Expert Reveals There Are Reductions in Energy, Housing, and Inflation Ahead

With announcements of increases to the cost of broadband and mobile plans and the fall in energy prices, Brits are bound to feel less confident about their money.

Hodge  has highlighted ways to secure your budgets, making sure you have funds available for those rainy days, or in this case, inflation.

Here are the biggest changes to household funds this year:

Increase in broadband and mobile plans

Hodge’s managing director of retail, Christie Cook, highlights significant increases in broadband and mobile plan costs, affecting remote workers the most.

Christie Cook, managing director of retail at Hodge, said: “Recent hikes mean O2 phone plan subscribers have experienced the steepest increase at 8.8%, while BT, EE, and Plusnet customers have seen their broadband and mobile plans rise by 7.9%. Conversely, Shell customers have experienced the lowest increase, at just 6%. These increases have cost consumers up to £36 more annually.

Our research shows that more than 30% of individuals have reduced spending on monthly subscriptions in the past 12 months to cope with rising costs. Households can put away spare change from as little as 70p a week to cover these extra costs. It’ll be interesting to see how many UK households switched their provider before this increase in hopes to bag a better deal.”

TV licencing fee increase

Cook continues: “Over 19.3 million UK households currently use video streaming services. In the UK, having a TV licence is mandatory for watching or recording live TV, even on devices like PCs, laptops, tablets, or mobiles. 

“The recent £10 increase surpasses leading streaming platforms’ subscription fees. 

“This hike equates to £37.12 more than a standard Netflix subscription, £61.12 higher than Amazon Prime or Disney+, and £49.12 more than Now TV. 

“Our own research shows that more than 30% of people have reduced spending on monthly subscriptions in the past 12 months. However, allocating just £0.83 per month to your savings account can cover this extra £10 a year. The real question here is whether UK households are willing to forego this annual fee and endure ads between their favourite TV shows and movies.”

Decrease in energy bills

Cook highlights how energy bills have changed: “The fall in energy prices this April will have come as welcome news for millions of households across the UK, especially after the hikes we saw last year, seeing annual costs of £1,976. 

“Although the 12.3% decrease in energy prices averages out to a yearly saving of £238, households can further maximise their savings by depositing this extra cash into an ISA, currently offering around 4.96% interest.

“This saving could pay for one takeaway coffee a week for over a year or even a family Netflix or Spotify account.

“Our research shows that 80% of Brits are most concerned about the energy crisis, with a further 67% reducing their electricity usage for financial reasons.”

Passport prices

As of 11th April, Brits saw the cost of travel increase by 7%, meaning those with passports due for renewal will now have to pay £100 for an adult and £69 for a child (paper form), £88.50 for an adult and £57.50 for a child (online application), which is up to £15 more than pre-pandemic costs.1

Predictions for the rest of 2024

Energy costs

Despite the recent fall in energy prices, there are plans for the bills to decrease even further come 1st July, with households possibly seeing a 13% reduction, meaning they could be paying £513 less on bills in comparison to last year.

“This reduction will come as a relief for households across the UK, especially after seeing energy bills skyrocket to almost £2,000 over the last 12 months.

“Although this reduction will be welcomed by many, we encourage people to do some research into various different schemes available to help save a few more pennies.”

Inflation

In the Bank of England’s latest forecast figures, we should expect inflation to continue to fall to 2.0% on average in the second quarter of 2024 before rising again to 2.8% at the beginning of 2025.

“Inflation can be one of those taboo subjects but it’s best to prepare yourself the best you can for these occasions; by having a contingency plan in place, such as an emergency fund, you can be better prepared for these peaks and troughs in the economic market.”

House prices

There’s speculation that house prices will fall by between 1% and 4% this year. This will be welcome news for homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers who are struggling to get on to the property ladder. This decrease could mean they are spending almost £10,000 (£9,960) less on their first home.