Friday, 12 October 2018

Why You Should Regularly Review Your Expenses

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Why You Should Regularly Review Your Expenses

I'm pretty savvy with my money. We know what comes in and what goes out, what we can transfer to savings and how much we need for variable spends each month.Whenever my insurance renewals come around I use comparison sites to ensure I get the best deal and where possible cashback sites to squeeze out every last penny.


What I haven't done in a while though, is review my fixed expenses - the ones that don't come with a renewal reminder and are paid by direct debit so are therefore budgeted for but otherwise forgotten about so I decided to take a closer look at the direct debits I usually forget about. A few months ago, I finished my phone contract and went to a sim only deal saving me £24.67 a month.

So where else could I save money if I'm already getting the best deals on my mobile and insurances?

Gas and Electric

First I turned to my Gas and Electricity. It's my largest bill after the mortgage but I knew I was in a contract with my provider which is why I hadn't bothered trying to switch. However, I thought I'd do some reading and see if there was a way out. When we moved into our house in March 2017, our combined monthly DD was £70, that has progressively increased and the latest rise on 1st October saw it shoot up to an eye watering £149 a month. I turned to trusty google and found a helpful article on ofgem about changing energy suppliers. I then headed to Uswitch, plugged in my numbers and realised I could make a hefty saving if I switched to Bulb. I hadn't heard of Bulb until recently, but I've been seeing a lot of good press and the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram are going crazy about it, so I took the plunge and switched. Better still, Bulb will pay your 'get out' fees - massive annual saving and no fees to pay - win win. Even better, it was all done online and I won't have to contact anyone to change.

Monthly Saving: £30.69

Council Tax

Next we looked at Council Tax. Since hubby is a full time student now, we are entitled to a discount. A quick form to fill out was all it took and our bill was cut by a third.

Monthly Saving: £40

Insurances

I can't count this as a monthly saving just yet, as this isn't set to happen until February but we've combined our home insurance and both car insurances into one policy... and we didn't even look for this saving! They called us, asked for our renewal figures/dates for each policy and then beat what we currently pay. Our insurances are very low anywhere so I was surprised to find that they could save us more money.

Monthly Saving: £19.63

What's next?

We're in a contract with Sky until March but I'm going to see if we can reduce our cost before then even though we're already on the cheapest package. If not, when March comes along we'll be saying Bye Bye to Sky and just pay for a broadband package (we currently have 3 in 1 bundle). We never watch TV - it's just the CBeebies channel on a loop, so we'll switch to Freeview and just keep Netflix.

Conclusion

For very little effort in the last few months (though you could quite definitely achieve this in an afternoon!) We've managed to trim £95.36 from our monthly outgoings (with a further £19.63 to come (potentially more with Sky)).This is an annual saving of £1,144.32! That's more than one months take home pay to me!

Have you reviewed your expenses lately? How much could you save?

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