Start the year in the best way possible by organising your finances and saving money! Start the new year debt free with some simple hints and tips and get saving!
Many people make it their New Year’s resolution to be debt free by the end of the year. However, what many people don’t know is that paying off your debts isn’t only made possible by obtaining more money, it can be done by simply managing your spending and searching for the best deals!
Gas and Electricity
Understanding energy bills can easily get confusing, which is why many people believe that switching your gas and/or electricity supplier is a long and puzzling process. However, this isn’t the case. If you fill in your details on websites such as uSwitch and MoneySupermarket, they can tell you within minutes where to go for the cheapest deal. What’s more, once you agree to a new tariff your new provider will do all the leg work, including getting in touch with your old supplier. Before you switch however, contact your current supplier to make sure that you are not too far in debit with them as this amount will need to be made in full before you can switch.
TIP: Suppliers change their prices all the time so it is best to compare prices at least once a year. Alternatively, look into some fixed rate options and see if they’d be better for you. This would mean that you know in advance, exactly how much you owe and they’ll be no nasty surprises at the end of the month!
Home Phone and Broadband
You can also use comparison sites to compare home phone and broadband. A lot of companies will offer introductory prices e.g. free line rental for 6 months, half price broadband for 3 months etc to entice new customers. At first, you will be getting a great deal, however 6 months down the line you may not be getting such a competitive rate. It is worth comparing the price of your home phone and broadband once a year to make sure that you have the cheapest deal possible. Whilst comparing prices, make sure that you consider set up charges and other costs that could come with changing your provider.
TIP: It tends to work out cheaper if you get your home phone and broadband in a package, rather then paying for them both separately.
Digital TV Costs
The majority of people now have some form of digital TV in their home. In order to save money on your TV package, it’s a good idea to do a channel review. Go through your channels and note down the ones that you use often and for a long period of time. Now, see if there’s any that you aren’t using but that you are paying extra for. Could these be cut from your package? The extra charges that you pay for Movies and sports tend to be the most expensive, if you end up only watching 2 movies a month, it could be cheaper for you to rent them instead.
TIP: If you find that you don’t watch that much TV to justify your digital TV costs, consider switching to Freeview. That way you still benefit from extra channels but without the monthly bill!
Mobile Phone Bills
Your mobile phone bill can easily end up being a large monthly expense, especially if you go over your monthly call and text allowance. The key to this is ensuring that you are on the right tariff for your usage, ask your network provider to tell you how many minutes/texts you use in an average month. Compare this to the tariff that you are currently on – could you go down to a cheaper tariff? Or, if your contract is ending and you don’t need a new handset, would it be cheaper for you to go on pay as you go?
TIP: It is worth waiting a couple of months after a brand new handset is released before taking out a contract on one as this will avoid you having to pay extra upfront for the handset.