I must say the beginning of this year was much more positive than the beginning of the last year.
While I m still grieving the losses from 2020 I am coming more and more to be ‘my old self’. It requires a lot of work still but it’s happening and for that I am grateful.
With that I want to summarise my latest money saving ‘achievements’, so maybe there are some beneficial to you tips and ideas 🙂
How did I switch utility suppliers ?
A short answer is to use a utility comparison site and switch.
Long answer on how to switch the gas and electricity suppliers showing my steps is below 🙂
I switch at the end of February, so I did start my switching research on 22.1.
Go to Topcashback to see if your fav switching companies are there.
I use Cheap Energy Club to validate my findings when running the checks on their site. However, I usually don’t switch via them as the cashback offered elsewhere is higher than what they offer. I like the site as once you save all your details there all you need to update annually is your usage. You can also modify your search preferences or follow the pre-defined by ‘Martin’ set to get the suggested companies for your switch.
Having used the above I get these:
Let’s visit TCB utilities. The biggest cashback is given by TopCashback Compare Energy. However, their results don’t match the top results seen on:
- Cheap Energy Club
- Energy Helpline
- Money Supermarket
As at the time of writing Energy Helpline offered the best cashback so I used them for my utility switch.
As seen across the sites my top companies to switch to are: SoEnergy or GoTo.energy. Having looked at my last year readings (which of course I save on my Google drive ;-):
We decided to switch to Goo.energy hoping to save at least £162 on that switch:
If all goes per plan I will not only have saved £162 per both utilities but also get 42.90 of a cashback. Although I need to switch first and then wait for the switch/cashback validation and that may take up to 9 weeks – but hey it’s a free money so I am happy to wait.
How to get furniture deals?
Short answer: ask
In November, I bought a bathroom vanity unit and a cabinet from tradeprices. com. Sadly the company has been delaying the shipment so I canceled the transaction as we wasted over a month and still didn’t finalise our ensuite redecoration… I totally don’t recommend them if you expect anything on time…They are also not professional as I contacted them before placing my order and they ensured me the items should arrive in 7-10 days. Yet they never updated me re any delays and it was me chasing them up like a madwoman. In the end, I found the same items at Drench just called differently and a bit more expensive but having talked to the sales rep I saved us & £29.5 as they gave us a discount. See the basket prices and the invoice for an order placed on the chat/phone:
How to get cheaper coffee?
Short answer : bulk buying/ freebies
As I am on Vitality health insurance I get some perks whenever I hit my fitness targets. One of them is FREE coffee. In the pre-lockdown time, I was getting 1 bag of free 250g coffee from Nero when I was doing my grocery shopping. Now I still get that perk just for an extra £2.5 for the delivery which still works fine as it’s £10 per 1kg of the coffee.
When I need more coffee I get the big bag – last time I shopped online at TESCO I got 1kg of Lavazza for £10 so the same price 🙂 I wont ever go back on buying small bags as they do work our more expensive (4x250g small Lavazza red = £14.40) so I save at least £4.4 if I buy 1kg coffee at once 🙂
How to get money from a bank?
Short answer : switch your account for perks
Last November I moved from M&S to NatWest and followed their requirements to get £125 for that switch:
I have 7 accounts and usually keep the ones that don’t earn me any benefits a long time after the switch so that I can use them to switch whenever a new switch deal pops up – although admittedly there is fewer and fewer of them as COVID doesn’t encourage anyone to splash cash..
How to use savings in pandemics?
Short answer: overpay your mortgage as saving account rates are lower and lower.
I am planning to overpay my mortgage by 13k this month. As per the mortgage calculator on Martin’s site, it will save me 9k in the long run 🙂
As interest rates are a joke overpaying a mortgage is the only sensible thing to do when one has some savings.
My goal is to be mortgage-free by the end of 2023 at the latest 🙂 I treat this as a ‘retirement investment’.
What bank accounts rewards do I get each month?
- Each month I get £5 at Halifax. I also activate some of the cash back offers they have within their account and ensure I use Halifax card to pay for those.
- Club Lloyds Monthly Saver – that offers 1.5% on any monthly payment between £25-£400 plus I get free Good Housekeeping magazine every month for having a Club Lloyds account. Previously I was getting free 6 cinema tickets but swapped that perk for a magazine at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. But they also offer an equivalent of a Tastecrad – a Gourmet Society card if you fancy that as your perk.
- NatWest & RBS offer 3.04% on their regular savings ‘linked’ account.