40 Ways to Save
As the Belfast Marathon celebrates its 40th anniversary, we look at 40 ways to save.
- A tip for renewing your insurance is to shop around for your renewal price approximately three weeks before you’re actually due for renewal, that should be the time when the best deals are available and you don’t have to rush with your decision.
- Don’t let your direct debits auto-renew – always search for a competitive price
- Pay annually in one go rather than monthly direct debits if you can.
- Order in bulk where possible, especially for items such as home heating oil.
- Government schemes: research government schemes like the Winter Fuel Payment to help pay heating bills.
- Switch providers: according to Ofgem, households can save around £360 every year. Switching provider doesn’t just help save money, it can also allow consumers to seek out more environmentally friendly suppliers and those with better customer service.
- Tax relief: check out the tax relief option, which allows anyone working at home on a regular basis to claim relief on gas and electricity bills – as well as business phone calls. HMRC are offering relief worth £312 per year with no need to provide receipts or factor in any complicated calculations – just double check it’s the right option for your individual circumstances and tax code before applying.
- Efficiency checks: use energy efficient lightbulbs, draft excluders, boiler jackets, radiator reflectors – all relatively inexpensive solutions which helps to reduce costs over a long period of time.
- Look out for schemes such as the Warm Home Discount that provide a one off discount of £140 off the winter electricity bill between September and March.
- Take your rewards where you can get them. The CompareNI.com rewards platform is open to any customer who gets a quote and offers cash back and discounts on a whole range of big brand and high street items including help towards household bills.
- Downgrade mobile phone, internet or TV packages until you find yourself with extra cash.
- Some credit card companies stopped accepting new cardholders during the height of lockdown, but many of them are now returning to the market which means there could be an opportunity for people with good credit histories to transfer their balances to a new 0% APR credit card – note there is normally a time limit here before the interest rate starts to rise.
- And of course, shop around by using a comparison site to compare the best deals and keep providers competitive.
Save on Your Home 14. Be careful of questions like occupancy when deciding on home insurance, how long do you leave your house unattended? If you don’t know don’t guess, this question carries significant importance with insurance providers given the added risk of burglary or damage while you’re away – best to be as accurate as possible on your policy, you can always ring and update them with any changes throughout the year. 15. Extra safety features on houses such as security lights or a CCTV camera can help reduce premium costs 16. Add bicycles and expensive items worth £500 or more as named items onto your home insurance to safeguard your finances and ensure they are covered. 17. Mortgages are just like any other purchase now, they are easy to compare and there are deals to be had. Make sure you compare interest rates, arrangement fees and the lending criteria before making any decisions. 18. Household items you no longer need could be upcycled and sold on gumtree or community Facebook pages.
Save on Your Car
19. Where you keep your car is a very important question for your insurance provider. The difference in premium costs between parking your car on the roadside or bringing it up onto your driveway can be significant, as a private driveway is seen as far less of a risk.
20. Ticking accurately what your car is used for, may it be business, commute or social can see premiums fluctuate, so best to get it right and make savings where you can. 21. Make sure to keep up repairs and safety checks – by checking your tyres are road worthy regularly you can avoid a substantial fine. 22. Make sure to fill in your insurance policy accurately eg. Who drives your car the most / main driver can have a significant effect on your premium price and misleading the insurance provider is actually an offence known as ‘fronting’. 23. Check your existing policy details before paying for add ons – for example, some insurance policies come with breakdown assistance as standard. 24. Compare petrol versus electric cars – there are government incentives to switch to electric cars at present so best to review all your options. 25. Switch to a smaller engine – less powerful engine, tend to be cheaper to insure. 26. Beware of penalty points – three points on a licence can mean 5% more on a premium every year for the four years an infringement stays on a licence. Six points pushes up fees by as much as 25%. 27. Build up your no claims bonus – and report it accurately to the insurer – the more no claims the bigger the potential for discount. 28. Consider completing the ‘Pass Plus’ or ‘RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders’ test 29. Avoid adding expensive ‘modifications’. 30. Choose a car with an alarm, immobiliser and fit a tracker. 31. Choose a cheaper car – more expensive cars can be tricky to source parts and often cost more to fix, leading to higher insurance premiums. 32. Opting for a telematics product allows drivers to showcase their safe driving which can lead to cheaper premiums, especially in young drivers as it’s giving the insurance company data on which to base its risk analysis. 33. Keep mileage low where possible. 34. Review branding/signage on vans – branding falls into the modification category on current policies, amongst items such as spoilers and alloy wheels so it can increase premium prices.
35. If you own a business with even just one commercial vehicle, consider applying a ‘How’s my driving?’ sign to that vehicle, as industry data suggests business drivers with this sign tend to be less likely to claim on their insurance which means premiums could be lower.
Save on Travel 36. Travel tip – take your insurance out as soon as you book your holiday not just before you depart, to maximise your protection, especially with ever changing covid restrictions fluctuating across the globe. 37. Multi-trip travel insurance can be cheaper per year than single trip policies.
Save on Pets 38. The popular of pets grew exponentially during the pandemic, but its important people protect their furry friend and safeguard finances – making sure your pet is fully vaccinated and often neutered, can reduce premiums. 39. Review your pets lifestyle, indoor versus outdoor – indoor animals are at less risk of theft and injury. 40. If you have more than one pet, it’s normally cheaper to pop them on the same multi-pet policy.