What have you done financially lately?

Hello Dear Reader,

I want you to shake up your finances over the next week and do at least one of these. If you manage that, then come back to the list and pick something else for the following week.

1. Check and evaluate your mobile phone contract. Are you on the same contract that you’ve always been on? Do you use the minutes you’ve paid for? Do you use the 3G you’ve paid for? Do you use the text allowance? Unless you’re fifteen, then I doubt it very much! If you don’t use what you’re paying for then seek out a better deal at a lower cost. If you know what you are paying for…………….and I bet you don’t! Then use this price comparison site and enter your minutes and text allowances and see if you can get what you are paying for cheaper from another provider.

2. Sky TV, really? How often do you watch what you are paying for? You are paying for a multitude of channels that you don’t watch. We don’t pay for our TV channels other than the TV license. You can check whether your address will receive a good terrestrial signal by checking out this Digital coverage UK. If you are not watching TV for free, then you should!

3. Get points for Petrol! We’ve all got to get to work. It costs us £40 a week to commute to work and we have no choice but to pay for fuel. If you didn’t know, you can now get Tesco reward points every time you fill up your tank if you buy your fuel in Esso. We pass several petrol stations of this brand and now buy our fuel there and collect the points.

4. Spending your supermarket rewards vouchers on food? This is madness! Look out for the Christmas deals where you can double your points to spend on clothing, gifts and glasses from their opticians. Check out Boost to see how you can make the most of your rewards vouchers.

5. Cut the cost of transport by sharing the cost with someone else. Day in, day out, I pass the same cars going the same way as me every morning. We already share our journey and have half the transport costs we used to have. However, we could further reduce our transport costs even further by lift sharing and sharing the costs with someone else. Look at the liftshare website and check who’s going your way. Liftsharers usually pay their half, third or quarter (depending how many people are in the car). Not convinced? Check out their car sharing calculator to see how much you will save by sharing the cost with some one else. We go to work at the same time and come home at the same time five days a week. 

6. Clear out and get what you don’t need on ebay. You have lots of money sitting around your house. Each sale may only give you a few quid in profit but keep a tally of what you sell and it will soon add up. Photograph clothes and shoes and get them on ebay. Set yourself a target of selling an item a fortnight! You’ll have more room and more money.

7. Cut your car costs – find and use a reliable garage – don’t think you need to stick to the main dealers. However, check with local garages and then contact the main dealer and see if they will price match. If they wont, then haggle. You’ve always got your local garage to go back to if they don’t. Regularly check your oil, coolant and brake fluid. Check your tyre pressure and check your tyre tread………a new tyre is much cheaper than the fine! Use your local tyre dealer to check your tracking as this will extend the life of your suspension and tyres. Get a free MOT with your annual service – this is common in garages. Don’t get your MOT first and then service, but the other way round. Pay for your car tax annually as the savings over time will add up instead of paying every six months. Finally, put money into a savings account every month to cover car costs and to put towards a new car.

8. Check you have the best energy deal. I’ve fixed until 2014 but there are still good deals out there. I’m stunned by families who just pay the standard tariff, which is always the most expensive. Do your research and use the price comparisons sites and find the best deal. Do this every six months.

9. If you have any credit cards at all and you use them, take a spending break and pay off what you owe. Look for 0% credit cards where you can transfer some of the balance or hopefully all of it and pay as much as you humanly can to pay off the balance. Make sure you keep and eye on the terms and conditions and move the outstanding balance to another 0% credit card as the deal you have is coming to an end. We used this method to pay off our car finance in 2009 and effectively paid no interest on our car. 

10. Stock take your home, pantry and all food supplies. It will soon be Stoptober when we frugallers take a month off spending! Get ready by writing menu plans that include all of the ingredients you have. Parents will have had an expensive few months with school holidays and the return to school and we all need to take stock and use up what we have. If you have ten tins of tomatoes then you don’t need to buy any more and you do need to make lots of pasta sauce and tomato soup. 

Over to you Dear Reader, what have you done financially lately?

I’ll be back tomorrow………….another house viewing!

Love Froogs xxxxxxx