There are many ways that you can save your pennies by ‘shopping around’, paying by Direct Debit, spending efficiently and changing habits.
The Money Advice Service is a great place to start looking – pointing you in the right direction to tackle each bill.
Here are few general tips to get you started:
It may seem obvious but don’t just accept the first price you are given as the best deal. The offer may seem convincing but you have every right to hesitate and check before you spend. Ask around, use the internet or try another shop to compare prices before you make your purchase, especially with big decisions.
The internet is the ideal place to compare prices and find deals on everyday necessities, utilities, insurance, household goods, cars, toys, presents… in fact anything you need!
If you have an internet enabled phone you could even compare the price there and then in the shop.
Here are few examples of comparison sites which can be very useful in obtaining best prices for goods and services:
Spread the cost throughout the year by paying a regular sum, on a scheduled date each month by Direct Debit.
Not only will this help you manage your account more efficiently, it will also save you money as companies pass on their admin savings to you. Rates are often better when you pay by Direct Debit too.
Bulk offers and ‘2 for 1’ deals can be fantastic saving you money and extra trips to the shops, however, when it comes to food, it can be a ‘false economy’ if you buy too much food it goes off before you get a chance to eat it.
Flashy special offers may ‘seem’ good but you can sometimes end up paying more than you normally would. Make sure you work out whether a deal really is as good as it looks. Look at the price per kg or g in comparison to the product next to it. Shops sometimes put up prices much higher for a few months before the ‘special offer’ so the reduction looks good in comparison.
Reuse leftover portions of food to make another dish the next day rather than throw it away.
Simple changes to your habits can make all the difference to your bills and spending. Some examples are listed below:
The best way to stay out of debt or help get your finances back on track is to budget your finances. You can pick up some useful tips on budgeting
When planning a budget, it is important to think about the future and prepare as much as possible for the unexpected.
As well as keeping a record of the money coming in and money going out of your household, it is also important to make the most of your day to day money and make savings where you can.
There are some great tips on budgeting and a useful budget calculator.
You could get a significant amount off your electricity bill for the winter under the government's "Warm Home Discount Scheme".
The money is not paid to you - it's a one-off discount on your electricity bill.