Your monthly outgoings address so many spending commitments, keeping track of all the charges can be challenging. In particular, managing your household accounts for entertainment, energy, and communications can leave money on the table, if you don’t take time to review and adjust your commitments, as needed. That means checking-in periodically to ensure you’re not overpaying for these domestic services, and changing your approach when it makes financial sense. Your insurance cover and finance charges can also become a spending burden, so it pays to monitor these aspects of your finances and make cost-effective adjustments.
Make a Switch
It’s easy to carry-on as if you’re finances are under control, but until you examine what you spend on services, it’s hard to be sure you’re not overpaying. If you haven’t reviewed your subscriptions and service contracts recently, a closer look may uncover opportunities to save money by switching providers.
Banking – Each customer is a valuable asset to banks. The institutions use account holder’s deposits to build wealth and they charge customers for using their financial services. As a result, competitive financial institutions are willing to offer incentives, luring new customers. You can use this to your advantage by switching banks. Offers range from cash rewards to gift cards, and there may be conditions attached, such as a minimum deposit. Some banks take their time paying-out on these offers, but Halifax pledges a £75 payment to new account customers, within a week. M&S currently floats one of the most generous offers for new business, giving new customers a gift card worth £185 (even more if you’re an M&S credit card holder).
Mobile Phone Service – Mobile users have more service options than ever before. If you’re under contract, typically extending for 12 months, it can be difficult to change service without suffering early disconnection penalties. However, at renewal time, other providers may furnish more cost-effective solutions you can take advantage of. The competitive industry continually changes, but attractively priced mobile service options include several unlimited calling plans for less than £20/month. 3 Mobile has a plan with unlimited calls and minutes for a £10 monthly charge, including 12gb of data.
TV – If you’re under contract with a TV service provider, you may face some of the same conditions as mobile users when making service changes. However, Ofcom protects TV customers from price increases. If your rate goes up, you can legally switch without paying penalties – regardless of your contract status. At renewal time, it pays to evaluate your habits, to make sure your TV plan is the best one for your needs. You may be paying too much for programming you don’t watch, so switching could yield a better entertainment value.
Energy Tariffs – Energy spending accounts for a substantial share of monthly outgoings, so cutting costs can make a big difference to your bottom line. Sites like uSwitch make it easy to change service, and cashback websites provide further financial incentives for switching energy suppliers. With price hikes in the news, nailing down a cheaper energy tariff helps keep household spending under control.
Financing – When cash on hand isn’t enough to cover expenses, short-term financing solves spending dilemmas. Unfortunately, too many UK consumers turn to high-interest credit cards for help. With credit card debt rising beyond a comfortable level, loans may be a better way for some Britons to finance short-term expenses. As long as you’re employed, several preferred lenders are prepared to extend bridge loans to carry you over until your next payday. These no-credit-check loans and other types of personal financing furnish quick cash, without adding to your credit card balances.
Insurance Cover – Protection from unexpected events is a must, but insurance premiums can become a spending concern. At each renewal, insurance providers adjust your coverage, so rates rise almost every time you re-sign. To stretch your insurance budget, without sacrificing comprehensive cover, assess your coverage before renewing and shop around for the best pricing.
When monthly expenses edge upward, it may be a good time to review your spending commitments. Getting a handle on communications, finance, entertainment, and energy costs can save you money each month, and reviewing your insurance spending may also yield savings opportunities.