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For many of us, the world as we knew it completely changed back in March of 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Things that were once a novelty, such as having a video conference with colleagues or working from home for a day or two became our new normal and it's taken some time for everyone to adjust.
Making sure we're spending enough time away from our makeshift offices and always having teabags on hand have become just some of the necessities we find ourselves thinking about. On top of that are the dreaded bills.
With companies opting to permanently work remotely, this could be an adjustment for the long run. For others, there's no guarantee when they'll next be deciding whether to take the stairs or the lift. So for now we've got to sit tight and be patient. Oh and turn up the heating... or maybe not.
We might be saving travel expenses but many will have noticed that as winter crept up on us, so did household bills. Not to mention the kettle being on constantly (if you're anything like me) and laptops being plugged in all day.
Take Kriti Sachdeva and her husband as an example. They rent a two-bedroom flat in London and have seen their bills increase be 'at least £100'.
Speaking to LADbible Kriti, a marketing manager for London-based eCommerce start-up, NOVOS, said: "I am very disappointed with my high electricity bill - it is now about £240 a month.
"We are only two people, my husband and I, living in a new flat. It is because of the heating. I am now trying to put on an extra layer of clothing and using a hot water bottle to keep myself warm and cutting back on the heating.
"My company does give us WFH allowance but that isn't enough to cover this."
So, while we're all noticing increasing bills, the question is: what can we do about them? Will Owen, an Energy Expert at Uswitch, told LADbible: "Working from home and homeschooling children this past year has resulted in a sharp increase in household bills for many families, with many using extra energy to power their laptop or keep their house warm during the day, especially now that it is winter."
He went on to suggest that people could do some of the following:
Jimmy Williams, the CEO of Urban Jungle, a company providing insurance to generation rent and millennials also gave some good advice which included buying some draught excluders, blankets and using tin-foil to keep your flat warm.
If the latter has left you slightly confused, don't be. Jimmy explained: "Make your GCSE physics teacher proud by reflecting the heat back into the room.
"Wrap some card with tin foil and put it behind your radiators, there's no point putting time and effort into organising your heating if half the heat is just going into your walls."
On top of these suggestions, you can claim tax relief for your job expenses which can go to additional households costs.
took me 4 minutes to process yesterday and I'm due £270 back before end of the tax year. Def a few mins well spent. Amends your tax code to rebalance through rest of tax year. Worth doing if you can be bothered
- Patrick O'Kane (@mediaworkspaddy) January 18, 2021
Additional costs include things like heating, metered water bills, home contents insurance, business calls or a new broadband connection.
You are entitled to £6 a week from 6 April 2020 (for previous tax years the rate is £4 a week) - you will not need to keep evidence of your extra costs.
Alternatively you can claim the exact amount of extra costs you've incurred above the weekly amount - you'll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts.
Every little helps, right?
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