9 Ways To Spring Clean Your Finances!
As Spring moves into Summer it might be time to move from cleaning your house to look at where you can tidy up some loose ends in your pocket.
1 check your bank statement, I know this seems obvious, but shockingly many of us don’t check our statements on a regular basis assuming we know what’s going in and coming out. There may however be a few surprises. A friend of mine recently did this and discovered that she was paying mobile phone insurance on a phone she no longer owned and that her pet insurance had been automatically renewing itself and sending the paperwork to her old address 2 years after her cat had died! Luckily after a few phone calls we were able to get some of the money back, but it was still an awful lot of cash gone to waste.
2. Is everything what it should be? Some deals like those special offers with Sky for six months half price or free trial periods for some sites like Amazon Prime or taste card if they are not cancelled can keep coming out. Recently my Sky offer ended and the monthly direct debit would have jumped to £60 if I had not checked, that could have been a costly jump.
3. Haggle, if you’re about to come to the end of a contract, this puts you in a power position, phone the company, and haggle. It doesn’t matter if it’s your phone contract or your Virgin bill, often the threat to leave can give them the incentive to lower the cost a little more. Energy bills that end are a good one to watch as they will switch you to the standard tariff that can cost a lot more.
4. Shop around, DON’T let things auto renew, energy, insurance, and almost any other direct debit can usually be reduced by taking about an hour or less to just plug in your details and check around, loyalty is not something that’s rewarded anymore – try my new comparison page to see what you can save
5. Water meters are only used in 40% of homes but you can switch to one and it may save you money. If you don’t have one then you are paying based on the type of house you have and where you live, not on how much you use. If you have the same amount of people as bedrooms or more, chances are you could save money. Phone your water company and ask if they can fit one, it should be free.
6. Loyalty cards don’t necessarily mean loyalty to the supermarket or shop but they are free and if you are going to shop in store anyway then why not get something free for something you were going to buy anyway. I have loyalty cards for all the stores and it gives me about £200 worth of free stuff each year between the Boots, Superdrug, Tesco points double up, Morrison’s, and Nectar points.
7. Buy a cookbook, or if you’re a bit more tech savvy create a file with recipes that you want to try, it means that you can try more interesting recipes and use up any packs of veg or bags of pasta etc that you have already opened without them going off. It also means you can buy in bulk a little more which can work out cheaper if you know you’re going to use them.
8. Check your freezer and cupboards before you go shopping, you can plan your meals for the week around what you already have to cut he bill and it stops you buying replicas of stuff you already have. http://myfridgefood.com/ is a great site for making what you have into interesting and quite inventive meals.
9. Plan your meals around what’s on offer, check out mysupermarket.co.uk for the deals that are on and do a weekly plan of your meals around what’s on offer. Not only will that mean you stick to your budget but also means that you may be able to cook some of them at the same time and either put them in the fridge or freezer. This can save you time as well as money on your gas or electricity from cooking, and means no coming in from wok and then having to try and start diner from scratch.