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Guide to Saving Money – Save money on household bills

Guide to Saving Money – Save money on Household Bills


Saving Money Overview

We need ideas on saving money quickly, to save money on household bills will help us. As with most families and even single working people we are all too busy to shop around and save ourselves money. Its often simple to leave things as they are even if we do pay more to save ourselves the time, stress and hassle of switching to save money.

This guide to saving money has been researched for you and will hopefully save you time and money. Its full of useful practice advice that has been especially researched for you to save you money.

The golden rule is always to shop around to get the best possible deal. Put it this way its costs nothing to try and you will often be surprised at the results.

Saving Money on Gas & Electricity Bills

We spend a huge amount of our hard earned cash on essentials such as the above never realising the actual cost to us. First of all you need to know how much you currently spend with each year on gas & electricity. No need to look for old bills, wasting valuable time just ring your current supplier and ask them to confirm the annual amount for you.

The best way to saving money is to:

Have both utilities with the same supplier.

Pay by monthy direct debit. Opt for a paper free account on the net if you can.

Next simply visit the Links below and fill in the required information. The cheapest supplier in your area will be found for you according to your needs.

www.energyhelpline.com
www.ukenergywatch.org
www.moneysupermarket.com
www.money.co.uk
www.uswitch.co.uk

Once you have found yourself a cheaper supplier make a note of the amounts charged for each unit for both gas and electricity. Then give your current supplier and call and tell them that you are thinking of leaving because you have found yourself a cheaper supplier. Ask them if they can do anything to make you stay. Saving money is all what it is about.

Some basic things to help in saving money:

1. Get loft insulation, most companies still have grants for these, even if you are on benefits
2. Cavity wall insulation
3. Energy saving light bulbs
4. Radiator thermostatic valves
5. Wearing extra clothes and turning the thermostat down a few degrees
6. Switch of unused lights
7. Switch all computers and Tv’s etc off from the plug and not have them on standby
8. Use draft excluders
9. Install double glazing if you can afford it
10. Install solar panels to reduce your bills if you can afford it
11. Install thermal solar heating to reduce hot water bills

IMPORTANT TIP:

Never let your supplier dictate the amount you should pay monthly for your gas/electricity. They will always try to get you to pay more so that you are always in credit and they will earn interest on your money. I always pay enough to cover the bill but if I have a shortfall I clear it by paying a one off higher direct debit for that month. This way my money works harder for me and remains in my account earning me any possible interest.

SAVING MONEY ON YOUR WATER BILLS

One of the easiest ways of saving money on your water bills is switching to a water meter. Most of us can have this installed free of charge and it usually takes about 6 weeks from ordering to having one fitted.

Whether a meter can save you money on your water bill all depends on your water usage. If you have a family with children then a water meter may not be the best way for you to save money. You may as well remain un-metered and be able to use as much water as you like without any restrictions. If you are a large family then using a meter can work out more expensive. A small family unit or even if you are single and travel a lot, then a meter would be a cheaper option.

If you are single or a couple then having a water meter installed may save you pounds. The best thing is that you can have a meter installed and try it out for a full year. Do this and continue to use water the way you normally do. If after a year you have not saved any money and were better off paying under the rateable value system then you have the option of reverting back to that. If you have saved money then you cancontinue to pay with the water meter.

You can save money if you already have a water meter by changing your water habits:

1. Toilet with dual flush, and for urine don’t flush straight away, especially if single or just a couple
2. Invest in a water butt for your garden to water your plants
3. Buy an energy efficient dishwasher or washing machine A rated.
4. Take showers instead of having a bath as this uses less water
5. Don’t let the tap run when you are brushing your teeth.
6. Fix dripping taps that waste water.

SAVING MONEY ON HOME TELEPHONE & BROADBAND

We all receive a tremendous amount of mail encouraging us to switch our phone and broadband service. A lot of companies also now offer digital television packages for free as an incentive to join them. The amount you pay and the service you receive again will also differ greatly.

As customers our greatest concerns is value for money and receiving the best possible deal. A lot of the most popular companies only offer great deals to their new customers.

To take advantage ring them and tell them that you wish to leave because you cannot afford the monthly bill. Tell them of other companies that you are aware of offering better deals. You could save a third off your monthly bill.

To compare the various deals currently on the market visit the links below:

www.top10broadband.co.uk
www.broadbandchoices.co.uk
www.moneysupermarket.com
www.money.co.uk
www.uswitch.co.uk

Broadband and phone bundling has become the latest big thing in the telecommunications market. Always make sure that you read the small print especially the length of the contracts as this can vary from 12 months to 18 months.

SAVING MONEY ON CAR AND HOME INSURANCE

The amount we pay for our house and car insurance can vary greatly according to where we live. Your post code can often dictate how much you will pay for your insurance. It is the most important piece of information that you give your insurance company. They use your post code to work out the cost of your premium.

Car Insurance:

1. make sure you are happy with the excess figure that you will pay.
2. ask if car breakdown cover can be included as part of the price.
3. if you need a courtesy car check this will be included.
4. make sure that you protect your no claims bonus.
5. if you have garage use it and save money on your premium.
6. its worth investing in a smaller car if you can.

House Insurance:

1. make sure that you are happy with the excess figure.
2. take both buildings & contents together to save money.
3. ask if home assistance cover can be included.
4. accidental damage cover increases your premium but can be worth it.

The golden rule to saving money on your insurance is to shop around as the quotes you are given will vary greatly. Visit the links below:

www.uswitch.com
www.gocompare.com
www.moneysupermarket.com
www.money.co.uk

With my house insurance I have Home assistance package included free with Direct Line. You can use it as many times as you wish in the year without having to pay a penny. It includes a sudden emergency to:

1. your central heating system
2. blocked drains
3. blocked toilets
4. a sudden problem with your electrics

With the free package is covers upto £250 of costs.

This really is great value for money and many insurance companies will charge a great deal more for this benefit. My insurance is through Direct Line and the home assistance is complementary with them.

If you obtain separate cover for example to cover your central heating system it costs a whole lot more. This is one great way to save yourself pounds without the need of separate cover for emergencies. But do read the small print, as will not cover non standard boilers like oil boilers etc

If you take out car and home insurance with the same company you can often save yourself more money because they will give you a bigger discount.

Car Breakdown Cover

Never leave home without breakdown cover if you own a car, this has alwaya paid for itself the number of times I have broken down.

TOP TIP

You do not get rewarded for loyalty all the time so always shop around and get yourself the best possible deal.

I know of someone who received a renewal notice from the AA regarding breakdown cover for their car for £97. They promptly telephoned and asked to be put through to the cancellation department and not the renewals. As soon as they said they needed to cancel they immediately said they could receive a 25% discount for being a loyal customer and reduced the renewal to 72 pounds.

SAVING MONEY ON BUYING ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS FOR YOUR HOME

Whenever you buy any electrical products always be prepared to haggle especially if its for something which is going to cost you a lot of money. We are not used to this but believe me when we do try you will be amazed at the results. It costs us nothing and the most we can get is a refusal.

I remember some years back I needed a Super VHS video machine – very expensive. I rang around a few shops and the prices were anyway from £560 to £680. The cheapest was £560, so I called the shop again to see what the price was, they asked me what was the cheapest quote, I said £560 and they said that was a good price, then offered me £540.

I believe that the more expensive product that you are going to buy the better bargaining power you will have. Whether its buying a single item like a fridge to a couple of electrical items.

I recently purchased several electrical products for my kitchen. First of all research your products:

1. brand name you prefer if any.
2. always go for A rated energy products as these products will save you more money in the long run on electricity.
3. make a note of the cheapest price you have found and where this can be purchased from. As retailers will often double check what you are telling them before they either meet the same price or beat it.
4. make sure that the items you have ordered will be delivered for free.
5. most retailers will always match the internet price if you purchase in store. So always make sure you know what the internet price is because often it is a lot cheaper than the in store price.

Its always worth checking on Ebay and Amazon – but never use your bank account, only use paypal or credit cards.

The following websites may be of benefit to you:

www.somucheasier.co.uk
www.vouchercodes.com
www.kelkoo.co.uk

TOP TIP

You always get what you pay for so do not compromise on quality and try to buy the best you can afford. Try and use credit card for purchases.

SAVING MONEY ON YOUR BEST MORTGAGE DEAL

Most people need to take out a mortgage to purchase or refinance a home. Buying our home is one of the most expensive purchases that we will ever make. Taking out the right mortgage to suit your particular needs and obtaining the best possible deal is very important. If you are a first time buyer you will often not know where to start and may find it difficult to make the right choice. I hope this will be helpful and hopefully will point you in the right direction.

You can choose to pay your mortgage in the following ways:

1. Repayment
2. Interest only – fixed or variable
3. Combination of the two.
4. Isa style mortgages

You will need to decide which mortgage will work the best for you.

Repayment Mortgages

The payments you make every month go towards reducing the amount you owe as well as paying the interest charged. So basically each month you are paying off a small amount of your mortgage. Its simple and you can see your mortgage getting smaller. This is the mortgage for you if you want to pay your mortgage off quickly. This is a lower risk option and do check to see if you can make extra payments.

Interest Only Mortgages

This means that your monthly payment only pays the interest charge on your loan. Basically you do not reduce the mortgage itself and if you choose this you will need to make sure you get the loan paid off at the end of the period. Some use an investment like ISA or pension to pay these off, do check that your investment or savings plan grows accordingly so that at the end of the term you will have enough money to pay off your mortgage. Higher risk as investments may not perform.

Mortgage Features

All mortgages have different features to suit your individual needs.

(a) Fixed rate mortgages
(b) Flexible mortgages
(c) Offset mortgages
(d) Current account mortgages.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

Fixed rate mortgage is a loan where the interest rate remains the same for a fixed period of time. This can range from a 2 year up to a 10 year fixed rate deal. Fixed rate mortgages account for seven out of ten mortgages taken out in the UK.

After the intial deal period has ended borrowers will then pay back their mortgage at the lenders standard variable rate.

Good value mortgages will allow borrowers to leave at a minimal cost once the intial deal period has ended. Some lenders will allow you the option of paying some extra capital as well. A typical fixed mortgage may allow you to pay an additional 10% off on the capital as extra payments.

Flexible Mortgages

Flexible mortgages are useful if you want to pay off your loan more quickly. It normally means that you can pay more than your normal monthly mortgage payment or pay off a lump sum. This is ideal if your income if flexible and you want to pay extra every month. By doing this you can substantially reduce your mortgage term as well as the interest on the mortgage.

Most mortgages will allow flexibility.

Offset Mortgages

Offset mortgages use your main account or savings account and are linked to your mortgage and are normally held with the lender. Each month the amount you owe on your mortgage is reduced by the amount in these accounts before working out the interest due on your loan. So as your current account & savings balance go up, you pay less on your mortgage.

Current Account Mortgages

This mortgage is similar to your offset mortgage in that it off sets the balance of your savings against your mortgage. However rather then your mortgage and current accounts being separate pots of money they are usually combined into one account.

TOP TIP

Make sure you read all the small print and are aware of all clauses and redemption fees. As getting a mortgage will be one of the biggest decisions that you will make in your life. Always arrange your house insurance separately from your mortgage provider as they will often charge you a much higher amount than the actual insurance company direct.

SAVING MONEY ON FOOD OFFERS/HOUSEHOLD WEEKLY SHOP

I always buy in bulk dry items that have no best before date. This saves me both time and money on my weekly shop which then only consists of fresh food and also takes me half the time.

Items to buy in bulk:

Tissues & Toilet Roll
Shampoo & toothpaste & Soap
Washing powder (laundry) & softner
Washing Up Liquid
Cleaning Items

I always buy the above items in bulk when on offer usually buy one and get one free. This saves a lot of money in the long run and means that I never actually run out of any of the essential items. This is one way of saving money.

Two for three offers try to encourage you to buy more and often will not save you any money at all. Buy two items for a certain price is also not a good deal as you often pay more to purchase the second item cheaper but actually don’t need it.

I find it useful to look online for deals then I know what offers are on like www.tesco.com or www.asda.com.

It also pays to use a loyalty card like Tesco Rewards and these can mount up to a fair bit of vouchers which every so often can be exchanged for double vouchers on certain items.

TOP TIP

Always check your receipt before you leave the supermarket as often you are overcharged for items. Buy one and get one free often means you really are getting a good deal. Remember we need to look at ways of saving money.

Hanah @ money.co.uk also has regular saving deal tips and vouchers which is worth subscribing to.

Manjit Biant

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