your utilities etc – full details are available on the following link to the Martin Lewis site.

Correct benefits

The benefit system is complicated and many members are unaware of the benefits that can be claimed. There is a really helpful web site – – you just enter your personal details and financial situation, and it will provide details of the benefits you are entitled to. The site also gives details of any grants you may be eligible to, based on your post code and the details you have entered. This is well worth the investment of 10 minutes as you may be eligible to benefits you are not currently claiming

Financial difficulties

When you face financial difficulties, it important to seek help. There is plenty of free and impartial advice available for members who have built up debt or arrears. Please jump across to our web page for details and links of organisations that can help.

Useful comparison sites

The old mantra of never auto renew has never been more relevant. Before renewing or taking out new services such as car or life insurance, phone deals and broadband, always use a comparison site to see what the best deals are – it takes 5 minutes and can save you a lot of money. The most popular sites are:


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