How To Save Money In Your New Home
New home, fresh start! What are some great ways to save money on bills and services and your new home is the perfect time to break your old consumer habits (“I can’t believe I auto-renewed for all these years, what was I thinking?!?”), and become a deal-hunting, budget-warrior!
Energy Switching Services
Use a power switching service such as Look After My Bills. These annually check your current gas and electricity suppliers against other suppliers/deals and automatically switch you to the best tariffs and lowest prices.
Our energy bills account for a large portion of annual expenditure, going green, making your home/food/commute/lifestyle more eco friendly could also help drive down bills.
For example, spending just 1 minute less in the shower can save you up to £15 a year, switching devices off at the plug rather than leaving them on standby can save another £50-£80 a month… Once you get going, the green savings can really start to add up.
Traditionally most insurers have promised us great deals, then whack the price up when we ‘auto-renew’ our contract. Some are getting better, and will call annually with the best deal. But this isn’t always the best. Be prepared to push back on price, ask for a better deal, and if you don’t get it, go elsewhere.
See above and get ready to shop around.
TV, Telephone & Broadband
Not all telephone and broadband deals are created equal. In fact it’s a bit of a postcode lottery. Some suppliers, deals, services are only available in certain areas and not all companies cover all regions. This can affect the deals/services on offer.
Shop around and check tariffs. Like many services, TV and broadband companies are in no hurry to clarify their pricing, the murkier it is, the more you’re likely to end up paying so make sure you find the best deal for you, of their many different tariffs.
Remember you’re in a strong bargaining position, you have something all the companies won’t… Your custom! They’re keen to get you signed up, sure, initially they’ll give you some flat fees, and tell you it’s the best thing since sliced broadband. But they won’t show you their full price range. Stand firm, tell them you’re shopping around and push them for the best price band/tariff/deal. Then once you’ve got them bending to your will, ask what else they’ve got to offer.
But always be nice, you’re not trying to beat Sir Alan Sugar in a game of wills, you’re talking to a real person, and a little bit of charm and polite manners can go a long way in getting the best deal.
Ask The Neighbours
There could be all kinds of great deals and services in the area, places that offer good deals to locals (for example, many major tourist attractions and parks offer special deals for locals within a certain postcode). Your new neighbours are probably already in the know so sound them out to see are the best local suppliers, services and deals to be had.
Change Your Commute
How do you get to work? Can you switch to pedal power? Do you need to drive the kids on the school run? Could public transport save you money? Are there travel card deals? We’re all creatures of habit, but examining your current commute and the amount you use your car could help save cash, be better for the environment and get you fit.
Stop Buying Lunch
Convenience food does come with a price. Those pre-packaged sandwiches, that lunchtime trip to the pub, your daily triple-latte-macchiato-hazelnut-acino could actually be spent on the next family holiday. Making your own lunch can also be a lot healthier.
Switch Switch Switch!
Many companies tempt new customers with enticing deals to sign up, then once they have you hooked and your initial deal expires, they sneakily start creeping up those prices (sometimes there’s no creep, just a ruddy great jump!). If a company isn’t showing loyalty to you, as an existing customer, you shouldn’t feel bad about jumping ship to a more attractive deal elsewhere. You should set reminders ahead of the expiration of existing contracts to make sure you shop around for the best deals before your existing suppliers ‘auto-renewal’ kicks in.
Show Some Loyalty
Yes, we know what we just said about ‘switching’, but shop loyalty cards are great. You can save money in store, get access to new deals and offers, hear about special events, and collect reward points to use in store and online in many of your favourite DIY stores and supermarkets. What’s not to love?