What are ‘priority’ living costs?
Certain bills are priority costs because the consequences of not paying them are serious. Mortgage and rent costs are a priority, for example, because you could lose your home if you don’t pay.
You might be able to get your council tax reduced if you are on a low income or claim certain benefits.
If you live on your own, you’re entitled to a 25% discount on your council tax bill.
Make sure the council knows if you are an all-student household. Provided you fill in the forms and provide evidence of your full-time student status, you shouldn’t have to pay any council tax at all.
Get advice from StepChange if you are in arrears with your council tax.
You might be able to save money by switching your energy supplier.
Energy suppliers offer social tariffs with reduced rates for vulnerable or disadvantaged customers. They may be a useful option if you are over the age of 60 or claiming means-tested benefits.
You could also consider making energy saving improvements to your home.
For more advice, contact the Energy Saving Trust.
Most people need a TV licence to use a television, but there are some exceptions.
You can choose to pay by instalments if you have difficulty paying the whole cost at once.
There are two ways you can pay for water, either through water rates, or using a water meter. You may save money by using a water meter if you are a small household and don’t use much water.
You can usually pay for water rates in instalments.
If your metered water bills seem very high, check that there are no leaks on your system.
More information about water bills is available from Ofwat.