Investing a bit of time in your finances could pay big dividends and save you money. Here’s some of the things you should consider:
Do you know where your money is going?
Check your bank statements and make a list of what you are spending each month. It is helpful to divide these into utility bills (gas, electricity and water), mortgage or rent costs, council tax, supermarket shopping, monthly contracts for TV, broadband and mobiles, insurance, regular subscriptions, and other spending. This will highlight where your money is going and where savings could be made.
Compare utility providers
You should consider visiting comparison sites to find out which providers may be the most cost effective for you. For example, Ofgem found that customers who switched supplier saved around £200 annually. And don’t just visit one and compare – if you’ve got the time look around – some sites will have better offers than others.
Look for discount vouchers
There are great discounts available for online supermarket shopping, holidays, restaurants, broadband providers and computers to name but a few. Sign up to retailers, holiday companies and restaurant mailing lists to make sure you see all the offers that they put out.
Regular contracts should be reviewed
Are you making the most of the subscriptions you have? Could you cancel music, magazine and other services that you’re not using? It is worth calculating how much you spend on these types of contracts and see how much of a difference cancelling these may have on your finances.
Watch out for auto-renewals
Many insurance policies for cars, homes or holidays, automatically renew each year but you may not be getting the best deal if you allow this to happen. For example, it’s estimated that £2.37 billion a year is wasted by individuals ‘auto-renewing’ their car insurance. To get the best deal and to avoid any potential price hikes with auto-renewals, make sure you shop around and either switch or haggle where appropriate. If your unhappy with the quote you have been given call the company direct and say you are thinking of leaving for a competitor – that way you have the best chance of getting the quote reduced.
Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director, WEALTH at work, comments; “Nobody should pay more than they need to on what are often generic services such as utilities. Getting into the habit of checking what you spend money on and making sure you spend wisely is a great way to help free up cash for those little extras, or indeed to invest for the future.”