Consumer prices have increased 9.1% compared to the same time last year, with forecasts suggesting that further rises are expected in 2022. And, the same period saw an increase of domestic gas prices (95%), domestic electricity prices (54%), and road fuel prices (40%).
It’s no wonder so many people in the UK are feeling the effects – around 7 in 10 adults (68%) who’s cost-of-living has increased are worried about the rising costs, and report that they now spend less on non-essentials. Those who are worried about the cost-of-living crisis are also shopping around more, spending less on food, cutting back on non-essential journeys in their vehicles to use less fuel, reducing electricity consumption in their homes, and dipping into savings.
Personal effects on cost-of-living
With so many people concerned about the ways in which this crisis will affect them, it’s useful to consider simple day-to-day cut backs you could make to combat the rise in costs. Firstly, take a close look at your expenses. Consider any areas which may be an unnecessary extra, and consider cutting down, or cancelling subscriptions for the time being. This could make a considerable difference to your outgoings.
With energy prices soaring, consider limiting your use of heating and air conditioning to lessen the effect on your energy bill. Instead, consider utilising your space efficiently by using your blinds/curtains, windows, and personal heating/cooling items to regulate the temperature, without racking up an overwhelming energy bill. Another way to keep the bill to a minimum is to consider using energy efficient devices, and ensuring devices are turned off (not left on standby) when not in use. And, limit the use of appliances like tumble dryers, especially on warmer days.
Even smaller changes can make a big difference, for example, rather than buying lunch at work every day, consider making a packed lunch – buying ingredients with your weekly shop. It’s estimated that, in the UK, people spend £1,840 per year on buying lunch at work, compared to just £552 for people who bring a packed lunch. This small change can have a staggering impact on spending when put into perspective, and is definitely worth making the switch. Similarly, if you were to spend around £3 per day on coffee, you’d rack up a total of £1,058 per year. Whereas those who choose to make coffee at home or work only spend £14.60. Cutting out this one daily purchase could put a significant chunk of money aside, or be used for essentials instead. Alternatively, it may be useful to consider your savings and investment options, as some investment companies offer much higher returns than some standard ISAs and current accounts.
Effects on dental technicians and labs
The cost-of-living crisis is also affecting businesses across the UK, including dental labs. With the cost of gold, along with other dental materials increasing, as well as business overheads, recruitment, and postage, dental labs are having to spend more on essentials. For labs, the solutions are not as simple as turning off lights and heating, although these things will still help in reducing energy bills to a point. It is vital to keep the business running, while staying in control of expenses and cashflow, and budgeting carefully will help you ensure your spending is efficient. It may be useful to look into your current contracts with utility companies and suppliers, and see whether they may be able to offer more competitive prices if you were to stay with them or recommend their services – or consider switching providers, to get a better offer.
It’s also important to understand and utilise your options when it comes to tax breaks and financial support. In the Spring Budget for example, Employment Allowance was increased meaning you can now claim up to a £5,000 reduction on your employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs). In some cases, you could choose to contact a financial advisor to make sure you’re making the most of any business rate relief, capital allowances or grants.
Gain fresh ideas
As much of the population are likely being affected by the cost-of-living crisis in one way or another, making small cutbacks and prioritising spending is a good first step to limit the impact.
For more ideas on how to optimise efficiency and profitability in the laboratory, don’t miss the Dental Technology Showcase (DTS). Access to the latest innovations in dental technology, as well as expert speakers and likeminded dental technicians, makes DTS an ideal chance to gain inspiration and build useful connections.
For now, it will be the small things that will make the biggest difference to your lab’s bottom line and your personal finances. Making minor changes now could put you in a stronger position a year in the future.
The Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) 2023 will be held on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th May, Birmingham NEC, co-located with British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show. For more information, visit www.the-dts.co.uk, or email email@example.com