MONEY MISSION Join the fight to save the nation £1 billion and lower your household bills at the same time
Super Saver: Seven months pregnant and watching the cost of living crisis get worse every day, it’s no wonder Maleka Harcharran worries about money. Published as part of a paid media partnership with News UK in June 2022.
Even though Maleka, a former intensive care nurse, works hard as a senior lecturer in adult nursing at the University of Hertfordshire, and runs her own business selling natural haircare products, she’s still counting the pennies.
'Everything is becoming so expensive,' says Maleka, who lives with her 14-year-old son, Jeremiah, while her new partner, John, finds a house big enough for the expanding family.
'So I sat down and looked at where I could cut back. The TV licence was an obvious one – I’m too busy with work and my role as chair of the Association of Guyanese Nurses and Allied Health Professionals to watch television.
'Hopefully, by the time the baby is old enough to watch CBeebies, I can reinstate the licence. And we never used our landline, so I’ve stopped paying for that too.'
Dedicating an afternoon to combing through your bank account and seeing where you could make savings is a smart move, says Jo Thornhill, money expert at MoneySuperMarket.
'The prospect can feel overwhelming but if it’s coming to crunch time and you need to make savings, take the plunge,' Jo says.
As well as working out what you’re paying for that you don’t need, she advises looking at cutting costs on what you do need. And the simplest way to do that is by using a price comparison website to find cheaper deals.
'Everybody is feeling the pinch, so MoneySuperMarket’s Mission: £1 Billion campaign is a call to action – we want to help Britain save a billion pounds on household bills and we have the knowhow and tools to do it,' Jo explains.
Here, again, savvy saver Maleka is ahead of the game – she’s been using MoneySuperMarket since 2015.
'Every year I log in to search for the cheapest deals on my energy bills and car insurance,' Maleka says. 'Then I either go with the best quote MoneySuperMarket offers or use it as a bargaining tool to negotiate a cheaper rate with my current supplier.'
Sometimes a visit to MoneySuperMarket simply confirms you’re already on the best deal possible. Maleka logged on recently to check out deals from energy providers – her own had hiked her monthly payments from £24 to £70.
“Often, MoneySuperMarket gives me at least ten quotes, but only three popped up,” she says. 'Confused, and thinking the website wasn’t working, I rang MoneySuperMarket’s customer service number.
'The adviser explained there were only three quotes because energy prices are rocketing and there aren’t many cheap deals around. I’m going to stick with my current provider for now and I’ve signed up so that MoneySuperMarket will notify me by email when new deals do become available.'
Maleka is also logging on to MoneySuperMarket to find out where else she can compare and save – the site offers comparisons on, for example, home, life and travel insurance, credit cards and broadband providers.
'With a baby on the way, every saving helps,' Maleka says. 'MoneySuperMarket really is a friend in these uncertain times.'
Compare and save with MoneySuperMarket
MoneySuperMarket’s money expert Jo Thornhill’s top tips to beat the crunch
Is the cost of living crisis changing your habits? Perhaps you paid off your credit card every month but now you’re carrying over a balance – with a good credit history, you could switch to a balance transfer credit card to reduce the interest.
A good time to look at where you could make savings is when your contracts for insurance and services such as broadband are coming up for renewal. People are often surprised by how much their monthly bill increases when their renewal quote arrives, so it’s always worth checking if you can save money by shopping around for a better deal.
If your current account has a monthly fee that covers something like travel insurance and you can’t afford to go on holiday right now, it could be time to swap to an account that does not have a monthly fee – and even get cash back for switching. A nice little win!
So, what are you waiting for? To join MoneySuperMarket’s Mission: £1 Billion drive to save big money on your household bills, go to moneysupermarket.com