Five essentials switches that'll boost your budget

How to make the biggest difference to your money


Five essential switches that'll boost your budget
If you're looking for some extra cash, the first place to look at is your bills. You can save hundreds by moving your custom to a different company – or at least talking to your current supplier and seeing if they can offer a better deal.

Here are the five that will make the biggest difference.

1. Gas and electricity

If you're on a "standard tariff", the average saving you could make by switching your energy is £300 - a huge amount of extra money.

Fixing for a set period is often the best way to bring down prices, though this only sets the price of the energy, what you pay will depend on how much you use.

2. Insurance

If you let your insurance roll over each year, you'll find you are paying far more than if you searched for a better deal. This is because the best prices are reserved for new customers.

Now have a think about all the different types of insurance you have - there's buildings and contents insurance for your home; if you drive there's car insurance; pet owners probably cover illness for their family animals; the list goes on.

3. Phone, internet and TV

Once your contract expires and special offers end, it's likely your bills will jump up. Taking your business to a different company often comes with big discounts and even freebies.

While you're at it, look to see if you really need everything you're paying for such as "free calls" and extra channels.

4. Bank account

If you've never moved your bank account, you're probably getting very little in return. Since 2013 it's been possible to switch your current account in just seven days – and the banks are competing fiercely to get your business.

You can get huge interest rates, cashback on bills and even bonus payments of up to £150.

5. Credit cards

Moving a credit card debt to a 0% balance transfer credit card can make a huge difference to your finances.

Someone who owes £1,000 on an 18% APR interest and pays £50 a month will take two years to clear and be charged £180 in interest.

But move it to a 0% balance transfer card with the same repayments and you'll only be charged a one off fee and clear it a few months sooner.

The size of the fee and the length of the 0% deal vary. Often the longer the 0% period the higher the fee, but there are options where that could be as low as 1% - in this case that would be just £10, saving you £170 in interest payments.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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