As summer fades, the kids go back to school and the nights draw in, it’s the perfect time to get money matters sorted ahead of…wait for it…Christmas.

It’s been a financially tough year for many, with the cost of living crisis, rocketing food prices and bills, and now we’re all starting to think about turning the heating back on.

Being aware of money changes this October can really help get finances in order, and ensure you stick to a budget.

So what money changes are incoming?

Let’s find out.

What money changes are likely coming in October?

Second Cost of Living Payment

The second Cost of Living Payment is due to arrive this autumn.

This payment will be for £300.

Although an exact date hasn’t been given, it’s expected ‘in the autumn’, and Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis suggested it could be October or November.

Those eligible will be receiving at least one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

This money is paid directly into bank accounts and there is no need to apply for them. If you’re eligible, you should receive it – but if you haven’t, you can report it online.

Energy Price Cap

The Energy Price Cap, which limits the amount energy companies can charge per unit of energy, will be reset on October 1, 2023 – and it is due to fall.

It’s currently set at £2,074 which means that a typical household bill would be capped at this level, but the new price cap will run from October 1 to December 31 and be £1,923 for a direct debit customer.

The cap will be £1,949 for those on prepayment meters, £2,052 for standard credit tariffs, and £1,298 for Economy 7 (electricity-only Direct Debit).

So you’ll pay less for the same amount of energy – but remember that the cap isn’t an actual cap on bills but of units of energy, so the more you use, the more you’ll pay.

It’s important to take a meter reading around October 1 so you are charged for what you use.

Inflation figures

The Office for National Statistics will release the inflation rate on October 18 – this shows how much you’d expect to pay for a typical basket of goods and services.

These have a bearing on decisions around interest rates – although the Bank of England’s next announcement is set for November 2.

What financial changes will impact you most this October?Comment Now

Warm Home Discount

The government’s Warm Home Discount scheme reopens in October, giving a one-off discount on electricity bills (£150 in 2022).

In England and Wales, you qualify if you either:

  • Get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
  • Gre on a low income and have high energy costs

In Scotland you qualify if you either:

  • Get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
  • Are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme

The discount should be applied automatically, and you can use the online eligibility checker from October.

Stamp costs

The price of a first-class stamp is set to rise from October 2.

It will rise by 14% for a standard letter – the second increase this year following the price hike in April from 95p to £1.10.

This will push the cost up from £1.10 to £1.25 – and the advice is to stock up on stamps now.

Bus fare cap ends

The £2 cap on bus fares (not including London, Greater Manchester, Merseyside or West Yorkshire, as they are already capped) was extended in May by the government to help in the cost of living crisis.

From October 31, this will increase to £2.50 – this new cap will last until November 2024.

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