27 February 2012

Lots of career breakers ask us about saving money for their career break. There are loads of different ways to do it, but here are the quickest ways (although you might have to wait a few months to feel the full benefit). Yes, you really can end up hundreds of pounds better off with just a few minutes' work!

Average savings are per year.

  1. Change your gas and/or electricity supplier. You know from the telly which comparison sites are out there (and if you don't, you are a lucky person).
    Average saving: £100
  2. Change your broadband and/or landline supplier. Word of warning - the really cheap ones have a reputation for crap customer service (mind you BT isn't brilliant so you might not be any worse off).
    Average saving: £120
  3. See if you can get a better mobile contract. If you're a light user, you'll probably be better off on pay-as-you-go.
    Average saving: £195
  4. Change your car insurance. Don't rely entirely on comparison sites for this, do phone a few companies as well.
    Average saving: £380
  5. Change your buildings and contents insurance. Lots of companies give you a discount if you have both  your buildings and contents with them. At the same time, check you've got adequate cover for your contents - lots of people never check this even after they've bought loads of stuff! (No it won't save you money now but you'll be better off should the worst happen).
    Average saving: £130
  6. Consider ditching your mobile insurance. Obviously a personal choice but at least have a look at the small print on your policy. We had a look at several recently and they exclude loss or theft from a 'location' - ie anywhere, unless you're beaten to a bloody pulp for it.
    Average saving: £67
  7. Change your mortgage provider. We're too stupid to give you proper mortgage advice here, and this is really one of those things where it has to be tailored to your personal circumstances, what you want to do in the future, how much risk you want to take, etc. Read the weekend papers before going to your bank. Be wary of financial advisors (they might be getting commission).
    Average saving: impossible to say because there's so many variables (sorry)
  8. Ensure you're not over-paying tax. Have a look at your payslip and ensure you're paying at the correct rate. You might be able to get tax credits, especially if you've got kids. Visit www.hmrc.gov.uk for everything you need about tax and credits, and National Insurance.
    Average saving: impossible to say again, soz
  9. Turn the heat down. And put a jumper on. Turn your appliances off properly - standby is the devil's work!
    Average saving: £100
  10. Put food in your freezer. Why are you throwing it away? Stick it in the freezer and you've got spare food or a tasty dinner on a night when you don't feel like cooking - and it's less trouble than scraping it into the bin. www.lovefoodhatewaste.com has more about this.
    Average saving: £600



What are your quick money-saving tips? Share them in the comments!

Sources: Ofgem (quoted in The Guardian), uSwitch, Telegraph, moneysupermarket.com, comparethemarket.com, Post Office, Insurance beaters, Insure My Mobile, Energywatch, Love Food Hate Waste