Many people start to think about their household finances at the start of the new year. You may want to reduce your outgoings because you want to save for something in particular, perhaps a holiday or new car. Perhaps you simply want to make sure that you are getting the best deal on your utilities. Whatever the reason, it is always sensible to regularly reassess your finances to see if you can save money and get you and your family a better deal. This short article will help you to do just that.
Examine your direct debits and standing orders
A great way to start looking at your bills is to start by assessing exactly what comes out of your bank account every month. A great place to start is by looking at your household utilities such as gas and electricity as well as your broadband and phone account. Make sure that you have your latest bill to hand in order to be able to assess your usage of these. You can then use an internet comparison site to look for a better deal. It is a good idea to use more than one comparison site to do this. Take the example of gas and electricity. You need to perform a quick internet search for a comparison site. This will then ask you questions about your current usage that you will find on your bill and provide you with a quote from all the major supplies. You can do this for your home phone and broadband to.
What about a water meter?
If you do not currently have a water meter it is likely to be a great money saving idea. Many people are nervous about having a water meter, for fear that they will pay more. However, a quick internet search will bring up many accounts of where this just is not true. It can really help cut your bills, especially if there are only one or two people living in the property. It’s definitely something that is worth looking into.
What about credit card debt?
Credit card debt can be a problem if you have a significant balance that you do not clear every month. Credit cards often have steep interest rates that really can cause you to take many months to clear your balance. Take advantage of the many 0% interest rate on balance transfer credit cards available, some of which provide you with 0% over years rather than months! Many of the large credit card companies also now provide you with an eligibility checker that will not leave a mark on your credit file. This can be a great way to help manage your current poor deal on your credit card.
Are you getting the best mortgage deal?
It is worth considering how long you have had your current mortgage for and what interest rate you are paying. If you are on a fixed term mortgage and the initial period has ended then it is time to switch to a better deal. Even if you are part way through your fixed term, then it is worth seeing if you can get a better deal. Mortgages are due to rise shortly so if you can lock in a better deal now then it’s a good idea to take advantage of it!
Consider your car insurance
Insurance prices are on the rise, so even if you have to pay a cancellation fee it is worth considering switching your car insurance. Many insurance companies will actually pay the cancellation fee for your current car insurance if you commit to their insurance. Also be aware of paying monthly for insurance, the interest rate is often very high. If you do want to pay monthly then consider using a 0% credit card for the duration of the insurance instead – pay up front for the insurance in full, divide by the number of months that the insurance is for and pay that amount off your 0% credit card every month and avoid paying the interest!
With a little creative thinking, there are lots of ways to reduce your monthly bills!