by Sarah Willingham, Founder of www.LetsSaveMoney.com
Getting a better mortgage deal is probably the longest job but also the place where you can save the most for your family. Before mortgage rates start slowing edging up, remortgage and get yourself on a low interest rate. No matter how much equity you have in your home, there WILL be better deals out there, especially if you are coasting along on your lender’s Standard Variable Rate. It just takes one quick phone call to a fee free broker like London & Country to start the ball rolling (0800 9530591). Recent figures from London and Country said that a home owner with £300,000 of debt can reduce monthly payments by nearly £700 by switching to a 2 year fixed rate deal rather than staying on an SVR.
2. Be credit card savvy
The BIGGEST waste of money is paying unnecessary interest on your debts, especially store cards. Almost half of credit card holders don’t pay off their balance in full each month, which is fine but ONLY if you are not being charged interest. In fact the UK wastes more than £2 billion a year in credit card interest payments! We like Barclaycard who have a massive 34 month interest free period along with Halifax who have 32 months. If you do need a credit card then make sure that you have one that works harder for YOU! If you buy a lot of petrol, the Santander 123 credit card will give you cashback on fuel and if you like holidays, try a Virgin Atlantic Visa or a British Airways AMEX to earn Avios points. There are LOADS of ways to earn rewards as long as you are disciplined enough to pay off your balance in full every month.
3. Switch and fix energy
This is another quick 5 minute job with big rewards as you could save hundreds of pounds a year. There are lots of fixed rate energy deals which give you peace of mind and will guarantee your bills don’t increase during the next set of price rises. You don’t have to stick with a Big Six energy supplier as it WILL cost you more. A typical Big Six deal is £1,320 a year, while First Utility charges £1,037
4. Change broadband supplier and bundle your services
Lots of people pay too much for their broadband but don’t even know it! It is SO important to check that you are getting what you pay for by checking the broadband speed in your area and how much data you are allowed to download each month. Going over your allowance can cost you an extra £20 a month so check out offers which will allow you to get unlimited broadband for as little as £12 a month. Another way to save big is to look at bundling where you get several services (TV, broadband, digital TV) from the same supplier. It is often cheaper than buying 2 or 3 products separately and companies often offer a discounted price or low introductory rates if you take a bundle.
5. Change your supermarket habits
Making a few small changes to the way you do the family shop can save you a fortune! Loyalty to a brand will cost you in the long term and you should shop around to get the best deal. To compare prices across most of the major stores head online and check out mySupermarket. They point you in the direction of the best offers and compare the supermarkets for you so that you end up with the best deals. If you have never shopped online before then there are ALWAYS delivery offers and discounts for first time shoppers from most of the major supermarkets. Stay away from branded goods as many own brand labels or even Value ranges taste just as good, you just don’t get the pretty packaging!
6. Don’t auto renew your car insurance
With a family to ferry about all week, cutting the cost of your car is SO important. The biggest way to cut costs is with car insurance. Letting your insurance auto renew is a HUGE no no! Loyalty rarely saves you money when it comes to car insurance and by shopping around and challenging the insurance providers, you’ll save the most!! The average saving on a car insurance premium is around £400 but we have heard of people saving up to a MASSIVE £800
7. Declutter and earn cash
Declutter and make money at the same time. Why not incentivise your kids (or even your partner!) and tell them that if they have a good sort out then they can keep the cash they make. Get rid of unused toys, games, clothes, books and even furniture by selling it online with eBay, Preloved or on Facebook local selling groups! There is ALWAYS someone there to buy your ‘junk’! Listing an item takes less than 5 minutes with the eBay app and the average person has well over £500 of sellable stuff in their home.
8. Use vouchers
Before you buy anything, book anything or go anywhere, check whether you could be using a voucher to get a discount. Whether you are in your favourite shop, at a restaurant or online ALWAYS google to see if there is a way to save money. Many voucher sites have apps that use GPS to tell you the places nearby who are accepting discount vouchers! However, it is SO important to remember to SAVE WITH a voucher rather than SPEND BECAUSE of the voucher. The average person saves £1200 a year using vouchers, money-off deals and freebies!