At Home
Living Costs
Money
10 June 2022

New Budget Tool Available

We're delighted to announce the launch of our Budget Tool.   It can be found by clicking on the 'Budget Tool' button at the top of the home page or clicking the link below.   Many of you used the old version so we've built this updated one to help Islanders with money management, especially during the current cost of living crisis.   It's best completed online but there is a print option enabling you to print and fill in by hand if you prefer. As you fill in your monthly income and out-going expenditure, the tool will automatically calculate and total, providing you with a final balance amount.   The information can be saved and recalled at a later date so it can be used to show your financial status to potential landlords, banks or lenders. It can also be updated as needed.   https://www.consumercouncil.je/budget    
At Home
Living Costs
22 April 2022

Netflix monthly subscription costs increasing this month

In January 2021, we advised you that Netflix was increasing its subscription prices. Well, just over a year later, they are increasing again. It may not be a surprise that the company recently announced that, for the first time, thousands of people in the UK have unsubscribed. The possible cause of this could be the current cost of living emergency, as people take a closer look at their financial situation and find ways to reduce their outgoing payments.    Now’s the time to check what plan you have and whether you actually need it. The monthly costs are increasing as set out below: Basic plan £6.99 p/m (£83.88 per year) - increased from £5.99 (no increase in 2021) Standard plan £10.99 p/m (131.88 per year) - increased from £9.99 (a £2 p/m or 23% increase in 15 months) Premium plan £15.99 (£191.88 per year) - increased from £13.99 (a £4 p/m or 34% increase in 15 months)   The higher the cost the more options available to you e.g. more screens can view at the same time and HD or ultra HD. By switching your plan you could save up to £108 this year. It’s easy to change, simply: Log in to your Netflix account and go to ‘Plan Details’. In the ‘Change plan’ option, select the plan you want. Click ‘Continue’ and ‘Confirm’ Your plan will be changed immediately but we suggest you do this as close to the next billing date as possible because you won’t get any money back – you’ll simply pay less the next time you’re billed.
At Home
Consumer Tips
Money
15 March 2022

60+ Money Saving Tips

60+ Money Saving Tips From ways to save on food, transport and daily spending, to ideas on how to reduce your energy bills and add some income, we’ve prepared a list of ideas to help you save money.  Depending on your circumstances, we know not all of these may suit you or be possible but hopefully, you can use some. Food Savings Pricecomparison.je – Use our price comparison site and app, which will have some new features in the coming weeks. This compares around one hundred grocery and household items in the six main supermarkets, as well as two online ones. (Alliance, Co-Op, First Choice Groceries, Iceland, M&S, Morrisons, Valley Foods and Waitrose)  Create a weekly menu – By knowing exactly what meals you will be cooking for the next seven days, will help limit the chance of over buying and reduce the amount of unused food that ends up in the bin. Leftover food – If you do have unused food, look up recipes that you could use them in, ideally by using store cupboard items and without having to buy more food. Vegetable soup is a good use of leftover veg, and a chicken carcass can be boiled to create a perfect stock or soup base. Supermarket promotions – Keep a look out for promotions and, if you can afford to, bulk buy. The most important point about promotions is not to be tempted to buy just because something is on promotion, especially if you can’t afford it or don’t usually eat/use the item.Sometimes promotions are not exactly as you might expect, so the easiest way to keep track of how much an item usually costs is to keep and compare your receipts.For example:– If a tin of Heinz baked beans usually costs 95p and is on a buy one get one free (BOGOF) promotion at a cost of £1.05 it’s worthwhile.– If a pack of nine toilet rolls that usually costs £5 is on a ‘3 for 2’multi buy promotion at a total price of £12 it’s worthwhile as you’re saving £3.– But, if a 450g pack of minced meat is usually £3 and is on ‘3 for £10’ promotion there is no point buying whilst on promotion as you’re actually paying £1 more. Batch cook and freeze – If you can afford to make the most of promotions, it’s a great way to bulk buy so you can batch cook. Whether it’s tins of chickpeas to make a large vegetarian curry or kilos of minced meat to make a Bolognese, you will have your own family favourites and there are loads of ideas online. Own label versus brand names – Many supermarkets have their own labelled products which tend to be cheaper than branded goods, such as Heinz, Nestle or Kellogg’s. They often get a bad reputation for not being as good as the well-known brands, but many supermarket brands are actually made at the factories as the better known ones. Several stores stock different levels of their own brand, from the cheapest ‘value’ item to a ‘mid-range’ and ‘premium’ selection. Take outs – A take out is always a treat, and during lockdown the numbers of eateries that went online soared, giving us an excellent choice of options. The problem with this is it’s now too easy to order almost anything and some of us may be spending a lot of more money on take outs than we did pre-pandemic. Grow your own – Whether you have a garden or a windowsill, growing your own food is always fun. A pack of seeds from the garden centre may cost anywhere from 50p – £3 but will save you money in the long run. Tomatoes, peas and herbs are all very easy to grow and somehow taste better than shop bought. You don’t even have to buy the plant pots as they can often be found for free via Facebook groups.   Transport Savings Limit car use – Save money on fuel and parking. If you’re on a good bus route with a bus stop close by, start using the bus. As of 3 August 2022, fares range from £1.85 to £2.50 (Adult) and 95p to £1.20 (Child). On 21 March 2022, the new Avanchi 18 smart card trial went live. Cards will cost £20 per year and expire on the card holder’s birthday each year.  Account discounts – If you do use your car, it’s worth shopping around for the best account discount available from each forecourt near your home, work, or on your route. Forecourt discounts can be found on the ‘My Forecourt’ section of our pricecomparison.je site. We would recommend only opening an account if it is a free option. Taxi journey – Phone around and ask what the fare will be for the number of people and route needed. Connecting flights – Don’t always choose Gatwick or Heathrow as regional airports may be cheaper. Driving abroad – Check whether it’s cheaper to take your car on the boat or hire a car when you're there.   Forecourt fuel prices – Use our Pricecomparison.je site and app to compare the prices of unleaded petrol and diesel across all Island forecourts. Shopping Savings Shop around – It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a fridge, a pet carrier or house insurance, shopping around for the best price is always a good idea. It may be a little time-consuming but checking the price at various retailers and suppliers is worth the effort, and you may even find a better option for a better price. Price match/beat – Ask the retailer or supplier if they’re willing to either price match or beat a quote you had from elsewhere. Loyalty schemes – Several retailers and hospitality outlets have free loyalty schemes, either by building up points or getting stamps. These build up over time resulting in a free coffee, discounted meal, or a percentage off your next treatment. Charity shops – Pre-loved items are a great way to spruce up your wardrobe, home or garden. There are so many charity shops in the Island with a huge range of items from clothes, bags and jewellery to tableware, chairs and beds. It’s a win for all. Books – If you like to read, or are studying for something, rather than buying new, the Jersey Library has a vast range on offer for free.   Daily Savings Daily coffee – As much as we all enjoy our daily take out coffee, the cost adds up. If you buy one for £2 every weekday for 48 weeks a year, that’s a whopping £480 just on your morning coffee. It would be better to invest in a cafetiere and make your own posh coffee at home each morning, and take it with you in a reusable and environmentally friendly cup. Meal deals – There are some good meal deals but it’s not as cheap as making your own sandwich or salad. Grabbing a pot of frozen soup made from leftover food is a quick win. Newspapers and magazines – A daily physical newspaper costs around £1-2 but many newspapers and magazines have online subscription options which work out far cheaper.   Entertainment Savings Subscription services – The full SKY subscription costs are particularly expensive, so it might be time to review exactly what you watch and change your plan. The same with other services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, especially as they are increasing their prices more regularly. Home cinema – Although going to the cinema is a great experience, the pandemic forced us to watch great movies at home and made us realise that it’s a far cheaper and more relaxed experience.   Garden Savings Water Butt – Buy a large or small water butt to collect rainwater which will save money on watering your garden or houseplants. Compost – Make your own compost heap or buy a compost bin that is less likely to attract rats. Grow your own – If you’ve got space in the garden why not turn it into a small vegetable patch? Grow bags or tubs can be used on a patio.   Energy Saving Electricity and Gas – Here are some of our tips. Extra income Sell unwanted items – Selling items you no longer use is a great way to bring in some income. There are many Facebook groups where you can advertise for free.*Scam warning – ‘Facebook Marketplace’ is a hub for scammers so never agree to send something through the post because the person is ‘too busy’ to pick the item up or ‘working in another country so will send a courier. Spare change – OK, it’s not extra income but if you’re able, put that loose change in a jar. Or you might choose to save just 20p pieces or £1 coins. It’s surprising how much you can save by the end of the year which could go towards Christmas presents. 
At Home
14 June 2021

Plans to Increase Renting Regulations

Plans have been put forward by the Environment Minister for regular inspections of rental homes. However, these have been labelled as ‘needless’ and a ‘waste of time’ by the Jersey Landlords Association who believe a complaints system would be more effective. The proposals aim to regulate, licence and inspect rental properties annually, to ensure they are meeting basic standards. There have been complaints that many rental properties fail to meet minimum expectations, with tenants left struggling to get their landlords to fix faults and problems. With the cost of housing so high in Jersey, renting is a necessity for many Islanders and the system should therefore benefit both landlord and tenant. If this is passed in the states, the policy will lead to landlords paying a license fee of up to £200 per unit to let out a property, plus an initial application fee of £50 per unit. The JLA have argued that this will ultimately lead to increased rent and have instead called on the government to impose the existing law. This would allow the system to be policed by complaints. For example, if a tenant complains about a hole in the roof, they would contact Environmental Health and Safety whereupon an inspector would be sent out, speak to the landlord and ensure the issue is resolved. The matter will be under debate in January 2020.
At Home
Money
11 March 2021

A working from home (WFH) tax allowance is available.

A working from home (WFH) tax allowance is available. When filling out your 2020 tax return make sure you claim £10 for every week you WFH last year, up to a maximum of 41 weeks (£410). Don’t worry if you’ve already completed your return, as you can email your claim to jerseytax@gov.je and the tax department will adjust your Notice of Assessment. Better in your pocket!
At Home
Phone
03 March 2021

JT pre-paid top-ups not possible between 3pm 13 March and 9am 14 March

JT will be upgrading their business operating system over the weekend of Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 March, which has been planned during a lower usage period, but will impact users of the top-ups during the above times. Top-up customers are encouraged to make any necessary recharges ahead of this time. Customers will be able to view their bills but will not be able to make any bill payments during this time. All other services will be accessible. JT advise the work is necessary to ensure the systems remain up-to-date, secure and continue to provide the services customers expect to the highest standards. JT commented: “The planned works are part of JT’s on-going commitment to provide a high quality, reliable and secure service to our customers. From time to time as technology improves, our systems need to be updated which is why we are taking this step now. We wanted to give our customers notice of this, as part of our on-going programme of works investing in our platforms; for example we have already informed our customers who use our self-serve portal of some recent upgrades. Our friendly advisors are always on hand to help if customers have any questions.” Any customer experiencing difficulties are asked to email home@jtglobal.com for support.