April’s Financial Forecast: New Financial Year Means Hike In Household Bills

A subject no one likes to discuss: bills. And something we like to think about even less: the rising of those bills.

Unfortunately, as the new financial year commences in April, numerous service providers are poised to hike their charges, resulting in an uptick in several routine household expenses starting April 1.

These adjustments prompt a critical reassessment of our spending habits and examination of our budgets to safeguard against these changes leaving us too out of pocket. Let’s delve deeper into the increases in these bills and the subsequent implications.

Guide to Increasing Household Bills



To kick off, households across the board should anticipate a surge in annual water and sewerage bills starting April 1.

According to a report from the BBC, this increase will amount to 6% in England and Wales, equating to an annual range of £27 to £473 while Scotland will experience an 8.8% hike, resulting in an additional £36 annually, though the exact figures may vary depending on your region.

Notably, Wessex Water and Anglian Water are expected to bear the brunt of the highest average increase. However, Water UK assures that these raised funds will be allocated towards enhancing water and sewerage systems. Moreover, ITV X reports that regulators would automatically reduce bills if these improvements are not delivered as promised.

Council Tax

Council tax is poised for a significant uptick of £106 this year as local authorities strive to bolster revenue to support struggling frontline services, as reported by The Independent.

Additionally, in Birmingham – recently grappling with council bankruptcy – residents may face an even steeper increase in this levy due to the city’s precarious financial situation, resulting in government approval for an escalated council rate hike. In fact, as stated by the BBC, this hike will soar by a staggering 21% over two years.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, a freeze on council tax policy is currently in effect until 2025, meaning residents should not expect any immediate rise in this regard.

Broadband and Phone Contracts

According to The Independent, the majority of broadband deals and mobile phone contracts, including those from BT, EE, Plusnet, Shell Energy, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, and Vodafone, are set to surge by 7.9% come April 1.

Although this adjustment aligns with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Retail Price Index (RPI), it translates to an approximate additional cost of £27.19 annually for broadband and £24.23 for mobile bills per individual consumer, as reported by Uswitch.

Car and Road Tax

The Autumn Statement revealed that vehicle excise duty, or road tax, will rise in line with the RPI from April 1, meaning the time has finally come for this to come into effect.

This will cause the annual flat rate for a car registered on or after 1 April 2017 to go up by £10, though the exact amount due will depend on factors including the type of vehicle, its registration date and fuel type.

TV Licence

Having been frozen for two years, the average TV licence fee is now set to go up by 6.6% to £169.50.

However, as the BBC notes, this will be free for any household where someone is aged over 75 and discounted for the blind and slightly visually impaired.

NHS Dental Charges

Given the strain the NHS has been under in recent years, this one comes as no surprise.

While still maintaining its free status for under-19s, English patients will experience a 4% hike, resulting in a £1 increase for a standard check-up, now priced at £26.80.

Are Any Bills Going Down?

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom!

A significant household expense is poised for reduction: gas and electricity bills. Starting April 1, this essential expenditure is expected to drop by approximately £238 annually or around £20 per month – marking the lowest level in two years, according to a BBC report.

The impact of the regulator’s price cap extends to 29 million households across England, Wales, and Scotland. Northern Ireland, operating under different regulations, also anticipates a decline in prices.

However, it’s important to note that while the cap determines the maximum charge per unit of gas and electricity, it doesn’t dictate the total bill—meaning, if you use more, it will increase the overall cost.

How Changing Costs Will Impact Your Budget

While facing more expensive household bills can be an annoyance, it can be dealt with by adjusting your budget accordingly to maintain financial stability.

After reviewing the key areas where bills are increasing effective April 1, it’s crucial to stay informed and thoroughly assess these changes. Once you have clarity on how your household bills will be affected, take the time to evaluate your current budget. Identify areas where you can reduce expenses or reallocate funds to accommodate the higher bills, with a focus on essential expenses like housing, utilities, food, and transportation.

Next, update your budget accordingly to incorporate the increased costs of household bills. Remain flexible throughout this process; if you find discretionary spending areas you’re willing to trim later on, redirect those funds toward covering bill payments or bolstering your savings to offset the impact of higher bills.

If you’re struggling to recalibrate your budget, consider using a budgeting app to help you stick to your new financial goals. This can help you to regularly monitor your budget to track spending and see how well you’re managing the impact of higher bills. This can subsequently help you find ways to adjust your budget as needed to stay on track throughout this new financial year.