Getting your bills in order and checking what you are currently paying for things such as utilities, insurance and your mortgage is always a useful exercise. Often switching providers can lead to huge savings and more money in your pocket.
1. Tidy up your paperwork – the first place to start is to get all of your bills/insurance certificates in order, either in folders or files on your computer. This will give you important information such as energy usage and no claims discount, which you will need when you are shopping around for the best deal.
2. Remember key dates – whether it be the renewal date of your car insurance, the end of your current energy deal, or your fixed rate mortgage finishing, there are key dates throughout the year where it is ideal for you to shop around. Have these dates written on your calendar and give yourself plenty of time to make sure that you are on the best deal. The danger is, if you don’t do this you may auto renew or move onto a variable (and often expensive!) deal.
3. Never auto renew – through in action this is often the default position of many people. No matter how happy you are with the service, it is always best to compare with other providers. If the price difference is small you may not wish to change, but often the savings can be significant, especially if you haven’t shopped around for a number of years.
This is also a great opportunity to make sure that you aren’t paying for something you no longer need. For example, do you still need to pay for the extra cover on your home insurance for the bike you no longer own?
4. Price comparison sites – rather than going to multiple providers, you can often save time by using price comparison sites which will do a lot of the hard work for you. Just be aware, not all providers will be on these sites and often only suppliers that pay commission to the site will be selected, so you won’t necessarily be getting the best deal in the market.
5. Get Smart – When it comes to your gas and electricity, many providers supply smart meters. These can allow you to see your consumption in real time and help you make adjustments to reduce your bills. Smart meters also remove the need for you to take meter readings, ensuring that you are paying the right amount.