Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Living on a Shoestring - regular bills

Now that we have a spending and a meal plan it is time to save money on the regular bills. The first thing to do is make a list of them all, so check bank statement etc. to find out what they all are. You may find some regular charges for things you have forgotten about, like magazine subscriptions or club memberships. 

Once you have your list, label it so that you can see which ones are a fixed cost e.g.) term life insurance or the community charge and which ones can be negotiated, like the gas and electric bill. Now examine all the fixed bills and decide if you really need it. For instance, we have fixed term life insurance which will stop once MasterShoestring is 18. With the community charge it is worthwhile checking that your property is in the same band as your neighbours. If it is in a higher band they query why ?

Once you have checked all the fixed costs it is time to examine the negotiable ones. You may have a few charges that you are paying by monthly direct debit. Only do this if it does not cost you anything extra over the year. For a long time I paid the TV license in instalments until I discovered that it was costing me money ! It is the same with car insurance or line rental, find out if the instalment plan is more expensive. For a few years now I have paid the telephone line rental all at once and received a substantial discount. Examine whether you really need a landline now that so many use a mobile device. If you are just getting it for the broadband access there are now firms which offer just broadband, no need for the landline.

Once you have done all of this you are ready to use some comparison websites to find the best deals for your negotiable services. Moneysaving expert has some excellent advice on shopping around for gas, electricity and telephone, also any sort of insurance including home and car. I always aim to find a price beneath what I paid last year !

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