20 important dates that will affect your money in 2023

We run through the key dates to be aware of and how they could affect your money in 2023

woman working from home on a laptop and consulting her diary
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The past year has had a big impact on family finances, which means it’s even more important to make a note of the key dates in 2023 that could potentially affect your money.

Amid soaring inflation and high energy costs, 2022 has seen the introduction of an Energy Price Guarantee, plus a cost of living support package, including a £900 cost of living payment for those on low incomes and a £400 energy discount for all UK households. So, what could 2023 bring?

Personal finance analyst at finance company Bestinvest, Alice Haine, told us: “As the cost-of-living crisis rumbles on into 2023, households would be wise to track the big financial events of the year to prepare their finances for any surprises that might crop up. 

"Inflation may have eased in November from the 41-year high of 11.1% seen in October, but that still means the goods and services people spend on are 10.7% more expensive on average than they were a year ago. Throw in rapidly rising interest rates, falling real incomes, a long recession and the highest tax burden since the Second World War and consumer finances will still feel very squeezed in 2023.”  

January 2023

31st - Deadline for self-assessment

If you’re self-employed, one of the first dates to remember is the self-assessment tax return deadline of 31 January.

Tax expert at GoSimple Tax, Mike Parkes, says: “This is also the date that your tax payment is due, which is a considerable outlay for most self-employed people or those receiving dividends from their employment.”

Filing and paying on time is important if you want to avoid penalty fees.

February 2023

2nd - Base rate decision

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets around every six weeks to discuss whether the base rate should go up or down. The base rate is sometimes referred to as the bank rate. It's the rate of interest that banks and lenders pay when they borrow money from the Bank of England. It has a knock-on effect on interest rates that you might be charged on your mortgage for example, or the amount of interest you might be able to earn by having money in a savings account. 

At the moment, it’s likely rates will rise further. (Find out more about what interest rates are and how changes will affect your money with our explainer.)

Personal finance analyst Alice Haine says: “Rates now stand at 3.5% with expectations they will continue to go up in the short term as the central bank battles rising prices and wage growth. Interest rates look set to peak at 4.5% next year – far lower than previously feared – but there are never any guarantees as the decision is based on how the economy is performing. It’s important to stay abreast of interest rate changes, however, as the rate affects mortgage, savings and debt.”

March 2023

The Budget

Each year the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers the financial statement known as the Budget. For 2023, we can expect current Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to deliver the Budget in March and it’s likely to have an impact on everyone’s finances. 

One possible announcement could be an increase in fuel duty, meaning families will pay even more at the petrol pump.

Personal finance expert at Forbes Advisor, Laura Howard, says: “While there was no mention of an increase in fuel duty in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) suggested that a 12p (23%) increase could come into effect in March of next year. While fuel duty is currently charged at 52.95p per litre, a 12p per litre leap, if it happens, would be a huge increase.” 

1st - Rail fares to rise

On top of potentially higher petrol prices, rail fares will also go up in March. Head of personal finance at AJ Bell, Laura Suter, says: “Usually rail fares rise on the first day of the new year, bringing misery to commuters in a cash-strapped month. However, this year the Government has delayed the fare increases from January until March, to give commuters a bit more breathing space before their ticket prices are hiked.

“But there’s no ability to plan for the rises, as the Government still hasn’t confirmed what the increase will be. Usually it’s based on July’s Retail Price Index inflation figure, which was 12.3%. But all the Government will reveal is that it will be lower than this.”

23rd - Base rate decision

The Monetary Policy Committee will once again meet to discuss the base rate. It could rise again to combat high inflation, which could mean more expensive mortgage payments for those with variable rate or tracker mortgages. But this shouldn't impact those with a fixed-rate mortgage (at least until the fixed term comes to an end).

April 2023

1st - Energy Price Guarantee to rise

The Energy Price Guarantee was introduced in October 2022 to help keep a lid on spiralling energy costs. It effectively replaced the energy price cap, that was set my energy regulator Ofgem, and has meant that average annual energy bills have been frozen at £2,500 for a typical home.

However, while the energy price freeze is set to remain in place until 31 March 2024, it will rise by 20% from 1 April 2023, taking the typical annual bill based on average use to £3,000. As a result, families can expect to pay even more for their energy bills. 

But remember, this isn't a maximum you pay. If you use more energy than the 'typical' amount, you're energy bills could well be higher than £3,000. 

Find out how much your energy bills will cost with our handy explainer.

1st - Changes to household bills and minimum wage

The start of April is also likely to see changes to certain household bills. Council tax bills are expected to go up, and broadband and mobile phone providers also tend to introduce price rises around this time. If you’re not in contract, it’s well worth shopping around to see if you can get a better deal at this point. And if you’re worried about council tax, be sure to check what qualifies for a council tax reduction

But the good news is that water bills will be cut for many households after 11 water companies across England and Wales missed targets on issues such as pollution and water supply interruptions. 

Personal finance expert Laura Suter adds: “April will also bring good news for those on lower pay, as the minimum wage will increase by 9.7%, giving a pay rise of £1,677 for someone who is full time on the minimum wage. The rates of minimum wage vary depending on your age and whether you’re an apprentice, but for those over the age of 23 it will increase from £9.50 an hour now to £10.42 an hour from April.”

6th - Start of the new tax year and changes to benefits

From 6 April, most benefits and tax credits will increase by 10.1%, in line with September’s Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation. 

Benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance and Carer's Allowance are legally required to have their payments rise in line with inflation. But other benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Benefit, statutory  maternity pay (as well as paternity pay) and income-based jobseekers’ allowance will also be going up by the same amount. 

In addition, the state pension and Pension Credit will rise by 10.1%.

May 2023

11th - Base rate decision

The Monetary Policy Committee will once again meet to discuss the base rate.

June 2023

22nd - Base rate decision

Another decision will be made about potential changes to the base rate. 

July 2023

Potential first instalment of cost of living payment

In the Autumn Statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that an additional cost of living payment of £900 would be provided to households on means-tested benefits in 2023. Another £300 will go to pensioner households and £150 to individuals on disability benefits.

AJ Bell’s Laura Suter says: “The Government hasn’t confirmed when it will make the payments or how people can receive them. But it’s likely they will follow 2022’s playbook, with the first payments coming in the summer followed by more in the autumn and winter. To be eligible you have to be claiming certain benefits, so make sure you’re getting all the Government support you’re entitled to so you’re in line for these additional payments.” 

 August 2023

3rd - Base rate decision

The Monetary Policy Committee will meet to discuss the base rate. 

16th - July inflation announcement

The July inflation figure is due to be announced on 16 August. It’s worth paying attention to this if you regularly commute by train as it’s traditionally used to determine annual rises in train fares.  

 September 2023

21st - Base rate decision

The Monetary Policy Committee will meet to discuss the base rate. It could go up or down.

 October 2023

18th - September inflation announcement

The announcement of September's inflation figure on 18 October is also important as it’s used when calculating changes to benefits and tax credits that will come into force in 2024.  

31st - Postal self-assessment deadline

If you are self-employed and prefer to file your self-assessment tax return by post rather than online, 31 October is your deadline, rather than 31 January 2024. 

November 2023

2nd - Base rate decision

 The Monetary Policy Committee will meet again to discuss the base rate. 

Potential second instalment of cost of living payment

Again, we’re speculating here, but if the £900 cost of living payment follows the £650 cost of living payment in 2022, we can expect the second instalment around November. We’ll update this article as soon as we know more. 

Autumn Statement

The Autumn Statement usually takes place in November and, similar to the Budget, you can expect to hear more financial changes from the Chancellor that could affect your pocket. 

December 2023

14th - Base rate decision

For the final time in 2023, the Monetary Policy Committee will meet to discuss the base rate. 

Rachel Wait
Personal finance expert

Mum of two, Rachel is a freelance personal finance journalist who has been writing about everything from mortgages to car insurance for over a decade. Having previously worked at Shares Magazine, where she specialised in small-cap stocks, Rachel developed a passion for consumer finance and saving money when she moved to lovemoney.com. She later spent more than 8 years as an editor at price comparison site MoneySuperMarket, often acting as spokesperson. Rachel went freelance in 2020, just as the pandemic hit, and has since written for numerous websites and national newspapers, including The Mail on Sunday, The Observer, The Sun and Forbes. She is passionate about helping families become more confident with their finances, giving them the tools they need to take control of their money and make savings. In her spare time, Rachel is a keen traveller and baker.