Simple ways to save money during lockdown
The lockdown has left many people struggling financially, either because of wage cuts or job losses.
It’s also given people time to review their spending and properly manage their finances.
Whatever your situation, here are seven ways you can save some money during these unprecedented times.
Declutter direct debits
Check your bank statements – you may find direct debits for an unwanted magazine subscription or gym membership still coming out every month, so cancel them if they’re no longer required. Old mobile phone insurance is also a problem area.
Check your credit card interest
If you’ve got a credit card balance that’s costing you interest, you could consider moving the balance to a zero per cent balance transfer card. You may be charged a transfer fee, so make sure you factor this in to your payment plan and pay off the balance before the zero per cent interest free period ends.
Shop around for your car insurance
If you’re coming to the end of your policy, don’t let it auto-renew – it pays to shop around as insurers tend to offer their best prices to attract new customers, and you could save as much as £200.
It also might be a good time to review any add-ons such as breakdown cover, courtesy car cover and legal cover. You might find it’s cheaper to buy breakdown cover as a standalone policy or that you’re already covered elsewhere, for example, by your bank.
Improve your credit file
If you’re planning on applying for a mortgage or a credit card at some point soon, it’s a good idea to get hold of a copy of your credit file and check if you can improve it, for example, by registering on the electoral roll, which provides a proof of address and is checked as part of your credit score.
Also, ensure there are no spelling mistakes – these are an easy fix. You can add a ‘notice of correction’ if you spot anything incorrect, which allows you to explain why a payment was missed.
Boost your savings
Have a look at the interest rates on your existing accounts to see whether you are making your money work as hard as possible. Saving rates are pretty poor at the moment, but if your current rate is abysmal you should be able to find something more competitive. Click the link for a list of best buy savings accounts.
Consider current accounts
Some current accounts pay better interest rates than savings accounts. While many of the top deals have disappeared in recent weeks, there are still some attractive offers out there and many offer other incentives such as cashback on debit card purchases.
Switch and save
If you’ve not switched energy provider for a number of years, or have never switched, the chances are you’re probably on an expensive standard variable tariff. By shopping around and switching to a fixed rate deal, either with a Big Six or newer supplier, you could save £300 or more on your annual bills, in just five minutes. Read our guide to switching energy provider.