Spring has sprung, and I am pumped for the sunshine, longer days and cherry blossom on every street.
But if you’re thinking of breaking out the mower to get a head start on spring cleaning, why not take an hour or two to go over your household bills to see if you could save hundreds of pounds?
Every year I challenge myself to see by how much I can cut the annual cost of my household bills.
I know, I know, it’s a rock and roll lifestyle I lead, but I figure the more I save on stuff I don’t want (hello LinkedIn membership!) leaves me more cash to spend on treats for my family or plump into my savings for the future.
Here’s how to get started with a Spring Clean of your Cash and keep a few quid in your pocket.
Give the five tips below a go, and let me know on Instagram about how much you’re going to save.
1 Start by signing up for a cash back website
Sign up for a cash back and get paid a when you sign up for new bill providers. Websites, such as Quidco.com and Topcashback.co.uk, list retailers that pay commission when shoppers click through to them. In turn, the website rebates some commission to the consumer.
And the cashback can soon add up with some providers paying as much as £140 to new customers. Since I signed up to Quidco back in 2008, I have made £1,937, so take it from me, it’s definitely worth doing.
I explain how these sites work in this post from a few years ago.
It’s free money, seriously. Sign up – and thank me later.
2 Get rid of unwanted payments
Many of us continue to pay for subscriptions we don’t use and it’s costing us more than you’d think.
Now is a good time to take a fresh and thorough look at your bank statements, highlighting any direct debits leaving your account you’re unaware of, or subscriptions you no longer require.
This could be anything from gym memberships to magazine subscriptions.
And don’t forget to check your mobile apps – these subscriptions can quickly add up.
By cleaning up the unwanted subscriptions, no matter how small, you could save yourself money and see your funds looking much healthier as a result.
3 Haggle on home entertainment
Phone line rental, broadband and TV customers are often hit with price hikes, but that doesn’t mean that you should pay over the odds for your home entertainment package.
Get a cheaper deal by haggling with your service provider.
To get started, call your provider’s retention department and tell them you are thinking of leaving.
Use key negotiation phrases such as: “I’m paying too much for my current package”, “a competitor offers a similar deal, but for less” or “I am leaving”.
Choose your timing wisely and avoid peak periods, such as Mondays, lunch hours and weekends, as the operator may be busy with a long line of callers – and you might need extra time to make your case successfully.
4 Streaming is the way forward
If you are fed up with pay a small fortune for Sky each month, why not opt to stream my favourite channels with Now TV for as little as £7.99 a month?
With this on demand service, you can watch the latest movies, TV, live sports and kids entertainment on your television or tablet – and the best part is, unlike satellite companies, which require you to lock yourself into a 12-month contract and impose penalties if you pull out before it expires, you can cancel at the end of any month.
There are currently four passes available for Now TV; Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Kids and Sky Sports. These are available for subscription periods as short as one day (for Sky Sports), or as long as a month. You can get a 14 day free trial of Entertainment, Movies and Kids.
Bear in mind that all monthly subscriptions will auto-renew, so set a date in your diary if you don’t want to incur a charge the following month.
Further add to your savings by sharing streaming subscriptions – and their charges – with friends.
For instance, one of your pays the monthly charge for Netflix, while the other foots the bills for NowTV – and it’s all above board.
For now, anyway!
5 Say no to insurance auto-renewals
While it may seem obvious, shopping around for insurance can save you a fortune.
Never just accept the renewal quote you are offered as it is always worth getting quotes from rival insurers.
But keep in mind that the cheapest policy may not be the most appropriate as the level of cover will vary.
Another easy way to reduce costs is to pay your premium upfront.
Don’t be tempted to pay for any type of insurance monthly because it appears to be cheaper or more manageable.
It’s not, as you will be charged interest, which can be as high as 24% a yearFollow me on social media