Make the most of your household budget

Today’s Spring Statement may have made you think about your household budget. So we’ve come up with some top ways to help you save money and give your bank balance a bit of a boost…

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1. Slash your energy bills

With temperatures slipping into minus figures in recent weeks, there’s no better place to start than your energy bills.

If you haven’t switched supplier in a while, or you’ve never switched, chances are you’re on an expensive standard variable tariff and paying far too much for your gas and electricity.

The good news is switching energy supplier only takes a few minutes with our quick and easy comparison service and could save you hundreds of pounds a year. Take a look at our guide on how to switch to find out more.

2. Get a better deal on your car insurance

If your car insurance is soon up for renewal, avoid the temptation to simply accept your insurer’s renewal price. Yes, it’s convenient, but switching could save you as much as £273* and it doesn’t take long to run a quote on our comparison service.

You’ll save even more money by paying for the full amount in one go, rather than monthly instalments, as well as by increasing your excess (but not to the point where you can’t afford to pay it), improving the security on your car and driving safely.

*51% of customers could save up to £273.83 Consumer Intelligence, November 2017

3. Earn cash for switching current account

A number of current accounts offer cash incentives for switching, while others will reward you with competitive interest rates or cashback on some of your bills. So if you’ve held the same account for years, it’s well worth taking a look at some of your other options.

For example, if you switch to the HSBC Advance Current Account through MoneySuperMarket or HSBC using the full Current Account Switch Service, you’ll receive £150 cashback. The switch needs to include two direct debits or standing orders.

You’ll receive a further £50 after 12 months, so long as you’ve registered for mobile or online banking and paid £1,750 into your account each month for at least nine out of the first 12 months. The cashback offer ends on March 25. T&Cs apply.

Alternatively, the Santander Lite current account pays 3% cashback on your home phone bills, broadband and paid-for TV packages, 2% on gas and electricity bills, and 1% on your water and council tax bills.

You must pay by direct debit in order to earn cashback, as well as pay at least £500 into the account each month, have at least two active direct debits on the account and log on to online or mobile banking at least once in three months. This current account also has a £1 monthly fee.

4. Grab a better broadband package

If your broadband package isn’t reliable, is too slow or simply costs too much, don’t put up with it. Instead, switch to a better deal.

First Utility, for example, is offering a Super First Broadband deal for £24.99 a month on an 18-month contract, so long as you apply through MoneySuperMarket by midday on March 19. There are no set up fees and once the 18 months are up, you’ll continue to pay £24.99. Be aware there may be a new line installation charge of £60 if you need to take out a new line.

New rules introduced in October 2016 mean broadband providers have had to make their advertising much clearer, making switching to a better broadband deal far easier.

5. Save with a better credit card

The right credit card can save you money in a number of ways. If you’re paying interest on existing card debt, for example, shifting it to a 0% balance transfer card could mean avoiding interest for up to three years or more.

Bear in mind you’ll usually have to pay a fee to transfer your balance and you’ll need to clear your debt before the 0% window ends to avoid being hit by interest.

Also be aware the very best deals are reserved for those with a good credit score. Our Smart Search tool will show you the cards you’re most likely to be accepted for without harming your credit score.

Alternatively, if you have a big purchase coming up, using a 0% purchase credit card allows you to spread the cost of your spending interest-free for a number of months – more than two years in some cases. Once again, make sure you pay off your balance in full before the interest-free window ends.

Even if you don’t need to borrow, a credit card can still save you money. Several credit cards offer rewards or cashback as you spend, so why not take a look at our comparison tables to find a card to suit you?

Bear in mind these cards generally have high rates of interest so be sure to clear your balance in full each month if you use this type of plastic.

Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.94% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).

6. Cut your home insurance bills

Home insurance can easily take a chunk out of your household budget. But you could save over 38%** on your home insurance just by using our comparison service at renewal time.

Again, paying annually and increasing your excess will keep costs down. Read our guide for more tips on saving on your home insurance.

**51% of customers could save up to 38.81%. Consumer Intelligence, November 2017.

 

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