Are you missing out on free money?
There’s no such thing as free money, right? Well actually there is and it turns out that many of us are completely missing out on it. So what do I mean when I say free money?
It has been highlighted today by the Financial Conduct Authority or (FCA) that many savers are missing out on the best returns on their savings all because they are failing to switch to savings accounts that are offering higher rates of interest. To many it may seem that the small percentage difference being offered on these accounts means that it just isn’t worth the hassle, but is that really a good attitude to have? Let’s think about a few different things that we could all easily switch that could add up to big savings over the long term. If you think about it, it’s the closest thing to free money that any of us are ever likely to see.
So we’ve just mentioned savings but it should really be on our list too. Interest rates may be extremely low at the minute and you could be forgiven for feeling a little apathetic about the difference in return you might see between 0.5% and 1.5% of annual interest. Remember though, however little the extra return might be it is still money that you are missing out on if you fail to switch to an account with a better rate. Even if the extra interest only pays for a family trip out once during the year then it’s still better than nothing, right? Of course there may be other ways to more effectively invest your cash and grow your money but for those who are just looking to save their cash in a standard ISA it is worth making sure that you are getting the best returns available.
Switching Utility Suppliers
Switching energy suppliers is something that seems to come up again and again on personal finance sites but that is only because it is such an easy way to save a decent amount of cash each year, often up into the £100’s. Perhaps you switched supplier last year and have now reverted back to a less favourable tariff. If this is the case then be sure to look at switching again. We’re all busy people but by not switching suppliers we are in effect refusing the opportunity to have some free money handed back to us each and every year.
Mortgages are another area where taking the time to look at what rates other mortgage providers are offering could prove to be worthwhile. If you don’t have the time to look at the websites of each and every bank then a quick look on price comparison sites could give you a good idea of what’s available right now. Not so great with the maths? In this case a quick chat with a mortgage broker could make the process even simpler as they will often quickly be able to determine whether there is a better deal available for you, one that again might save you £100’s or perhaps even £1000’s of pounds in interest each year. Of course, it will be handy to find out your credit score first so you’ll have a better idea of what options might realistically be available in this area.
Mobile Phone Contracts
Are you now out of contract on your mobile phone but are still paying the monthly bill? Perhaps your mobile phone provider has even increased your tariff but you just haven’t had the time to think about switching providers or trying to negotiate a lower tariff. Again, not taking time to try and save money on your mobile phone bill or even perhaps finding a better deal on your mobile phone insurance is kind of like throwing away free money for the foreseeable future. Perhaps your circumstances have now changed and you feel you could save money by switching to a pay-as-you-go or sim only deal. If someone handed you a £50 note there is not a chance that you would refuse it, throw it on the floor or view it as of little value, is there? So let’s not do just that by failing to find the best and cheapest mobile phone deal for our needs.
TV, Phone and Broadband
I won’t go into too much detail with this one as the principle is pretty much the same as we’ve already discussed. Not picking up the phone or opening up your laptop or iPad at the end of your contract period to try and find or negotiate a better deal is almost the same as throwing your money away. It really doesn’t take much time to find the best deal and it could again run into a three figure saving over the course of a year.
Have you switched any of these services recently? How much did you save or gain?