Money Saving Updated:
Wouldn't it be great if you had more cash left over at the end of the month? Particularly in the run-up to Christmas, anything extra you could save will be welcome, and if you shave a few pounds off your bills here and there you could rack up a nice little fund. Here are a few ways you can do it.
One of your biggest bills this winter will probably be energy, so this should be the first issue to address. If you're coming to the end of your tariff, or if your supplier has recently told you it's raising prices, now's the time to compare the options and switch before the heating gets turned up much further.
BONUS TIP: don't always go for the big names, as smaller, independent suppliers will often have cheaper tariffs. Check out our handy search tool to find the deal that's best for your needs.
Winters are made for curling up in front of the TV, preferably with a mug of hot chocolate in hand, a boxset lined up and a cosy blanket at the ready. But, you don't want to spend a fortune for all that entertainment goodness, and with a lot of providers announcing price hikes in the last few weeks, you may be considering your options. Packages that combine phone, TV and broadband services will invariably offer the best deal, but given there are such variations between suppliers, make sure to thoroughly compare the deals available to get an idea of the offers out there.
If your insurance policies are coming up for renewal – whether that's car insurance, home insurance, pet insurance or anything else – you should always shop around before you sign up for another year with your current provider. You could well find cheaper policies elsewhere, and as long as you make sure you're not sacrificing cover, you could dramatically lower your premiums with just a few minutes' work.
BONUS TIP: if you really want to lower your premiums, there are other tricks of the trade you may want to try. Opting for a higher voluntary excess will invariably offer cheaper premiums, and as long as you keep it realistic, it could be a great way to go. Removing unnecessary added extras could also help, and don't be afraid to haggle either, because if you don't ask, you may not get.
Getting cashback may not lower your bills as such, but those extra few pounds could be a great way to help pay for them. Cashback websites are rapidly gaining popularity, but why not add to the earning potential with a cashback credit card? These will put a proportion of your spending straight back into your account, and often, every single purchase will qualify. Over time, that cashback can seriously rack up, particularly if you use your card for everyday spending, but just make sure to use your salary to pay the balance off every month. Otherwise, the cashback earned will be negated by the amount of interest you have to pay, so you won't be any better off.
BONUS TIP: be on the lookout for current accounts that come with cashbask-earning debit cards, too. This kind of deal is growing in popularity, and although there'll normally be more restrictions (such as only allowing you to earn cashback at certain retailers, for example) it could be another way to get something back.
Chances are, your mortgage repayments will be your biggest monthly outgoing, but there is a way you can cut even these bills down to size – by remortgaging to a better deal. There's never been a better time to do it, either, as competition in the mortgage market is seriously heating up and rates are at record low levels. Providers are vying for your custom and you'll be able to put that equity you've built up to good use, so why not see what remortgage deals you can uncover?
Grocery bills will be another key area that saps your monthly income, but if you're savvy when you shop, you could save a small fortune. Hopefully you'll already hunt out the best deals when you're scouring the aisles, but if you plan ahead and see what vouchers or discount codes are available, you could save even more.
BONUS TIP: sign up to every loyalty scheme you can! As long as the retailers don't ask for anything in return, the points or rewards you earn seriously add up and could be put to great use later down the line. For example, you might even find you can cover your entire Christmas food shop using the points accumulated over the year, so it's time to get started.
Credit card bills will be another biggie, particularly if you've maxed out a card or two and are being crippled with interest payments. But, there is another way – if you transferred the balance to a 0% balance transfer card you could pay it off without racking up more interest, meaning you'll ultimately pay less and will become debt-free far quicker.
Compare energy tariffs
Get a better broadband deal
Shop around for insurance quotes
See remortgage deals
Check out some of our vouchers and discount codes
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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