January marks the start of a new calendar year, and while many of us will be aiming to save more money this year, big changes are coming.
According to which? Confidence in the future of the economy has fallen to its lowest level since the winter lockdown in January 2021.
There are 11 major changes in 2022 that can affect you and your money, from insurance to oil prices, Which? reports.
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Many households may be concerned about the increasing costs of a weekly store, whether for a large family or for smaller homes.
There are a number of reasons why food prices could rise in 2022, including inflation, a labor shortage, and rising shipping and import costs.
Which? regularly updates its list of the cheapest supermarkets every month, as buyers are encouraged to check out the latest offers.
Starting in January of this year, auto insurance companies will have to offer you the same deal they would offer to new customers, which is good news if you stay with the same company.
But that probably means the end of super cheap deals.
The new rules are expected to save consumers Â£ 4.2bn over the next ten years, but people are urged to keep checking to see if more competitive offers are available.
Millions of people are expected to be affected by an expected increase of more than Â£ 700 in the price of gas and electricity.
Money-saving expert Martin Lewis previously urged the government to step in to prevent unusually high prices in the energy sector from April.
An announcement will be made on the February energy price cap, which goes into effect on April 1.
ECHO has previously reported that unless the government acts, millions of people are expected to be affected by what insiders predict is a more than Â£ 700 increase in the price of gas and electricity – an increase at least 50%.
4) Roaming charges
Vacationers will face the return of mobile data roaming charges when traveling in Europe.
EE customers who joined or upgraded their contract before July last year will not be affected, as will Vodafone contracts which started before August 2021 and three customers before September 2021.
However, EE and Vodafone will reintroduce roaming billed at Â£ 2 per day for those traveling in Europe and Three also plan to charge customers for data usage in Europe in May.
Bad news for regular vacationers?
In 2022, the government capped rail fare increases at 3.8% and postponed the hike until March.
Those who regularly use train services would benefit from a subscription at the going rate before any potential increase.
Gasoline prices rise and fall continuously, with prices previously reaching an all time high.
Drivers pay an average of around 1.40 a liter, but drivers are now overcharged by Â£ 5million every day, according to the RAC.
Wholesale gasoline prices have fallen 12 pence per liter, according to the RAC – but the price at the pump has fallen by an average of just 2 pence, reports the BBC.
Gasoline prices can vary depending on which gas station you use and where you live. Motorists are therefore encouraged to compare prices before refueling.
Savings could also be made by using loyalty cards from gas stations.
7) National living wage
The minimum wage for all will increase in April of this year.
Workers aged 23 and over will see an increase of Â£ 8.91 per hour to Â£ 9.50.
21-22 year olds will drop from Â£ 8.36 to Â£ 9.18 per hour.
18-20 year olds will drop from Â£ 6.56 to Â£ 6.83 per hour
16-17 year olds will drop from Â£ 4.62 to Â£ 4.81 per hour
Apprentices will drop from Â£ 4.30 to Â£ 4.81 per hour.
But which one? reports that despite the change, the national living wage will not be in line with the current actual living wage of the Living Wage Foundation.
The real living wage is calculated on the cost of living and it is up to employers to choose whether they pay it.
On April 6, 2022, state pensions are set to increase by 3.1%, which means an annual increase of up to Â£ 298 for retirees.
But this increase could have been more important. The ‘triple lockdown’ has been suspended due to the pandemic, if it had increased as usual it would have meant an 8.3% increase, according to Which?
9) Housing tax
The councils will be able to raise the council tax this year which could affect many households across the UK.
Liverpool taxpayers should expect municipal taxes and national insurance bills to rise in the new year as income tax is frozen.
In a budget proposal released in November, where ideas were developed to help close the Â£ 34million gap in the 2022/23 budget, it was assumed that the city’s council tax would rise by the maximum allowed, which should be 3%.
It is expected that all local authorities with social assistance responsibilities will be able to increase the adult social assistance precept up to 1% per year.
If the council lifts the council tax to a maximum of three percent, it could drop a C-Band property from Â£ 1,892.88 to Â£ 1,949.66 in the area.
A Band D property would drop from Â£ 2,129.49 to Â£ 2,193.3.
The housing tax is based on property assessments and on which? reports, many of them may be out of date and so it is important to check and dispute tax bills if you think you are overpaying.
10) Water bills
Water bills are expected to drop slightly this year, as companies have been urged to gradually lower prices until 2025.
One way to save on water bills is to switch to a water meter, which works depending on how much water you use.
11) National insurance
In September last year, the government announced its intention to introduce a tax on health care and social benefits to be added to national insurance contributions from April 2022.
This means that a person who earns Â£ 30,000 a year and pays Â£ 2,452 Class 1 national insurance would see an increase to Â£ 2,665.90.
People are advised to check whether they are exempt from paying national insurance.
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