She was recommended for a makeover by her sister, Lucy Bunting, who managed to slash her bills by £800 in August last year after asking moneysupermarket.com to see how much they could save her.
Louise works in her local secondary school and lives with her two children, Tom, 16, and Anna, 14. She said: ‘There is never much left over at the end of the month, but the children and I always have many exciting plans, few of which we can actually afford! I’m lucky enough to have no mortgage or loans and have some saving, but current low interest rates are bad news for my finances’.
Using the comparison tools available on moneysupermarket.com, we managed to save Louise up to £1,108 which she is going to put towards taking her children on holiday.
Read on to find out how….
Louise has 2 current accounts – one with HSBC and the other with first direct, both of which do not pay her any interest.
She never goes into the red so would therefore benefit from switching her current account to Santander who would give her £100 cashback. To gain this Louise would be required to use the account switching service and pay in at least £1,000 per month. If Louise does have a balance at the end of the month she would also benefit from 5% interest on balances up to £2,500.
Energy – potential saving of £230
Louise is currently with Scottish and Southern Electric on its standard tariff and pays £30 per month for gas and £41 per month for electricity.
If she switched to n-power Sign Online 19 she would save £230 per year, but she will need to act quickly. Due to the soaring cost of wholesale energy prices, suppliers are rapidly pulling and re-pricing their best deals, meaning the price we pay for our energy is on the increase.
Sign Online 19 isn’t a fixed deal but it is the best available based on her consumption. If Louise is concerned about the changes in energy prices then fixing may be a better option and she would still make a saving. Again n-power would be the cheapest option for Louise – its Go Fix 2 product would still make her an impressive saving of £159.45.
Louise currently has around £7,000 in savings and is able to save around £40 per month. She knows that rates aren’t great at the moment, but isn’t in a position to lock away her money and requires an account that offers easy access. Her savings accounts are both with first direct and pay just 0.10% and 0.05% respectively.
She doesn’t have an ISA account at the moment and is therefore missing out on the tax free benefits this could bring. Halifax ISA Direct Reward would be the best ISA for her at the moment as it pays a rate of 2.60%. It allows transfers in so she will be able to transfer over her savings from her first direct accounts and also still make deposits of £40 per month. Up to 4 withdrawals can be made in 12 months without loss of interest. This may not provide the easy access Louise requires, but as she doesn’t make regular withdrawals and would only need access to her cash in an emergency, this account would still suit her.
By transferring her savings to this account Louise would make an extra £184 over the year.
Car insurance – potential saving of £28.64
Louise drives a 1998-reg Renault Megane, on which she has built up a healthy no-claims bonus of 11 years. She only covers 8,000 miles per year and keeps her car parked on her driveway.
Her current policy is with Sheilas’ Wheels and at £185 per year you would think that this was a good deal. A quick search on our car insurance comparison tool has shown that Budget would offer cover for £156.77 a saving of £28.64.
Home insurance – potential saving of £264.73
When Louise’s renewal quote arrives, like many of us, she plans to shop around for a better deal but often forgets and ends up staying with her existing insurer. Due to this she is currently paying Tesco an annual premium of £411.60 for her buildings and contents cover.
It takes just minutes to gather quotes from up to 73 insurers using our comparison tool which has shown Louise that if she takes out a policy with TheAA she would pay an annual premium of just £146.87 – a massive saving of £264.73 and a perfect example of how taking the time out to shop around really does pay off.
Louise currently pays for her phone and broadband through 3 different companies. She pays Utility Warehouse up to £10 per month for calls, £13.50 line rental to BT and £12.99 to Tiscali for her broadband which offers 1GB in downloads plus £1.99 to Utility Warehouse for her email address.
We have found 2 options for Louise that could save her a significant amount of money - the first option is to take out a Phone, Broadband and TV package with Sky. At just £29 per month she would receive a Variety TV pack, free evening and weekend calls and free broadband offering up to 20Mb speeds and 2GB in monthly downloads. She would also be able to pay her line rental directly to Sky for just £11 per month. This option would make her a saving of £113.76 per year.
If Louise decided that a TV package wasn't for her then she could bundle her phone and broadband together with BT. Its Broadband and Evening & Weekend Calls package offers broadband of up to 20Mb speeds with a 10GB download allowance plus free evening and weekend calls. With line rental included Louise would pay just £24.36 per month – an even bigger saving of £169.44. It must be noted however that if Louise decides to take out the BT deal then she would be tied into an 18 month contract compared to just 12 months with Sky.
Credit card – potential return of £43.87
Louise has 2 credit cards, one with HSBC and another with John Lewis. She doesn’t spend a lot on the cards and when she does the balance is paid off in full at the end of each month.
If Louise wanted to, she could take out a cashback card such as the American Express Platinum Cashback Card. This offers 5% cashback up to £100 within the first three months then up to 1.25% thereafter. Based on an average of what Louise spends in a month she could potentially earn herself £43.87 over the year.
Would you like the opportunity to see if we can make you any savings? If so, then email firstname.lastname@example.org.