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Personal Lines Perspective | April 2022

Motor

Keeping Your Petrol Costs Down

Petrol is a necessary expense for many people across Great Britain, but the potential inconsistency and unpredictability of its cost can lead to financial struggles. The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in surging fuel prices for many countries around the world, including the UK.

While the average motorist may not have the ability to impact the cost of petrol, there are ways to limit fuel consumption and reduce overall expenses. Consider these steps:

  • Clean out your car. Vehicles carrying more weight will also burn fuel at a faster rate. As such, removing unnecessary clutter and emptying the boot can help improve fuel efficiency.
  • Let the engine warm up. During cold conditions, a vehicle’s engine needs time to properly warm up. Driving while an engine is cold will burn petrol more quickly.
  • Reconsider driving habits. The behaviour of a motorist can also impact petrol consumption. Accelerating and braking gently and gradually are safer and better for fuel efficiency.
  • Check tyres. When tyres are underinflated, it may result in cars burning fuel more quickly. Motorists may also want to consider purchasing tyres specifically designed to be more fuel-efficient by having lower rolling resistance.
  • Reduce heating and air conditioning use. While the heating and air conditioning systems in a vehicle can make driving more comfortable, they also impact fuel use. Instead, consider wearing an extra layer of clothing in cold weather or rolling down the windows during the summer.
  • Consider other transport options. The use of public transport may help motorists save money. Walking and cycling offer not only cheaper costs but also health and well-being benefits.

Money

How to Avoid Wasting Food

As many households continue to feel the financial impact of cost-of-living increases, it’s important to research and consider all ways to save money.

To make the most of your groceries and limit waste, consider the following tips:

  • Understand dates—Some foods might bear ‘use by’ labels while others say ‘best before’. Food that has passed its ‘best before’ date may still be safe to eat, although people should still be cautious. ‘Use by’ dates should be considered more stringent.
  • Reconsider produce habits—Avoid purchasing pre-packaged fruits and vegetables that come in greater quantities than you will need. After bringing groceries home, use a refrigerator for storage instead of exposed locations, like a fruit bowl.
  • Plan ahead—Try to compose a meal plan for each week. It’s okay to leave one or two nights for takeaway or something spontaneous, but in general, making a list and planning before trips to the supermarket can help you throw away less food.
  • Get creative—Try to remember to take leftovers to work for lunch the next day, and consider adjusting your meal plan to include dishes that can be reheated easily.

Life

Enjoying Safe Use of Social Media

Social media has become a consistent part of daily life. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok can provide people with convenient ways to stay in touch with friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances. However, it’s important for users to understand that, like all online activity, there are also risks related to social media.

To stay safe while using social media, consider the following precautions:

  • Make use of privacy settings. There are many tools and options on most social media platforms that can limit who is able to access certain information or parts of your profile. The National Cyber Security Centre has assembled a helpful list for some of the most popular platforms.
  • Avoid sharing too much. It may be fun to use social media to share photos, videos and other experiences, but it’s critical for users to avoid oversharing. Allowing untrusted parties to access personal information—such as email addresses or phone numbers—may make you an easier target for cyber-attacks and identity theft.
  • Utilise two-factor authentication. Like other online accounts, it’s imperative to keep others from being able to access your social media profiles. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing two-factor authentication. This process will mean that even if a malicious party discovers your password, they will still need additional information before being able to access your accounts.
  • Confirm identities. Interacting with friends and followers is one of the most enjoyable aspects of social media, but users should ensure the person with whom they are communicating is who they say they are. It’s not uncommon for cyber-criminals to impersonate friends, classmates or colleagues in order to gain your trust.
  • Block malicious users. Most social media platforms include functions that not only allow you to remove a person as a friend or follower but even block them entirely. In the event of harassment, threats, suspicious behaviour or other inappropriate acts, do not hesitate to utilise these tools.

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