If your finances could benefit from a once-over, there's one vital thing you need to do – shop around! It could be the key to saving you huge amounts of money, because if you don't know what else is out there, how can you be sure that you're getting the best deal?
Happily, this one trick to better finances is becoming increasingly adopted by families looking to make the most of a range of financial products, with research from Sainsbury's Bank finding that 20% of respondents are looking to switch some of their borrowing commitments to a better deal, while 65% are planning to shop around to find a better quote for at least one of their insurance products.
The figures, from the latest Family Finance Report, also show that 25% are planning to make more use of reward points and discount vouchers this year – another way to shop around – with only 15% saying that they'll not use them or will use them less. This highlights how increasingly savvy many households are becoming, with consumers looking to do everything they can to cut their bills down to size.
Arguably, there's never been a better time to get in on the action. Rates on mortgages, credit cards and personal loans are among the lowest ever recorded, while terms on balance transfers are more competitive than ever before, so now could be a great time to re-evaluate things and see if you can find a cheaper deal.
It could pay off, too: 60% of respondents believe that by shopping around they could save as much as 25%, and there's nothing to stop that from being the case. Thanks to mortgage rates being so low, remortgaging to a low-cost fixed rate deal could save a small fortune, particularly if you're on your lender's standard variable rate (SVR).
Alternatively, if you've got credit card debt holding you back, why not switch to a 0% balance transfer credit card? Given that 14% of respondents plan to switch an average of £2,347 of credit card debt, opting for an interest-free deal could save a huge amount of cash – the longest balance transfer term currently available is 40 months, whereas five years ago, it was a mere 16 months.
Then there's insurance: again, comparing the options could see your premiums cut down to size, and with 67% planning to shop around for their car insurance when it's time to renew, and 58% doing the same for home insurance, it seems that the message is starting to get through.
So why not get started? Shopping around really could be all it takes to lower your bills, so check out our best buys to see how much you could save.
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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