My philosophy on life is that “If you don’t ask you don’t get” and this is certainly the case with matters involving finances. And this is true when so often you can pay less for services.
Pay Less For Gas & Electricity
With 5 million households in fuel poverty just in England alone it is more important than ever before to get the best deals on your energy supplies, as well as making sure your home is properly insulated against the weather.
Opening up the markets in the utilities sector has meant much more competition among the gas and electricity companies. This has meant better deals for most of us, as we have a wide choice of whom to buy our energy from. In the UK we frequently get people knocking on our doors trying to convince us to change to their energy company. No question about it, competition has been good for consumers, and with ever increasing fuel prices one small way to get freedom from debt is to cut what we pay out for energy. To pay less for services such as the utilities is not all that difficult. Comparison websites are plentiful which enable consumers to go online and see how much they could save by switching energy suppliers. It is free, and very easy to use these comparison sites. If you do decide to switch suppliers that too is free, and very easy to do. Getting the tariff that is right for you is essential, and can result in really big savings.
Don’t just consider the bigger companies such as British Gas. There are smaller energy suppliers who have some very competitive prices.
A smaller player in the utilities market is first:utility. They are definitely worth looking at, as several comparison websites give them the thumbs up over prices. Depending on the tariff you choose first:utility installs a Smart Meter for your gas and electricity so no need to read your meters again. At this moment their isave-tariff where you have to send off your own meter readings is the cheapest around for many consumers on a dual fuel tariff.
Ovo Energy is another new player in the energy market who offer comparatively low rates.
You should also think about taking out a maintenance contract for your services to cover such things as gas boiler, central heating, and drains.
In the Autumn of 2012 the British government sent letters out to those they believed would qualify for a special discount on electricity, telling of an arrangement they made with the Warm Home Discount Scheme Core Group.
Those older people who are eligible could get £130 knocked off their electricity bill. The discount is available up till 13th March 2013, so calls to the Helpline have to be made by that date.
Not all electricity suppliers are participating in the scheme. The letter lists those companies which are part of this exercise.
Pay Less For Phone Services
Since British Telecom lost its monopoly on phone services it has meant many more players getting in on the act. Again, competition has been healthy as it has resulted in better deals for consumers. Most have plans which allow calls to be made for free during evenings and weekends, or for heavier users during any time of any day, or night. Again, shop around to see if you can get a better deal, though be aware that most providers will insist you stay with them a minimum time period, say 12 or 18 months.
Pay Less For the Internet
Another area where it is possible to pay less for services is with the Internet. As competition has opened up there are lots of good deals available. Research some of the sites giving independent reviews of Internet Service Provider (ISP) information.
Pay Less For Mobile Phones
According to one comparison website eight out of 10 people are on the wrong mobile-phone tariff. Only around 30% of mobile phone owners use their full minutes and texts. You could be one of those paying as much as £200 more a year than you need to.
Mobile phone providers are doing all they can to not just get new customers, but to retain their existing ones. Shop around, get the deal that is right for you. If you think you are paying too much with your present mobile phone provider, phone them up and tell them you are planning to disconnect and go elsewhere. You might be amazed at the new ‘deal’ they can offer you. I have known of situations where customers have found themselves paying one half to one third of their previous payment on contract, along with increased free texts and or time, and a new mobile phone thrown in for good measure.
Pay Less For Motor Insurance
What has been said already about cutting costs on utilities can be applied to other areas of life involving financial matters. Car insurance premiums have risen by more than 40 per cent over the past year, according to the AA Insurance Index. This represents the biggest increase on record. The average cost of a policy stands at a massive £892.
If you have a car and pay your own insurance you need to seek out the lowest rates and you could end up saving several hundred pounds a year on premiums. I know someone who used several insurance comparison websites to get the best deal for her car insurance. The first site came up with the lowest quote of £566.97, and the highest quote was for £1,975.30. On the second comparison site the prices started at £585.94 and went to an unbelievable £9,657.65! The third insurance comparison site came up with a low of £503.15, with 4 other quotes below £566.97. Moral of the story is to check out as many comparison websites as possible before forking out your hard earned cash for car insurance.
Pay Less For Water
If you are charged a standard rate for your water based on your property’s rateable value you should consider if you would be better off having a water meter fitted. Go to the water company’s website and complete the questionnaire to see if you would save any money. Many people would be better off by switching to a meter. All of us should look for ways to pay less for services.
Average water and sewerage bills in England and Wales will rise by 5.7% from April 2012 so it really does make sense to see if fitting a water meter will help you pay less for their services.
Don’t just think of paying less for major services. There are ways we can all cut down on what we spend on such things as takeaways, clothes, eating out and so on.
Obviously it is impossible to go through all the payments we all make in their lives. All any of us have to do is sit down, and go through all our existing expenses. Look to see what if anything you can do without, and what savings can be made by searching out cheaper providers. If you can pay less for services then you have more of your disposable income to spend on other things. Knowing how to budget properly is an important step in accomplishing freedom from debt.
Sometimes, though, however much you cut back on what you spend you still find it a struggle to pay your bills. Another area that needs to be looked at is possibly increasing your income.