Here at Mazuma we know that times are hard and people are struggling with disposable income in the run up to Christmas. So we have come up with a few handy tips to help you with your personal finances. Some you will no doubt know or have already heard of, but it’s worth taking a few minutes to read through in case you find out some useful information. You never know…..you could save a lot of money!
- Keep all your receipts in a shoe box in your living room, and at the end of the month add them all up. You’ll be shocked! It’s a great reality check and it’ll stop you spending £50 a month on face cream that you don’t need!
- Don’t draw out more cash than you need. If you go to the cash machine and you draw out £20 when you only really need £10 so you have cash ‘just in case’, you’ll end up spending it on nothing you actually need and end up visiting the cash point yet again.
- If you can be strict with credit cards, they are a great way of making your money go further. If you buy everything on your credit card but set up a Direct Debit to pay it off in full the following month, not only will you earn interest on your cash sat in the bank and not incur any interest on your card, but you can earn rewards with various credit cards. Air Miles are a famous one, but high street stores often give you gift vouchers which you can spend in store as well if you use theirs.
- Put all your spare change in a ‘piggy bank’ – seal it so money can only go in and pop all of your change in there. Keep it towards Christmas or your summer holiday. You’ll be surprised at how much you collect, and even if it’s only £40 that is still extra spending money for you.
- Set up Direct Debits for everything. Often you will get a discount on your household bills for doing this, plus it means you don’t face a quarterly or annual bill to contend with. They always turn up when you don’t need them – such as your car breaking down and you having to fork out on unexpected costs!
- Use comparison sites. These are really useful when renewing your insurance, although sometimes it is cheaper to go direct to the provider as some providers do not use comparison sites. Also, if renewing your insurance and you get your renewal quote though, don’t just accept it. I had mine through for my car insurance and I decided to bang all my details in online at my current provider who’d just sent my renewal quote….and it was over £300 cheaper!! Yes, just by cancelling and setting up a new policy with the exact same insurance provider, I saved over £300 on my quote. That’s an extra £25 in my pocket every month for 12 months for just 15 mins work!
- Use the internet to find discount vouchers. There are many internet sites out there that help you get something for (almost) nothing. Money Saving Expert is a good one, they provide discount vouchers for eating out, shopping, days out, etc. If you are planning on going out for a meal, you can often find vouchers for ‘50% off your food bill’ or ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ etc, which means you can save yourself some cash or if you’d prefer, eat twice as much for the same amount!
- Appeal against fines, etc. You can reclaim your cash on unfair parking tickets, mis-sold payment protection insurance, credit card late payment fines and more. You can go back up to six years and if you win, you can claim back thousands. At the moment you cannot claim back bank charges as there is currently an appeal going on in the High Court, but hopefully if the banks lose their appeal there is approx £1 billion of unfair charges that could be claimed back. Look out for it in the news.
- If you are a family, you are entitled to claim family tax credits if your household income is below £66350, which is much higher than many people realise, so make sure you are making the most of them and getting all that you are entitled to.
- If you can, take a day off work and sort out all your finances, it’ll clear your head if you are in a bit of a mess and well worth taking a day’s holiday for as you’ll feel far more organised and relaxed afterwards!
Hope that helps and good luck with saving those pennies!