Save money on bills
Posted on 27 October 2021
When we focus on how best to save money, we often look first at cutting back on spending. But one of the easiest ways to save cash is to sort out bills. We waste an average of £1,440 a year in ‘loyalty premium’ according to Citizens’ Advice – on everything from broadband to mortgages – by not looking at how much our bills have gone up year on year.
Loyalty rarely pays
Most utility companies will charge new customers less than loyal ones. Car insurance premiums can go up by as much as £125 year on year if you let your policy renew automatically, according to research by MoneySuperMarket. This also often happens if you have signed up for a fixed-term discounted deal or tariff on things like your energy or mortgage and have since let it lapse onto a standard variable rate.
New rules to stop companies charging a ‘loyalty penalty’ will come into force from January 2022, but even after this change it’s still worth shopping around to see if more competitive deals are available.
Manage bills online
Give some thought to how you monitor and pay for bills, because you can save cash simply by choosing a different method.
According to energy regulator Ofgem, you can reduce your annual bill by as much as £300 a year by switching to the cheapest tariffs, which are generally only found online. You will also receive a discount for paying by direct debit – which has the added bonus of ensuring you don’t miss a payment and inadvertently affect your credit score.
Find the best phone deals
Mobile phone contracts that offer ‘free’ handsets aren’t always good value. By signing up for a discounted smartphone along with your contract plan, you’re committing to a longer, more expensive contract (usually 24 months) - which means you can’t take advantage of cheaper data or call bundles.
It can be better to buy a phone upfront, then get a SIM-only deal with a rolling contract of a month at a time. It’s best to work out the total overall cost of your phone and your contract, rather than being sucked in by seemingly lower monthly payments that actually stretch over a longer period of time.
Watch your subscriptions
When a company offers us a freebie (and who doesn’t love a freebie?) we often stay loyal to that brand after signing up. This is why so many companies reel us in with free or discounted trials. It can be worth checking you’re not paying for subscriptions you simply forgot to cancel or no longer use.
Use technology to your advantage
Price comparison websites have been around for a while now, but there are new platforms out there which use the latest technology to find you the best deal.
For instance, with car and van insurance platform Honcho you can choose the cover and features that are right for you, and then providers will bid against each other to get you the cover you need at the best possible price.
Meanwhile Dashly gets you the best mortgage deal. The platform tracks and continuously compares mortgages against the entire market, alerting users whenever there is a realistic opportunity to save money.
A few simple swaps could save you cash right now, while reviewing your day-to-day finances is a way to make small savings that add up over time.