This is a collaborative post
Being on maternity leave and working for a company that only offers statutory maternity pay means that weeks can be tough and we can find ourselves dipping into our savings pot to tide us over for that one last supermarket shop before payday. With April looming, a popular time for appraisals, and indeed the time when my other half will be having his, we are keeping our fingers crossed for a bonus or a payrise. With the poor performance of wage growth in the UK during recent times, and many families finding themselves being squeezed financially as a result, the reliance on a potential payrise may not be enough. There are, of course, other ways of saving money and boosting your household’s disposable income.
Ditch and switch
Energy firms are little short of rogues, who profit so handsomely on the basis of our own laziness. Standard rate tariffs invariably balloon after a year or two, with these firms banking on the fact that many of us won’t bother switching. Don’t be one of them! Keeping your ear to the ground for better deals requires almost zero effort on your part thanks to sites like the Cheap Energy Club, and following through with the switch is very easy thanks to new legislation. A bit of vigilance and proactivity can save you hundreds of pounds each year.
Trim the cost of your debts
We’re a bit of a credit-hungry nation. That need not be a bad thing, although senseless high-cost borrowing, particularly on credit cards can set you on an expensive path. If you’re someone who is stuck with pricey debts, or simply making minimum payments on big credit card balances, it’s time to take action. Why not transfer it all onto a 0 per cent credit card? Alternatively, you could consolidate your debt into a much cheaper personal loan. Both quick and easy options, and both will mean more money in your pocket.
You may be surprised to learn how keen banks are to acquire your business. They don’t exactly have a reputation for generosity (to customers anyway), but you can actually reap significant sums for switching bank. For example, the likes of First Direct and HSBC are offering upwards of £125 in cold, hard cash for you to sign up with them. Some offer good temporary rates of interest, while others offer perks like insurance or vouchers. Whichever way you decide to go, it pays to switch!
Some consumers just know how to play the game, and there’s no reason that can’t be you. While you don’t want your inbox to be overloaded, signing up for notifications on things like restaurant deals, sales or other vouchers is just good practice. Another good reward scheme to cash in on are cashback credit cards, which literally make you money as you spend (provided you pay off the balance each month!).
Flight delay payback
We’ve all encountered delays when travelling, but thanks to a European Court of Justice ruling in 2012, consumers like us are able to get our own back – and then some. If you’ve been delayed by three hours or more in the last six years on an EU flight, you could be in line for a lot of money back. Not everyone is successful, and there are some reasons for which airlines are not liable, but it is worth your while giving it a go!
You don’t need to suddenly go on a mad slashing mission when it comes to your outgoings; one which ensures that your chances of enjoying any of the finer pleasures money can buy are a thing of the past. But there are some sensible, painless measures you can take. Cutting out the daily Starbucks coffee? Carpool to work, and for the kids’ school run? Buying the shopping in bulk? You’ll be amazed at how little adjustments like these can have a collectively profound impact, and stand your finances in better stead.
So there are a few ways in which you can save money and make your pennies go further. We have been talking about switching banks for ages now so we really must get around to doing it – it comes with free money after all!