Loose Change is a series of blogposts by members of the UK Money Blogger community where they let loose on a financial issue important to them.
This week Ruth from Money Savvy Mum UK shares how she learnt to cut her bills.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day I called my internet provider in desperation because I couldn’t afford to pay my bills that month.
I was filled with dread and embarrassment as I waited to be put through to an advisor. How had things got to this point? We were £21k in debt and struggling to make ends meet.
My husband and I decided that things had to change. We needed to clear the debts that had been hanging over us for so many years. And we needed to figure out a way to deal with our bills that month.
Despite my worries, the lady on the phone that day was lovely. She said all the right things to make me feel better and I came off the phone with a brand-new broadband contract, saving me £15 per month! I was gobsmacked. And I was hooked! That one successful phone call spurred me on to make others.
I kept on cutting my bills
I have saved hundreds, thousands even, on all kinds of bills over the years. I have saved money on my car insurance (I once saved over £260 one year!), life insurance, pet insurance for my dog and cats, mobile phone bills, work van insurance, utility bills, and travel insurance.
I had seen on the Martin Lewis website that there were price comparison sites that could be used to find the best price for all different types of bills. These comparison sites search through hundreds of different companies, bringing you the best prices. It was all so unbelievably simple to do, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner.
The thought of all the money I had wasted on essentially overpaying my bills over the years made me feel quite sick. I used to simply accept whatever renewal price I was given. I was so angry that not a single one of these companies explained that I could get a better price if I shopped around.
They were just happy to take my money, and I vowed never to accept a renewal price off the bat again. Now, every time a bill is due for renewal, I hop onto one of the price comparison websites to find a better deal.
My favourite is Compare the Market as I can get the Meerkat movie and meal deal for a whole year if I use their website to switch. I do always check the other sites too just to make sure I am getting the best deal and not just being swayed by free movies for a year!
But switching and haggling wasn’t enough
We have certain expenses that we can’t make any savings with online. For example, my husband and I spend quite a lot each month on petrol as we run our own dog walking business and often ferry our two children about.
We both have a Tesco Clubcard and can earn points if we fill up at a Tesco garage. So we always make sure we do that where we can. It is sometimes a pain to do but the benefits of making the effort are well worth it. We have been able to have free meals out and enjoy numerous trips to theme parks for free by using our Tesco Clubcard points!
I discovered an amazing Now TV hack too. I looked online to see if I could get a better deal and found that it was just one set price. So, I proceeded to cancel as I just didn’t want to spend that much money each month on TV. But as I clicked the cancel button, I was offered all my channels for half price for the following three months! I accepted. I now repeat this same process each time my bill goes back up to normal price.
Whether you are trying to pay down debt or save more, I seriously think that slashing your bills is one of the most painless ways to free up more money.
Articles in the Loose Change series are written by members of our community. The views do not necessarily represent those of UK Money Bloggers or other members. The articles should not be taken as financial advice.