Martin Lewis advises on saving money with energy providers
The year of 2020 was tricky in more ways than one- especially financially. If the pandemic has left you in a sticky situation or you’re generally strapped for cash, you can make a few easy changes to save money. The experts at TopCashback have revealed five ways to save more than £2,500 by the end of this year.
Technology has its downsides, but you can use your mobile phone to keep an eye on your spending.
The experts at TopCashback said: “Making yourself aware of your spending habits and grouping your outgoings is the best place to start if you want to make savings.
“If you’re not someone who is naturally organised, make use of technology to help you enforce better practices.
“You can use services such as Money Dashboard who will do all the hard work for you, or you can do it yourself using a spreadsheet or download a budget planner (there are tonnes of free ones on the net).”
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There are also apps that can make saving more fun and lock away money for specific goals.
The experts explained: “Some apps use algorithms to calculate how much money you can afford to put away, and then does that for you every couple of days.
“You can also programme a set amount to be taken out of your cheque on payday, or whenever you like during the month.”
By doing this, you could save more than £2000 per year according to the average savings of TopCashback members.
You could save an extra £100 or more by switching to supermarket own brands, meal planning and stopping unnecessary bulk buys.
The experts said: “An oldie but a goldie, meal planning may feel laborious at the start, but once you’re in the habit, you’ll reap the rewards.
“Planning ahead removes the need to browse and impulse buy which obviously results in less money in your pocket, or rather savings, each month.
“ Furthermore, whilst we may have felt the need to bulk buy in recent times, by ditching buying perishables in bulk, you’ll save on waste, space and ultimately cash.
“Lastly, by making some switches to supermarket own-brand labels, you could be even more quids in.”
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Haggling and shopping around for the best utility deals could save you around £300 a year, and it’s easily done.
The experts said: “Sadly loyalty doesn’t pay, which is why it’s so important to do your homework and shop around when it comes to switching energy and utility bills.
“If you’re in a position to switch (i.e. you won’t face penalty fees) use an accredited energy price comparison website (Ofgem has a list of these) to compare deals and maximise your savings.”
Another great way to make a saving when switching is to do your switch via a cashback website, they said.
The experts explained: “Sites like TopCashback are paid a commission by providers, however instead of keeping the commission they pass it back to you as cashback.
“It is not uncommon for those who switch energy suppliers to save £250 plus per year.”
You could even get other discounts such as a better contract or other bills just by haggling.
The experts said: “There is a strong success rate with those that haggle – prepare for haggling by being armed with the prices and deals on offer from other retailers.
“That way, you can play rival brands off against each other and get better deals while they fight it out for your business.”
Freebies, vouchers and offers
TopCashback members save about £325 a year by making the most of freebies, vouchers and coupons.
The experts said: “If like many of us right now, you’re seeking things to keep entertained, remember there are freebie alternatives (or at least cheaper alternatives) if you know where to look.
“For bookworms, Project Gutenberg and Many Books are just a couple of sites that offer thousands of free books online. Amazon also holds flash sales where you can pick up some real bargains (think best-sellers for £1).
“Many of us are loyal Netflix customers but don’t forget about all the great TV available for ‘free’ with your license fee on BBC iPlayer, 4OD, ITV Hub etc.
Other providers such as NOW TV, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus all offer free trials too.”
They also recommend checking sites like Wowcher and Groupon for some great offers on going out when things are back to normal.
Cashback sites and discount codes
Members save an average of £325 per year when they use cashback sites and discount codes.
The experts said: “It’s important to spend mindfully under any circumstances – evaluating what you need versus what you want.
“With online shopping, leave the item in your basket for a day or two. When you come back to it, ask yourself, do you still really want or need it?
“If the answer is still yes, then be sure to shop via a cashback site such as TopCashback.
“TopCashback partners with thousands of brands so when you spend money, you’re saving cash at the same time too.
“It’s free to use, and members can save on average £325 per year.”
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