Top Tips for UK Consumers
On this page, we list our top ten tips for saving money, and another ten tips on how to make a bit of extra cash.
Our top ten moneysaving tips
your bills down
to recent surveys, you're almost certainly paying over the odds for
your gas and electricity. Changing to a new supplier is free, and pretty
painless. Save up to 20% on your fuel bills by changing today. See our
bills page for more advice, or try the
quick calculator from the image on the right, to get a feel for what
you can save.
We recommend: uSwitch, an online comparison site accredited by Consumer Focus.
around || |
you're buying anything over £5- from a CD to a settee, chances are you'll
be able to find it cheaper by a little careful shopping
around. Doing your Christmas shopping online, for instance, can bring big savings.
Take a look at the main comparison services for an idea on who has the best deal.
We recommend:Comparing online retailers with
Also, make sure you're paying the cheapest local petrol prices with petrolprices.com
When it comes
to our regular shopping, most of us keep our eyes out for a bargain
- the 3 for 2 offers, buy-one, get-one-free deals, etc. Remember that
staying loyal to one store also brings savings, and many stores running
loyalty schemes also let you save money online
as well as instore.
We recommend: Nectar,
offering savings at Sainsburys,
BP, TalkTalk, eBookers and many others
credit card users can save considerably by changing credit card, and if you have
the patience, by moving cards on a regular basis to take advantage of short-term
introductory offers. Credit card deals to watch out
for are low interest rates on new purchases or balance transfers, and cards that
offer cashback schemes
We recommend: A low-interest or reward card - See our Finance Page
Phone bills can
easily spiral out of control. Keep an eye on your phone bills when they
arrive, with special attention being paid to your BT Friends and Family
numbers (which can be changed
online). If you use a dial-up Internet service, and are spending over £10
a month for calls to your Internet Provider,
then changing to a new package is likely to save you money too. Mobile
phones are another area to watch carefully. If you send loads of
text messages at 10p per message, then you can save by switching services.
A recent report has indicated that many pay-as-you-go customers can
do a lot better by moving to a monthly tariff.
We recommend (Mobiles): o2
online for texters - 500 free messages a month (£50's
We recommend (Internet): Virgin Media
- for their dial-up and broadband services that don't tie you to a 12 month contract.
you're with one of the main high-street banks, you're probably losing out in several
ways - low interest rates on your current account, and higher overdraft fees,
to name just two. Look around for accounts with building societies, or online
accounts, where there's a higher interest rate, and lower fees, as the company
has fewer overheads. Savings accounts are another area worth shopping around.
If you're worried about the hassle of moving accounts, most banks now make moving much easier
if you're worried about losing your history with your existing bank - just don't
close your old account!
We recommend: First Direct for their excellent customer service (and £50 to switch!).
tip if you're looking to buy, is to try one of the online auction sites. With
a little common sense, sites like eBay and QXL are perfectly safe to use, as you
can check comments from a seller's previous customers, and you can potentially
make a big saving. You can also stop bidding at any time, if the price starts
to exceed a high street price. Bid for new, used and hard-to-find items.
- Huge, and now well established
the biggest expense, and provided you're not tied into a long-term fixed rate
mortgage, moving around can bring you great savings.
We recommend: Compare from a huge
range of mortgages online at Charcoal
DVDs? Building a large collection? How many times do you actually watch
each DVD? Rather than buying your own copy of your favourite DVDs, consider
renting new films by mail-order. If you are buying, see our DVD
page for details of online retailers (Amazon isn't always the best
bet). Also note that pre-ordering a DVD often works out a lot cheaper
than waiting until it's released.
We recommend: Rent as many DVDs as
you can watch for a single monthly payment:LOVEFiLM.
car, home, contents, buildings, health and life insurance. Are you playing too
much? When renewal comes around take time to shop around for cheaper quotes. Independent
online sites can make it easier to track down the right deal.
We recommend: For cheaper car and
home insurance, try the
AA for discounts of
up to 7.5% when taking out insurance online, and greater discount for
AA breakdown members. The AA compare quotes from hundreds of insurers,
and are independent. See our Insurance page for more.
The Money Diet, by money saving expert Martin Lewis. This book contains over 400 pages of excellent financial advice including sections called "forget loyalty", "find the loopholes" and "be a better shopper", this book is our top recommendation. Help with current accounts, mortgages, consumer law, broadband and mobile costs, savings accounts and shopping around. Sound advice from a respected source. Recommended price £7.99. Amazon price £3.99
top ten moneymaking tips
Keep your eye out for special
deals online, such as money for opening a new bank or credit card account.
There's so much competition out there for our custom, that £10
off first order, 10% off and other discount offers are always there
to be found.
We recommend:Quidco and Top Cashback - as well as our Special deals page
a look around your house or flat? Anything you don't use any more and don't know
what to do with? Stuff in the attic to get rid of? Before it gathers too much
dust, consider selling it via an online auction. The cost of using a service like
ebay and QXL is pretty minimal, and if you follow the instructions on their sites,
you shouldn't lose out. Take a look around the sites first to see what kind of
stuff fetches what kind of money.
- Huge and a well established way of getting cash from your tat. Also, get cash for recycling your old mobile
popular and profitable game for those who can keep track of their funds. Find
a credit card that lets you withdraw/transfer funds for free (or a minimal fee),
then withdraw as much as you can within your limit. Put the money into a savings
account, at 4 or 5%, then transfer the credit card debt to a card that offers
0% on balance transfers for an introductory period. When the period runs out,
transfer to another similar credit card. Do it right, and you pay no fees, you
We recommend: Cards with cashback - See our Finance Page
will pay to find out what we think. Sign up to any of the online survey companies,
We recommend: Tough to judge, as
the volume and quality varies. Try any of the following: PickThem,
, MyVoice, Consumerlink,
Surveys and You Gov (Politics)
Do you feel lucky? Well, do you? As well
as the UK Lotto National Lottery, you can increase your chances of winning
some cash by trying one of the many online lotteries. The online UK
schemes are free to try with your favourite lucky numbers - and your
chance to win happens in return for clicking on an advertising link,
so there's nothing to lose!
We recommend: The free lotteries... Bananalotto.
If you have a website, make money
from it - this does actually work, especially if your site has unique
content on a specialist topic. Cash for clickthroughs, sales or referrals.
Use companies like Commission Junction, Tradedoubler
and Affiliate Window to put some big names and big earners on your site.
We recommend: See
our dedicated UK affiliate page
for details. For details of starting a site, see FileSaveAs Starting a Website Guide
If you fancy taking a gamble, of you've been given a hot tip, take a look at some of the online betting sites Mostly geared around sporting bets, they also offer
"free bet" offers to help get you started.
We recommend: Big
||Open a new account
|| Banks are really, really keen to get your business. Many of us believe that staying loyal to our banks has benefits, but it's time to review that belief. Take a look around and see if you can switch accounts - and get paid for doing so.
We recommend: First Direct for great customer service, and Alliance
&Leicester for good interest rates.
are a few of the other schemes on offer. These require a little more perseverance,
but may be worth trying, especially if you're a frequent surfer...
Write reviews of products. Points make pounds.
Some companies offer incentives for referring a friend. Here are just a few to
Needless to say, if you'd like a referral, please contact
refer-a-friend - Send a friend a £5 voucher, and get £5 when they make
their first purchase.
- Sky TV
- If you help a friend to subscribe, you get £25 of
Marks & Spencer vouchers,
and so do they - A great way for them to make a little extra when they get Sky
TV installed, and you make too. See the Sky Magazine for monthly referral code.
See our Make money page for more on the above tips