As part of Britmums ‘our Piggy Bank Tales’ these are my saving £££££££££££££ ideas....
Up until recently we had the mixed blessing of a staff mortgage, that was until we realised we were supposed to pay tax on it. Luckily, Mr Taxman was on the ball (albeit a few years behind) and kindly let us know about this just as I was about to go on maternity leave last year. He generously reminded us about 2007, 2008 and let's not forget 2009, to the tune of about £3000. That was when we realised the staff mortgage was just not worth having.
So last month we went onto a "normal" mortgage, and as we are still paying the tax back from previous years, our monthly outgoings have soared. I decided to draw on all my savvy mummyness and get to grips with our finances once and for all. This is what I came up with:
1. Sort out our car insurance. We were paying over £1000 a year for both cars even though we have seven years no claim, over 30 etc etc. Anyway, I spent an afternoon shopping around (that's the downside, it's quite time consuming) and halved our premium for exactly the same policy (same excess, legal protection, roadside assistance etc). This post is in no way sponsored by the way, but I actually found the cheapest to be Aviva.
2. Sort out credit cards. We have some debt left on our credit card from a while ago, not that much, but just enough to be annoying. We are currently paying 15% interest so decided to switch to a 0% deal. We found a good deal at First Direct (again, no affiliation!) though there are loads of others too. There is a fee to change (I think it was 2%) but that is easily cancelled out by the lack of interest.
3. Sky - we have our TV, internet and broadband through Sky. I phoned them and explained I was looking for ways to save money and they gave me some ideas so now I am saving £30 a month.
4. Energy - just a quick call to our energy supplier and they put me on a cheaper tariff! Saved £100 a year. I also have someone coming round to install loft insulation, again, free.
5. Every toy or appliance that has broken, I took back to the shop for a refund! If it is faulty you don't actually need your receipt. I took a microwave and a remote control car back to Sainburys and got £55 back!
6. I buy everything online, so I like to earn cashback through Quidco - I have earned over £150 so far. Basically how it works is you go through the Quidco website everytime you want to buy something. Search for the retailer you want on the site then click on the link which takes you to the normal retailer website. Then the purchase is recorded to you and generally you get between 2 and 10% of the value paid into your paypal account. I sometimes donate mine to charity
7. We had our boiler serviced, the engineer said there was a leak which will explain our high water bills. Our house is now so much warmer! Hopefully that will save on heating bills too, it was obviously not working to full efficiency.
8. The next thing I am looking into is getting some sort of cash back credit card to use in shops, AND a better savings account, AND a better current account....watch this space...