Thursday, March 27, 2008

A few money-saving ideas

I sometimes wonder why we (myself included) are fond of frittering away
our money, spending more than we need to on energy and insuring our homes
& cars, or leaving our money to fritter away in low interest savings
accounts.

Is it due to inertia … a well known phenomenon when it comes to changing
anything to do with our finances? Otherwise known as laziness or bone
idleness.

Perhaps a version of sticking your head in the sand and hoping things
will turn out for the best?

Is it due to ignorance?

Or could it merely be a desire to give our money away to fat cat company
directors and company shareholders?

Take for example the record profits made by British Gas in the past year
or so. Isn’t it wonderful that British Gas managed to achieve annual
profits of £571 million in 2007, up from £95 million in 2006?

Wow! £571 million. How wonderful.

Not only that but British Gas increased its gas & electricity prices
in January by 15 per cent, in line with increases made by other energy
providers.

Well, looking on the bright side, that will make a lot of people think
about using less energy in their homes, thereby cutting our carbon
dioxide emissions … good news for the environment.

In the past month or so, I’ve spent some time looking at various online
price comparison sites…

Martin Lewis’ moneysavingexpert site for energy & home insurance,

and Confused dot com for car insurance.

Overall, I reckon I’ve saved £670 by switching to cheaper providers,
or by haggling with an existing one ...

1. Direct Line reduced the renewal premium on our house & contents
insurance, when I mentioned a less expensive online quote I’d obtained.
Saving made: £340 for this year.

2. Switching to EBIco for dual fuel will save us about £260 for this
coming year.

3. Switching to the Post Office for car insurance saved us £90 for
this year.

So, why not use the internet to shop around and save yourself some money?

Please let me know about any success stories that you’ve had.

By the way, we’re saving an additional £20 each month on our phone,
Broadband & TV package, after I persuaded Virgin Media to offer me a large “retention offer” to stay with them rather than go over to BT
(and subsequently Talk-Talk). If you’re with Virgin Media & you are
outside any contractual term with them, the Disconnections Team are
the people to contact.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We tried that with virgin and they as good as said your welcome to move!

lom

2:08 PM  
Blogger justin said...

Yep, I've sometimes had this comment as well, but then had a different reaction from another person. Perhaps some of them don't wish to play ball. The majority I've spoken to have been helpful.

9:55 PM  
Blogger angel said...

it definitely helps to shop around! people are often amazed at what you can achieve if you just ask!

8:27 PM  
Blogger justin said...

Hi Angel. In recent years, I've been too lazy to use the comparison websites, thinking along the lines of: "Well, I've had no problems with xyz / I've had good service from xyz, so I won't bother changing this year".
Delusional thinking.

9:24 PM  

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