As the next financial year looms, set yourself the goal of saving up to £13,000 with these easy fixes. We've calculated that someone who completes these 11 steps will be an incredible £13,000 richer by next March!
And even if you've already made some of these changes, you could still earn a sizeable sum. So what are you waiting for?
1. Switch your energy deal – pocket £200 a year
It's not just those who have never switched energy who are overpaying. When your chosen energy deal comes to an end you’ll be dumped onto your supplier's standard tariff, which typically offers terrible value.
The energy watchdog reckons households will save an average of £200 by shopping around and switching onto a new deal.
2. Shift debt onto a 0% card – pocket £487 a year
The Money Charity estimates the total credit card debt per UK household stands at £2,469. This balance attracting a typical 21.6% APR will cost £487 a year if you only pay off the minimum (2% or £5 whichever is higher).
You can save by shifting debt onto a 0% balance transfer credit card allowing you to freeze the interest.
3. Earn while you shop – pocket £356 a year
Cashback websites like TopCashback and Quidco allow you to earn money on purchases when you shop via tracked links. Quidco claims the average annual cashback per member is £280, while TopCashback says members typically make £356 a year.
4. Take in a lodger – pocket £7,500 a year
Thanks to the government’s Rent a Room scheme you can currently earn up to £7,500 in rental income free of tax if you have a spare room and take in a lodger. That means a lodger paying up to £625 a month won’t cost you a penny in tax!
5. Rent out your parking space - pocket £1,560 a year
If you have a driveway outside your home that you don’t always use, you could rent it out through a site like JustPark. If you charged just £6 a day, five times a week, for a year you would make £1,560.
6. Switch your mortgage – pocket £1,800 a year
On a £150,000 repayment mortgage lasting 20 years, a deal charging 4% would cost £909 a month. Remortgaging to a rate of 2% would cost just £759 – saving you £150 a month or £1,800 in a year.
Just watch out for early repayment charges and high product fees when weighing up how much you could save.
7. Quit auto-renewing car insurance – pocket £350 a year
A great way to save money is to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of auto-renewing on things like car insurance. Comparethemarket estimates the gap between the cheapest shop around policy and the average actuallly paid for insurance is £123 rising to £350 for younger drivers.
8. Switch your current account – pocket £200 a year
Take advantage of the cash bribes banks are pushing to get you to switch current account. HSBC will pay £200 to switch and stay for a year, Co-operative Bank offers £110 and First Direct has an incentive of £100.
9. Detox ‘zombie’ subscriptions - pocket £360 a year
People are spending an average of £30 a month on subscriptions they don’t use or need according to research from GoCompare. It found that people haven’t reviewed their direct debits or standing orders in the last 12 month.
Unwanted regular payments included things like magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, apps, wine club membership and charity donations. Over a year, these ‘zombie payments’ could be costing you £360 so it could be time for a spring clean.
10. Chase the best rate for your emergency savings – pocket £124.75 in a year
Last year the Financial Conduct Authority revealed many providers pay just 0.01% to savers. On a pot of £2,500 that means you would earn just 25p in a year.
Switch those funds to the Nationwide FlexDirect current account, which pays a 5% fixed rate for one year, and you'll earn £125. Miles better!
11. Save on prescriptions – pocket £97.60 in a year
If you have to pay for a lot of prescriptions each year you could save with a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). A prescription costs £8.40 an item but with a PPC you pay a one-off £29.10 for three months or £104 for 12 months for as many as you need.
The one-year PPC makes sense if you need over 12 prescriptions a year and a three-month PPC makes sense if you need four or more. Someone that needs two prescriptions a month would save £97.80 with a one-year PPC.