We all try to be careful with our spending.
But sometimes it all just seems like everything is just designed to cost you extra – from overdraft fees to customer service.
Luckily, we know a thing or two about getting the most out of your money.
From splitting the bill to staycations, here’s how you can protect your cash.
Get your timing right
If you are fed up with being fobbed off when you complain about poor customer service, don’t suffer in silence – just make sure you do it at the right time to make your feelings known.
Always call the organisation at the start of the day or around 10am, not at a busy time during lunch when everyone else is calling. Never phone five minutes before the lines close for the day with a long, complicated issue as it’s unlikely to be resolved.
Set a deadline for the company to respond — 14 days for a letter is fair. Make a note of the date so you can increase the pressure if it is missed.
Don’t get burned by bank fees caused by your energy provider
E.on has agreed to pay out more than £650,000 after it took 1.6 million customers’ direct debits two weeks early on Christmas Eve, leaving many without cash over the holidays and facing extra charges from their bank.
To make a claim, contact E.on with your bank statements that show the payments and overdraft fees that resulted.
While the energy giant refunded the incorrect direct debit payment at the end of December, some customers may have slipped through the net.
Enjoy wildly great savings
Save on days out with the family at theme parks by buying their little-advertised ‘pre-school’ tickets. At Chessington World Of Adventures, for instance, an adult and child five and undercan visit during term time for £25 — a saving of £67 off the normal price paid at the gate.
Protect yourself on staycation
Cancellations, accidents or illnesses on holiday within the UK can cost just as much as a trip abroad, yet research by Virgin Money found that 60% of stay-at-home holidaymakers fail to get travel insurance despite the risk of cancellations caused by injury or illness suffered either by you, a travelling companion or close family member.
When booking insurance, ask whether your policy will pay for cancellation if you test positive for Covid before departure, or curtailment if you catch it whileaway, as rules differ.
How your overdraft could be twice as expensive as paying on palstic
Did you know the interest on your overdraft could be more expensive than your credit card debt?
A recent rule means banks and building societies can no longer charge fees for overdraft use and must advertise prices with an APR to make comparing accounts easier. But, as a result, most accounts have 40% interest rates — double of most credit cards.
A cheaper option is a money transfer credit card. This is similar to a balance transfer card, but instead of switching a balance from one card to another, the money is transferred to your bank account so you can use it to clear your overdraft. Just make sure that you don’t see this as an excuse just to spend more money.
Don’t let them drag you down
Share a bank account with someone? Then you are more connected than you may think, as the credit record of the other account holder will have an impact on your own score.
If you have had a joint account with a previous partner or housemate who has bad credit, don’t panic. You can break the link between you through a process called ‘financial disassociation’.
Check the accounts are closed and any debts paid. then request credit agencies, such as Experian and Equifax, to remove from your credit report.
Vital help for your local school
80% of schools have been unable to fundraise since the onset of Covid, according to research by the Your School Lottery network.
If you want to help your child’s school, sign up to Amazon Smile and when you buy any products or services at the online retailer, it will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price to your nominated charity/school.
Charities can learn more at here.
Be a pro at organising payments for group outings
On a group getaway, making sure that everyone pays their fair share can be a nightmare, unless you use the app Splitwise. Just download it on your phone and create a group.
Then, every time someone makes a payment, such as their share of the Airbnb, enter the details of the cost and who paid into the app and tick the names of the people that will owe money.
At the end of the holiday, the app will tally up the payments and work out an equal split. The app is free on Apple and Android.
Get a tax break for tying the knot
Are you married or in a civil partnership? Is one of you a non-taxpayer and while the other pays basic rate?
If so, you may be entitled to a £1,220 tax break called the marriage tax allowance. One million couples are still missing out, so check it out here.
If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.
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