The daffodils are out and spring is finally upon us. Traditionally this is the time of year we have a ‘spring clean’. A time to clean the house from top to bottom and get rid of all that junk that has built up over the last year. This year as well as donning the marigolds, I want you to have a think about having a good old sort out of your finances. This can be a tiresome never mind boring task but you could really reap the benefits.
Are you happy with your bank account? Is your loyalty offering you any rewards? If not have you thought about switching?
Lots of bank accounts are now offering financial incentives to switch to them. This couldn’t be easier taking approx. 7 days and they now take on the responsibility of changing over all your direct debits. There are some great offers around at the moment so if you want to switch now is the perfect time
Clydesdale Bank – £150
Yorkshire bank – £150
Halifax – £125
First Direct – £100
Marks & Spencer’s – £125 M&S Gift card
*Make sure you check out the terms and conditions before you make any commitments
You all know the ones I am referring to. The one’s where you pay £10, £15 or even £20 a month for your account which in return usually offers you rewards such as travel insurance, mobile Phone Insurance, breakdown cover etc
Now I’m not saying that these accounts are bad as they can be very beneficial IF YOU USE THEM. If you are paying for one of these accounts, find out what rewards they are offering and check you are not doubling up else ware. The amount of people I have spoken to that have bought separate travel insurance or breakdown cover as they forgot it was included is baffling.
If you are not taking advantage of the rewards either start doing so or cancel it asap. If you are paying £15 a month that could be a saving of £180!
I truly believe that if you are paying interest on your CC in this day and age you need to a good shaking (and that’s being kind) 😉 There are 3 types of 0% cards you can apply for:-
0% on purchases – This is the best option for you if you have something expensive you need to purchase but don’t have the money up front. A perfect example of this is car insurance. Companies often charge you extra for paying monthly which is usually the best option for most. If you pay upfront using a 0% credit card, you cut out that extra cost and can arrange your own monthly payments. In the past I have saved up to £200 by using this method.
0% on Balance transfers – If you already have a CC or store card and are currently paying interest or your interest free period is coming to an end, it’s time to transfer. There is usually a small fee for transferring but this is a one off payment and can be as little as 1% if you shop around. This card is usually good for people who no longer wish to spend and want to start hacking away at some of their debt. Some cards are offering 0% for up to 36 months which is fantastic!
0% on both Balance Transfers and purchases – If you want to transfer your balance but would still like to spend on your card, this is the perfect option for you. However the time periods for interest free can often differ for each option. For example they may offer 6 month on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases. Working out the different interest rates on these cards can be quiet confusing so I would tend to stick for one that offers the same qualifying period for each option.
Bad Credit – Having bad credit doesn’t necessarily mean that you are ‘bad’ with money. Sometimes it might be because you have no credit history. You can check out your credit history at http://www.experian.co.uk/. You can often get a free trial but make sure you cancel it after 30 days. If you have bad credit history then you may not be able to apply for some of the great credit card deals that are currently available but I guess we all have to start somewhere. Money super market provides a great (free) service where you can find out which are the best credit cards to apply for based on your circumstances. https://www.moneysupermarket.com/credit-cards/search/?goal=CC_CREDITBUILDER
Searching for the best credit card to suit you couldn’t be easier with most price comparison sites offering this service completely free of charge. If you’re really savvy about saving money choose a card that offers rewards from priority tickets to money off vouchers.
*REMEMBER APPLYING FOR SEVERAL CREDIT CARDS CAN HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON YOUR CREDIT RATING SO THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU APPLY*
Gas & Electric – If you haven’t switched in the last 2 years it’s very likely that you are paying over the odds. It’s fairly easy to do but you will have to dig out some information before you make a start. You will need details of your supplier, which tariff you are on and how much energy you are using. You will need to check that you are not on a fixed term contract as you may have to pay a fee to leave this early. Once you have all this information just go to http://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/ and see how much you can save!
TV & Broadband – If, like me, you can’t live without new episodes of The Walking Dead and have subscriptions to companies such as Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk etc. then you could be settling for prices that are over the odds. If you call these companies and ask for a discount there answer is likely to be no. However if you can no longer afford the subscription and decide to ‘cancel’ things are often very different. Most companies have customer service agents specifically in the cancelling department that are there to change your mind. They do this by offering you a much better deal. If you call to ‘cancel’ your account today, I guarantee you will come off the phone with a much cheaper monthly subscription!
Council Tax – Do you pay your council Tax over 10 months? It’s great at this time of year when you feel like you’ve got 2 months free but what about the rest of the year? Did you know you can now split your payments equally over 12 months? Although you won’t be saving any money, it might make your monthly outgoings a little more manageable as you could have an extra £20 or even more in your pocket each month. You will need to contact your local council for more information.
I hope you have found my tips useful and would love to know if any of you have saved any money by using these methods?
Don’t delay, start saving today!
Love Nic x