As we kick off a new season, we are well versed as football fans in having no way of knowing what happens on the pitch.
Away from the game, almost half of Brits on a low income have said they feel out of control when it comes to their daily lives, with almost two thirds citing high energy prices as the reason for feeling an increased lack of control*, according to new research published by our partners, Smart Energy GB.*
However, 66% of the people surveyed said technology plays a part in helping them manage things day to day.
We have teamed up with Smart Energy GB, the EFL Trust and Club Community Organisations across the EFL network, to recommend seven gadgets and tips which could help you get more control over your energy use and better manage your bills.
- Smart meters: Available from your energy supplier at no extra cost, smart meters come with an in-home display, which shows how much you are spending on energy in pounds and pence helping you to feel a bit more in control of your gas and electricity use.
With a prepay smart meter, you can clearly see when you’re close to using your emergency credit helping you to better manage your energy spend . Prepay smart meters also make it easier for customers to top up: via their mobile, online or at the shop.
Contact your energy supplier to request your smart meter installation** or Find out more about smart meters via the dedicated EFL Trust webpage.
Image is of an in-home display device
- Money advice websites: There has never been a more important time to know what you’re spending, and there are many websites out there that explain everything to do with money in a clear and simple way.
Check out websites such as MoneySavingExpert, MoneyHelper and many more. They can help you to manage your finances with free tools such as budget planners and advice and resources on everything from tackling debt and consumer protection to bill prioritisation and managing redundancy.
- Budgeting apps: There are many free apps out there, such as Lumio, Money Dashboard, Emma and YNAB, which are designed to help you manage your money.
Most link to your bank accounts so that you can make more informed decisions on where and how you spend.
- Parental controls: When you’ve got a lot on your plate, it can be hard to keep an eye on what your kids are accessing 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.
- Meal planning apps: Accessing free apps out there, such as SmartRecipes and EasyMeals, can help you plan meals and create shopping lists, making it easier to keep track of and cut down on your spending.
Some, like Too Good To Go, also give you discounts on food items by directing you where to find and pick up cheap food which wasn’t needed by the restaurant. Olio's free app lets users and businesses – such as Tesco – offer up food and drink which would otherwise go to waste. People nearby can then collect it for free.
- Coupon apps: There are also several apps that provide the digital equivalent of coupons to help you save money on your favourite brands.
Apps like Shopmium and CheckoutSmart provide both brand discounts and cash back, helping to relieve 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.
- 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, from helplines and websites to apps and support groups. Websites such as Mind and Samaritans are a good place to start. Another option is Kooth, an online mental wellbeing community which offers free, safe and anonymous support.
*Research was carried out by OnePoll for Smart Energy GB and surveyed 1,000 adults who live in a household with annual income lower than £16,500, between 25th May 2022 and 1st June 2022.
** Eligibility may vary. Consumer action required.