SMART METERS AND OTHER TECH THAT COULD HELP YOU TAKE BACK CONTROL
Are you concerned about your cost of living increasing? You’re not alone. We’ve got rent, energy bills, phone bills, food shopping and more to manage each month. That’s a lot to think about! To help you feel a little more in control, we’ve gathered a list of money monitoring apps and technology, including smart meters! Read on to find out more.
If you want to take more control of your energy bills, a smart meter could help. To request a smart meter, type your energy supplier in the box below and we’ll redirect you to their website:
What is causing your money worries?
We surveyed 1,000 adults with an annual household income of less than £16,500 in order to find out where their money worries lie. 50% claimed that they feel less in control of their bills now than they did two years ago.
And it’s no surprise that energy prices were the most likely cause of this, followed by the rising cost of day-to-day essentials.
If you feel like your cost of living is getting out of control, check out our helpful tech tips below.
Advice to help you feel more in control
Our survey showed that technology plays a big part in helping people take back control. So, we’ve gathered a few useful pieces of tech below:
1. Money advice websites
Sites such as MoneySavingExpert and MoneyHelper explain how you can best manage your finances in a clear and simple way. They provide free tools such as budget planners and advice, as well as resources on tackling debt, consumer protection, prioritising your bills, managing unemployment and much more!
2. Smart meters
32% of those surveyed stated that smart meters have helped them feel more in control. A smart meter in-home display can show you how much energy is being used in your home, in near-real time, in pounds and pence. Knowing what you’re spending on gas and electricity could help you to feel more in control of your energy bills.
What’s more, prepay smart meters also make it easier for customers to top up. You can top up on your mobile, online or at the shop. Customers with prepay smart meters can also clearly see when they are close to using their emergency credit. All of this is being offered at no extra charge!
Click below to request your smart meter now:
Find out how a smart meter helped Sarah take control of her energy usage below:
My name's Sarah, I live in Chelmsford, I've got two children, one's six and one's sixteen. Being able to afford and cover the bills right now is really hard.
The rise in the cost of living has impacted us significantly because the gas, the electric, the food bills, school uniform, you know, everything's gone up and it's impacting life a lot more. So I started noticing my bills were going up just before Christmas, and it's really hard to stay in control and know which ones to pay first. It might be a bill rather than a jumper for my child, you know? You can't control something that you've got no control over, so you have to just worry, and worry for the next month to the next month.
Previously, before having a smart meter, I wasn't really aware of how much the tumble dryer or the washing machine, leaving the cooker on, leaving the TV on costs. Whereas now having a smart meter, I'd consciously turn the cooker off in the evening, the washing machine, the tumble dryer, the VT goes off. The smart meter that I have does show me what I'm spending, what I've got left, when I need to top up. And that's a small bit of control that I have got.
As well as having the in-home display, I also have the app on my phone, which is perfect because whilst I'm at work throughout the day I'll check the app and if I can see that the meters are running low I can quickly top up, I don't have to leave. You know, really easy: just go to the app and top it straight up and then you can see that the balance has gone up within a couple of minutes.
Anyone that's struggling as in friends or family, I would recommend a smart meter because you definitely know what you're spending.
4. Parental controls
When you’ve got a lot on your plate it can be hard to keep an eye on what the kids are doing online. This is where parental controls can help! They are available on nearly all phones and devices, and can be used as a safety net to protect your child from harmful content. If you are not sure how to set them, Childline and NSPCC have lots of information about mobile and online safety.
5. Meal planning apps
There are lots of free apps such as SmartRecipes and EasyMeals, which help you plan meals and create shopping lists. This could make it easier to keep track of your spending. Some, like Too Good To Go, also give you discounts on food items by helping you find and pick up food which wasn’t needed by restaurants. Olio's app lets users and businesses – such as Tesco – offer food and drink which would otherwise go to waste. People nearby can then collect it for free.
6. Coupon apps
There are also apps that can provide coupons to help you save money on your favourite brands. Apps such as Shopmium and CheckoutSmart provide discounts and cash back on your shopping. This could help to reduce some of the stresses of the weekly shop. There are even apps that focus on greener, healthier options such as GreenJinn, that can help you to eat well while reducing your overall shopping bill.
7. Online emotional support
When life gets too much it can sometimes feel difficult to know where to turn. Speaking to trusted friends, family or your doctor is always a good first step to feeling a bit more in control. There is also lots of free online support out there, including helplines, websites, apps and support groups. Websites such as Mind, Samaritans and BreathingSpace in Scotland are good places to start. Another option is Kooth, an online mental wellbeing community which offers free, safe and anonymous support.
At the end of the day, if you are really struggling, don’t suffer in silence...
Request your smart meter
Join the millions of Brits who are already using their smart meter to gain a bit more control in their day to day lives.
Simply click below and we'll get you to the right place:
You may also be interested in…
- How to use a smart meter to save money - With a smart meter and the accompanying in-home display, you can be more aware of your energy usage.
- What is the price cap, and will it affect your bills? - Global gas prices are on the rise, which has led to a higher price cap on energy bills. But what does that mean for you?
- Advice for those worried about energy bills and falling into debt – If you’re worried about your energy bills or falling into debt, you’re not alone. And there are things you can do to help your situation.