After a typically expensive month in December, our bank accounts aren’t thanking us, so we have found some brilliant ways to get on top of your bills and find out what you can do to save a little bit extra this year.
Sadly, the reality of it is, you’re not going to be saving £1,000 in just one day. These things take time and have to be implemented into your lifestyle for the benefits to really begin to show. Our minds work in very odd ways where we end up saving money on one thing and then see that saved money as ‘free money’ resulting in us spending that money on something else. This is an endless cycle which means we never get to save money; we just end up spreading the finances further afield. This was a snippet of information I took from speaking to the Martin Lewis of the investment world, Mike LeGassick.
There are a few apps on the market that help to track your daily spending’s, one in particular that I use is called Emma. Think of Emma as your best financial friend, she will help you to take control of your finances by notifying you if you are entering an overdraft as well as tracking your subscriptions for you. The app categorises your direct debits and purchases to enable you to see exactly what you’re spending and what areas you’re spending the most in. There is also no escaping your bank balance because Emma will notify you every day to make sure you’re aware of how much is left in your account. Brutal but very helpful in the long run!
The Emma app has also teamed up with Money Super Market to give you suggestions to save on your bills as well as other useful financial cuts. You can use the majority of the app for free but there are some benefits to using the paid service however you have to think, “Is this going to just be another thing I have to spend money on?”
I can’t stress enough that the time to start taking control is right now! You might have a weekend planned that you may want to spend a little extra to treat yourself but that doesn’t mean you can cut your expenses elsewhere to make up the difference.
Finding the best rates on your utility providers and insurance companies will no doubt take many hours searching through the web and contacting various companies but it will be worth it.
Firstly, make a list of all your bills and subscriptions and go through each one finding out what you’re paying and if you can find a cheaper deal. I prefer to write this on paper as it’s easier to see and make notes on.
Cheaper deals can be found on various comparison websites however, it’s always good to have an idea of where to go first for each of your bills.
Where to find cheap deals.
Gas & Electricity – Money Saving Expert, Compare the Market, Utility Warehouse
Car & Home Insurance – Compare the Market, Go Compare
Broadband – U-Switch, Which?, Compare the Market, Money Supermarket
Phone Contract – U-Switch, Money Saving Expert, Money Super Market
It’s also worth finding these cheaper deals elsewhere and then going back to your original provider to see if they could match your price. I would also recommend calling up your insurance company to see if they can find ways to reduce the price for you. Particularly for car insurance, you can save a lot of money just by swapping a few things around, updating your annual mileage or taking people off your insurance that isn’t needed.
If you’re employed, there are some benefits that you can use against utility bills and subscriptions. Business owners can also get discounts on things like phone contracts and if you work for the NHS or the forces and have a blue light card, they can also get you various discounts. Students, make full use of those discounts because you’ll be wishing you still had them for years to come.
Don’t be afraid of own-brand foods. We are all guilty of picking out our favourite brands regardless of the price jump but own brand foods are always worth trying. Some own brand products are almost identical to their branded counterparts yet we always get enticed by pretty packaging. Even if the flavours aren’t quite as tasty, you can always add extra herbs and spices at home to give them a more premium taste with no added cost.
With this in mind, we hope this has helped you to think a little differently this year and take control of your finances!