Friday, 10 January 2014

Beat the January Blues by Saving Money

If the January blues are kicking in and you've overspent in the Christmas and New Year period, many of you will have made New Year resolutions to be better with money and save more.
If that's the case we've put together this ten point guide to help swell your bank balance in no time. It's not as hard as you may think and small changes can make a big difference. 
1) Get Ready for Christmas 2014 Now!     
Everything is reduced and put in the sale once Christmas over, so buy cheap wrapping paper, cards, Christmas decorations and even presents right now whilst they’re still cheap. A typical Christmas costs a family on average £650.
Paying this out in one months salary can lead to very lean months following and can be a nightmare if you're hard pressed. If you save a bit each month this reduces the impact significantly and stops the temptations to borrow. 
2) Reclaim what you're owed, for free!
Whether it is PPI or Council Tax. Claim it back! 
If you were mis-sold PPI or over charged, don't let the companies off reclaim your cash. If you want an easy way to reclaim your PPI find out more here.
There are multitude of things you can reclaim. From reclaiming tax for washing your work uniform to supermarket membership points online. Make sure you get what you're owed!
3) Check your financial health
If you spend more than you earn, you could be in serious problems in no time. Whether that manifests itself as debt or spending all of your income.
Use a website such as which will allow you to budget in detail for the entire year and give you a clear indication of your finances.
4) Switch your Bank Account
It is easier than you think to switch bank accounts for free. All your payments, direct debits and standing orders should be changed to your new account. It takes about seven working days and some will even give you cash for doing so.
5) Check your Insurance Policy
A lot of people just agree to renew their insurance policies without checking if they are actually getting a good deal.
You could be wasting a lot of cash, always check that you have the best cheapest and best deal for you before confirming your policy for another year. Find the cheapest on one of the many comparison sites out there, you could save a fortune.
6) Don't Believe the Supermarkets
No one is suggesting you buy poor quality food, but don't always swallow the marketing at face value. Just because a product is listed as 'finest', doesn't mean that it is actually better. Always assess what you are actually paying for and see if an alternative might be just as good.
7) Credit Card Juggling
To some people this may seem precarious, but moving your debit from one credit card to an interest free balance transfer card could save you big money. This allows you to repay the debts without acquiring extra interest charges.
8) Sell Sell Sell
Have a New Years clean and if you have anything lying around that you don't need, sell it! With eBay and other similar sites, it has never been easier to find someone who wants your unwanted items. Old mobile phones are an especially great way to get cash for things that are lying around gathering dust.
9) Beat the Big Six Energy Companies
The recent round of spending increases has seen prices rise between 4-10%. So the difference between the cheapest and most expensive tariffs can be as much as £200 a year. Act quickly to beat the rises and find the cheapest deal possible.
10)  Haggle!
It might be a decidedly un-British concept, but haggling isn't just for trips abroad or back street markets. You can try haggling at shops from Tesco, to Debenhams and John Lewis. If you're prepared to ask for a discount you never know the shop may give you one!

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