20 easy ways to save money all year round

There’s no time like the present to start finding ways to save £££s…

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There are plenty of simple steps you can take to give your bank balance a boost. In fact, here’s 20…

1. Switch to a better energy tariff

Around 60% of households are still on their energy supplier’s expensive standard variable rate.

Yet switching to a better energy deal could save you as much as 250*. And with energy prices on the up, we recommend switching to a fixed rate tariff as it will shelter you from further price increases.

Once you’ve done that, take a look at these top energy saving tips to shave even more off your bills.

2. Don’t auto-renew your car and home insurance

Let’s face it, auto-renewing your car and home insurance is easy to do – you just let your existing insurance company roll you over onto a new policy. But doing so could see you fork out £100s more a year if you’re not on the most competitive deal on the market – and it’s simple to run a quick search on our comparison tables.

Switching to a better car insurance deal could save you as much as £286**, while you could save up to £75*** on your home insurance.

3. Change your broadband package

If your broadband provider has told you it’s putting up prices, the good news is you have 30 days from when your provider informed you to cancel your contract penalty-free.

This applies even if you are mid-way through your contract, so long as you took it out after January 24, 2014.

Since October 31, 2016, broadband providers have had to make advertising clearer so that customers can compare prices more easily. So it should now be even simpler to find a better deal.

4. Use your library

When was the last time you set foot in a library?

If it’s been a while, take the time to pop in and sign-up. Think of the money you’ll save on children’s books, cookbooks, the latest bestsellers…

5. Get rid of excess weight in your car

Did you know that for every extra 25kg in weight your car is carrying, fuel consumption will rise by 1%? So check what’s in the boot and get rid of anything you don’t need.

Discover more savvy ways to cut your fuel costs.

6. Consider a SIM-only deal

If you’re not currently in a contract and you’re happy with your phone, it makes sense to switch to a SIM-only deal.

Many SIM-only deals are on a one-month rolling contract, which means you can leave with just 30 days’ notice, and they are often significantly cheaper than longer term tariffs.

7. Shift debt interest-free

Paying interest on a credit card? Shift it to a 0% balance transfer card and you could enjoy up to three years or more interest-free.

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 interest-free window ends, or you’ll be clobbered with a painful rate of interest.

The very best deals are reserved for those with a good credit score, but our Smart Search tool will show you the cards you’re most likely to be accepted for, and it won’t harm your credit score.

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).

8. Take a packed lunch to work

Spending £5 a day on lunch ads up to around £100 a month, or £1,200 a year. But it can be a struggle to feel motivated enough to whip up a lunch the night before and bring it into work every day.

However, there are some tasty lunch recipes for you to follow here, and if you can stick to this plan, you’ll feel much healthier (and so will your bank balance). What’s more, you won’t feel so guilty about paying for the odd treat.

9. Commute by train? Buy a season ticket

If you commute by train, buying a season ticket is the cheapest way to travel.

It’s well worth checking whether your employer offers a season ticket loan scheme (many do) whereby you take an interest-free loan from your employer to cover the cost of your season ticket, and a monthly amount is then taken from your salary to repay the loan.

Alternatively, you could use a 0% purchase credit card to pay for your ticket and then pay it off in monthly instalments.

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).

10. Commute by car? Share a lift

If you travel to work by car, see whether any of your colleagues live close by and consider lift-sharing. Designate one of you as the driver and split the cost of petrol, or take it in turns to drive. 

11. Book airport parking in advance

If you’ve booked your next holiday and you’re planning to drive to the airport, you can save a good chunk of money by booking your airport parking space now.

Booking early means that’s one less thing to remember to do, and you won’t have to pay premium prices on the day.

You should also take out travel insurance when you book so that you’ve got cancellation cover straight away - that means you’ll be able to claim if illness or some other problem prevents you from travelling.

If you take more than two holidays a year, it’s worth thinking about an annual ‘multi-trip’ policy.

12. Get a water meter

Does your house have more bedrooms than people living there? If so, it could be worth getting a water meter installed.

To find out whether it’s worth it and how much you could save, take a look at this handy calculator from the Consumer Council for Water.

13. Get a better mortgage deal

If you’re on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), it’s could be worth switching to a more competitive mortgage. And with interest rates still relatively low, there are plenty of great deals to choose from.

Head over to our mortgage comparison tables to take a look or, if you’re not sure which mortgage is best for you, you can call mortgage broker London & Country on 0800 170 1943. It’s completely free.

14. Get a better current account

Whether you’re paying fees for using your overdraft or you religiously stay in the black, switching current accounts could see you much better off.

Some current accounts offer interest and fee-free overdrafts, while others will pay interest on in-credit balances. Some also offer tasty cash incentives for switching.

Find out more about which current account is best for you.

15. Get cheaper life insurance

If you have life insurance but haven’t reviewed your policy lately, you could be paying too much. Policies can start from just £5 a month, so it’s worth shopping around to see if you can get a better deal.

What’s more, if you take out life cover through MoneySuperMarket you will receive a £75 voucher from Argos, M&S or Next. Your voucher of choice is redeemable within 40 days of your third life insurance payment. T&Cs apply.

16. Opt for pay-as-you-go gym membership

Most gyms offer tempting long-term membership deals – but resist signing up for a lengthy contract unless you’re self-disciplined enough to go most days.

Check out the cost of pay-as-you-go membership. Many gyms now offer 1-day, 30-day or 60-day passes which won’t leave you out of pocket or racked with guilt if you don’t go for a while.

If your schedule allows, you might be able to take advantage of off-peak membership, which is an option at an increasing number of gyms.

17. Stock up on gifts in the sales

Planning ahead and stocking up on presents in the sales throughout the year will not only save you money, you’ll also feel a little smug when birthdays, Christmas or special occasions come around.

18. Stop smoking

Smoking 20 cigarettes a day could be costing you around £270 a month or £3,240 a year. That’s a lot of money going up in smoke. The NHS website offers support for those looking to quit the habit.

19. Don’t pay monthly for insurance

Most insurers charge interest for customers paying monthly, so if you can, try to pay for your car and home insurance upfront.

If this is too expensive, you could consider using a 0% purchase credit card to spread the cost interest-free. Just remember to clear the balance before the 0% deal ends.

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).

20. Get cheaper prescriptions

If you have a medical condition that requires regular prescriptions, such as asthma, and you live in England, you can end up paying a small fortune for your medication, with each item currently costing £8.60.

However, if you need more than three items in three months, you can save money by getting a three-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) for £29.10.

Alternatively, if you need more than 12 items in a year, you can get a 12-month PPC for £104.

 

*Based on average savings for customers that applied to switch via MoneySuperMarket, January-August 2017
**51% of customers could save up to £286. Customer Intelligence, September 2017
***51% of customers could save up to £70. Consumer Intelligence, October 2017

 

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

 

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