So its the last few hours of 2013, maybe you’re looking forward to a celebration of new years eve, or maybe some quiet time with a glass of wine in front of a film? Whatever you are doing its a great time to reflect on many things. And maybe one of those things should be your finances and what you are spending money on.
I’m sure if we all gave it a bit of time we could save a few hundred pounds, here are my top tips of the big tickets things to look at now or when they come up for renewal. Follow all of these and you easily save more than £1000…..go on…carry on reading:
- Get rid of your old tat and crap 🙂 New year is a great time to go through the house, garage and loft and ditch the things you havn’t used for ages. Childrens toys and clothes probably take up the most space in my house, I must de-clutter. I will try to sell on my local Knebworth selling page on Facebook, maybe Ebay.co.uk for the more valuable stuff. I have so much baby stuff, accumulated over 3 babies lives, this must be gotten rid of. Make use of the selling sites or if you are short of time and of the more generous type then give to charity. Even if you don’t make money you’ll make space but I think you can make plenty of money here.
- Set up a cash back account, topcashback.co.uk and bookmark it. Despite me banging on about these sites I sometimes forget to use it 🙂 Everything you buy online find the website on here and then click through to the chosen company to purchase. This really is money for nothing. If you push all of your renewals, online purchases, holidays through here I think you can make £500 cash back per year. I have in 2013.
- Time to renew your broadband/mobile phone/insurance? DO NOT let the company auto renew you. Shop around and compare quotes please. These companies rely on you not doing this shopping around and will charge you £100’s more per year. And don’t forget to use the cashback sites topcashback.co.uk or quidco.com. They will also offer cashback on top of the cheaper policy you take out. You will often get +£100 cashback when switching broadband and mobile phone contracts.
- Swap your energy provider, again these companies expect customers to stay put year in year out. You should swop every year. Again use the cash back websites to be extra clever. First go to uSwitch.com and plug in your details to find out the cheapest deal for you. Then go to your cashback account and find the company uSwitch recommended to get some cashback as well. Then click through and set it up, the energy companies will do the rest for you. This will save you £100 or maybe more. I saved £200 last year and another £150 this year.
- My biggest expense per month by far is my mortgage so anything I can do would be great to reduce this cost. Are you on the best mortgage deal? Having read a lot of financial articles over the holidays many people are suggesting that interest rates may rise this year….just my view but I agree. Are you protected if they rise. You can do things like taking a fixed rate mortgage where your payment will remain the same for the period of the offer. Or can you do like we are doing, we’ll be re-mortgaging once this extension is finished. Our loan to equity value will be reassessed, the aim is to get to 65%, so an example being your house valued at £100k and you owe £65k on the mortgage. Getting to 65% means much better interest rates and lower monthly payments.
- Have a good look at your credit cards, have you come to end end of an interest free period and are now paying unnecessary interest on a balance. Act now get a new card. Choose wisely do you need a card to transfer a balance or for new purchases? Barclaycard http://www.barclaycard.co.uk/personal off a balance transfer card for a 2.49% balance transfer fee but for a huge 29 months.
- Cut out unnecessary regular expenses, maybe Netflix or Lovefilm that you don’t use enough? Gym membership where you are not getting your monies worth, or maybe music spotify/google play subscription. Have a good check of your account and make sure you can account for all direct debits and that you definitely need them all.
- And here are a few that I’m going to start. A vegetable box. I’m going to start ordering a weekly veg box from Ardeley Farm, a small farm near me. It costs around £15 per week for a medium box of fruit and vegs and will change regularly. This will force me to eat healthily and be creative. I also believe it will reduce the need for such a huge Tesco shop. Another good service more nationwide is http://www.riverford.co.uk
- A big money saver has to be packed lunches for work and again healthier. I must spend at least £20 a week on lunch and coffee at work, cutting this out will be a huge money saver. A tip from a friend who’s just about to change her life pretty drastically by taking redundancy has shared a few tips with me, one including shopping at Home Bargains for cleaning products and toiletries.
- And finally create a budget, knock up a simple budget in excel or on a bit of paper. Subscribe to my website & I’ll even send you one but be sure to track it every month. Even if you dont quite stick to your budget just the act of writing it and tracking it monthly will enable you to focus on what you are spending. Be realistic and allow for all expenses. This will also give you a good idea of how much you can potentially save if you have anything spare.
If you havn’t already like my page on facebook https://www.facebook.com/MrsMummypenny I post money saving and making tips every day, to help save you even more.
Happy money saving and Happy New Year Everyone.