Save Money On Bills Before You Cut Necessities

Written by on May 30, 2013 in Money - No comments | Print this page

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credit card shoppingA lot of savings advice focuses on cutting out non-essential spending.

That’s good advice, but it can have a limited effect – unless you’re a confirmed spend thrift it’s unlikely you’re really wasting all that much on little treats.

Many of us miss out on saving on our regular bills – monthly payments that could come down a great deal with a little effort and make that box of chocolates seem just what it is, a way to make life more fun.

Here are five ways you can make big savings on regular bills.

1 – Use the web

The Internet is a fantastic way to spend. It’s also a fantastic way to save. Price comparison websites have revolutionised the way we shop.

It’s also a saving for the companies we pay online. Unfortunately it means they can lay off staff, but that’s an issue for your conscience. Paying online will save you a few pounds, if you switch your entire energy supply operation online you could save hundreds.

2 – Shop around and switch

There’s a thing called brand loyalty, which is great. Another way of looking at this is inertia. We’re particularly bad at changing our bank accounts, but your mobile contract and fuel bills are worth examining. Maybe it’s just too much hassle, and companies do their best to inspire loyalty and disguise the options for leaving.

One price comparison site says you should switch energy suppliers every year. Put it in your calendar and start applying the same thinking to all your regular payments.

3 – Stay, but change

Everything you can’t switch, should be examined for savings. Insurance can be a good area to examine. Most of us just sign up for off-the-peg cover without much thought. Ask what cover you actually need and only pay for that – adding to the excess or adding an older driver if you’re a youngster, can cut your premiums, in the latter case up to around £500-a-year.

Look at everything. Did you join a gym and now never go? Subscriptions can sit for years with no real use except for draining your account – that’s one of the reasons businesses love them so much, they get a regular income and know that there will be a significant lag between the numbers of people who want to leave and those who actually bother to cancel.

4 – Check your credit

Credit cards are great, but need to be used with caution.

Follow one of the many money advice websites and find a balance transfer to a 0% deal if you have any debts. The market is cutthroat and competition is good for consumers. You’ll even get cashback from some cards and as long as you pay the balance off each month you’ll never pay a penny in interest and get all those great deals.

5 – Water metering

Water meters are supposed to be on the way to us all. Cutting water use is a vital part of government environmental policies. Perhaps the reason we only see 35% of houses on them is because the water companies know they’ll lose out. Currently, you should save £50-a-year.

A good simple test is that you should save money if there are fewer people than bedrooms in your house.

Saving can actually be fun, it can certainly be an interest, and when you’re saving at home you can be sitting by the beautiful blue waters of the pool at your American Express hotels without feeling bad about it.

John Davitt has worked and written for a number of papers and magazines who have focused on savings.

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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