10 ways to save money
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10 ways to save money
10 ways to save money Fix your finances
There are few things more frustrating than needlessly giving away your money. Yet most of us are guilty of doing this by failing to organise our finances. By spending a couple of hours fixing your finances, you could dramatically increase the amount of money you have to spend on the fun things in life. Here, we suggest 10 quick financial fixes to help you make the most of your earnings.
1. Transfer your debt
If you're making large interest payments on debt, it might make financial sense to transfer it all onto a credit card with a 0% balance-transfer deal. These credit cards won't charge any interest on transferred debts for a set period, giving you the opportunity to repay any money owed at no extra cost. However, the interest tends to skyrocket at the end of the promotional period, so make sure you pay off the balance in full before this happens. The Which? Money Compare credit card comparison tables let you search all available cards, from providers large and small, to choose the best deals, based on quality of service as well as cost and benefits. Which? Money Compare table: 0% balance-transfer credit cards - compare dozens of cards
2. Organise a free overdraft
Some banks impose harsh penalties on customers who accidentally slip into an overdraft that they haven't arranged in advance. What's more, Which? research has indicated that these charges vary wildly depending on your current account provider. If you regularly go overdrawn, you could benefit from switching to a bank that offers a free authorised overdraft. Which? Recommended Provider First Direct could be a good bet - it currently offers a £250 interest-free overdraft as part of its 1st Account. Find out more: best bank accounts for authorised overdrafts - our tables are updated daily
3. Reduce your tax bill
You can keep hold of a bigger chunk of your earnings by claiming all the tax reliefs you're entitled to. Reliefs such as annual investment allowance (AIA), rent-a-room relief and potentially exempt transfers (PETs), can all save you heaps of money, yet relatively few people are aware of them. Find out more: 30 ways to save on tax - this guide covers the obscure tax reliefs you need to know about
4. Use price comparison websites
Price comparison websites let you compare hundreds of financial products and ensure you choose the best one for your circumstances. Whether you're looking to buy car insurance, credit cards or a broadband bundle, there is normally a huge difference between the cheapest and most expensive providers, so it's worth browsing for the best offers on these websites. The Which? Money Compare tables go beyond just comparing rates. You can also see how thousands of people rate providers for the quality of their service, with our unique customer scores. Find out more: Which? Money Compare - our tables are updated daily
5. Sign up for loyalty cards
A whole host of retailers, restaurants and supermarkets reward customers by allowing them to store points on a loyalty card every time they make a purchase. These points can be converted into money-off vouchers. Many cards also offer one-off deals or discounts in order to tempt you into signing up in the first place. Find out more: loyalty cards - we review some of the UK's most commonly used loyalty schemes
6. Cancel unnecessary direct debits
If you don't regularly read your bank statement, it can be easy to miss direct debits that you have forgotten to cancel. A quick browse of your monthly statement can help prevent any unnecessary payments lasting for months or even years. Get into the habit of logging into your online bank account once a month and making sure you're not shelling out for services you no longer need or use. Find out more: how to cancel a direct debit or standing order - a step-by-step guide
7. Get a better mobile phone deal
With thousands of mobile phone deals out there, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Providers can often be unhelpful when it comes to offering existing customers a better deal. Take a couple of minutes to check your bills to make sure that your call, text and mobile web usage aren't consistently above, or a long way below, your allowance. If they are, you may benefit from asking for a more suitable deal from your provider. Find out more: how to get the best mobile phone deal - would you be better off on contract or pay-as-you-go?
8. Use personal finance software
Personal finance software can help you track where your money is going, making it easier to see where you can make potential savings. Many packages allow you to set savings goals, and some will even suggest a clear path towards hitting them. Others can highlight your spending habits in detailed reports, as well as letting you monitor all of your bank accounts and investments in real time. This can be particularly useful if you tend to go into debt by spending more than you earn, or if you are struggling to save up for a major purchase. Find out more: personal finance software reviews - find out which packages fared best in our tests
9. Learn to haggle
Which? research has proven that you can reduce the cost of most products and services by haggling over the price. However, many consumers are too nervous to even try. Our guide takes the mystery out of haggling by revealing how much money you can save by negotiating over services. It suggests tips for haggling with retailers, car dealers, travel agents and many other service providers. We even provide scripts to help improve your chances of securing a discount. Find out more: haggling - learn how you could save around £500 a year
10. Plan your expenses in advance
Expenses such as car insurance premiums, line rental or gym membership fees can often be cheaper if you pay them annually instead of monthly. You could save a bundle by ensuring you have enough money stored away to pay these annual bills in one go. Also, there are plenty of products that tend to cost less at certain times of the year. If you can plan your major purchases to coincide with these discounting periods, it's possible to make big savings.