Given the current financial climate, it is more important than ever to be find ways to save money. With cuts to benefits, high interest rates, and reductions in tax credits, being able to save as much money as possible for the future will help your long term financial security. Whether through remortgaging to get a better deal on your home, or by altering your shopping habits, you can take control of your finances and save more money.
While you may have been paying into a standard variable rate mortgage for a long time, you could be missing out on lower rates by switching your mortgage. Take advantage of competition between banks to gain access to fixed rate deals, and the chance to pay off your mortgage in a shorter amount of time. You can also try using price comparison sites such as MoneySupermarket.com
It is also worth taking advantage of competition between suppliers to make a switch to a new energy company - doing so can save you £100 or more a year, and can be particularly effective as an approach in the New Year.
Try to mix up your shopping by going to local markets instead of supermarkets, while also making use of price comparisons between different shops. If you can, go for own brand products to reduce the amount you spend every week on food shopping.
Representing a way to save money without paying tax, an Isa is an account that can be opened with a bank or lender - you can typically pay in £11,280 per tax year, with £5640 allocated for cash, and the rest for investments. It is worth shopping around for different rates, as you can only pay into one Isa every tax year.
You may be paying too much for your insurance, which will end up being more expensive in the long run. Check to see whether you need the amount of insurance you have, and whether switching to a better policy will mean you pay less in premiums throughout the year.
Aim to save money by cutting down the amount of driving you do in your local area, try walking or cycling to work rather than driving, and see whether it makes an appreciable difference to your savings and your health.
It is also a good idea to resolve any outstanding loans that you are still paying into by consolidating payments into one loan, or by switching credit card providers to take advantage of 0 per cent balance transfers. Similarly, short term loans can be a good idea for short term borrowing, as long as they are repaid on time.
Despite cuts, it’s still possible to take advantage of tax credits. Look particularly at whether you’re eligible for Working Tax credit, and check to see whether you are able to claim any additional benefits.
Save money within your home by de-cluttering and selling off old items - doing so will free up space in your home, and can generate some valuable extra money towards your savings.
Saving money can involve being strategic when it comes to your credit cards. Consider switching between different credit cards to take advantage of balance transfers, and access to better interest rates. Be careful, though, as you may end up only deferring your repayments.