Save money without losing out
Published: 30 May 2009
By MoneyhighStreet Staff Leave a Comment
Updated: 1 June 2009
As the credit crunch bites most of us need to be careful and ideally save money without losing out. Here we explore tips to achieve just this.
Check your loans and borrowing
Most of us have a loan, mortgage or credit card, often all three. But how much interest are we being charged on each of these each month and are we sure we can remember all the credit we have?
You can get a quick snapshot of what your outstanding loans and credit facilities are by checking your Experian credit report – free with a 30-day trial of CreditExpert.
Your credit report lists your credit accounts and repayments history so you can check what’s outstanding and what’s costing you the most.
Improve your credit history
Making sure you have the best credit history possible will ensure you’re positioned to get the best loan or credit facility possible.
Check your credit report and if you spot any clerical errors get these corrected.
If you realise you have unused credit accounts and don’t need them, get them closed.
If you have had problems making repayments in the past due to special circumstances, such as an accident, ask the credit reference agency to add an explanatory note to your file.
If you’re not registered to vote, do so, as it will help your credit rating.
Save money on your utility bills
We all need gas, electricity and no doubt a phone. But are we on the best deals? Check what your bills are and then for example use one of the energy comparison sites to compare your current prices with the best deals on offer.
Make the best of any deals you already have – use the phone when you have free calls or texts for example.
Save energy where you can – switch of lights, don’t leave the tap running.
Try new brands and even new supermarkets
Some supermarkets are cheaper than others so if practical you may want to switch. It might also be possible to use home delivery to save money?
Try the supermarket own brands, maybe their budget or value ranges. Often they are as good as the well known brands but a lot cheaper.
Go for the best deals
With a recession on many retailers are desperate for your business and so are offering all sorts of deals. Shop around for the best deals, particularly on furniture and electrical goods.
Many such retailers are offering interest-free credit and some credit card companies are offering 0% balance transfers and interest free periods on new purchases. Look out for the best credit deals to suit you.
It’s wise to check your credit report before applying for credit of any sort. This way you can make sure all is in order and if it is not put it right before you spoil your chances of getting the credit you need and risk getting the purchase you want.
Get a bargain
As many are putting major expenses on hold, there is an excess of supply of certain services. If you are in a position to move ahead with say a building project, a wedding, a holiday of a lifetime or maybe some cosmetic surgery, there’s a good chance you can get a bargain.
According to a CreditExpert survey, half of Britons are putting major plans on hold as they can’t afford them. Their unfortunate position could be your ticket to a great bargain.
Target the right deal
If you are about to embark on a major expense, take your time and target the right deal. Don’t send off multiple credit applications in the hope one will be accepted as each one could trigger a credit report which will leave a record, a footprint, on your credit history.
Your credit rating can be impaired if your credit history shows a lot of searches as it could indicate that you are over-stretched, desperate or even undertaking fraudulent activity.
Know what you really want
We can all dream about the things we want but at the end of the day there are certain things we don’t want to do without and others that if push comes to shove we can forego.
Make a list of things that can be done without or skimped on and those that are must have.
With these see if there’s any on the list that can be skimped on that can help the must have list.
- drinking tap water instead of buying bottled mineral water
- making a sandwich rather than buying one
- drinking machine coffee or making instant coffee instead of going to the coffee shop for a latte
All these things, done over a period, could save money for you to go on your must have night out.
Finally, be realistic!
Don’t look at things that however much credit you try for you know you simply can’t afford.
Set your budget and then either buy within this or wait until you can save to afford more.
Critically, don’t get yourself into a bad debt situation – it might seem difficult to let something go right now that you really want, but in the long run it will be much better and mean you’ll sleep easier too!