Money Saving

I hate the phrase ‘credit crunch’ and actually take offense whenever anyone around me uses it.As a society we appear to be able to talk the country in to and out of financial difficulty particularly easily and without fail, whenever we hear a little bit of bad news the entire nation takes steps to make it rapidly worse.I’m going to have to be careful not to get on my soapbox here but I remember the problems with Northern Rock some months ago when after a leakage of bad financial news customers queued around the block to draw there money out which resulted in the group being bought to their knees in literally days.

We can certainly give the economy the strongest chance of bouncing back by trying to stick to existing spending patterns as much as possible rather than putting our lives on hold or changing our lifestyles whenever the media suggests that it would be prudent to do so.I’m not denying that some belts may need to be tightened but fortunately a lot of this can be done without changing your existing lifestyle.

Let’s start with the obvious; electricity and gas.These utilities have been making the papers recently and if the headlines are to be believed then massive increases are unavoidable, however in reality these increases are predominately confined to the basic tariffs the energy companies offer.The truth is that the majority of customers are shouldn’t be on these tariffs anyway as they are unlikely to be the most cost effective.Despite the fact that locating the cheapest supplier and tariff then making the change would be unlikely to take more than an hour and could save hundreds, very few have bothered making the effort.

There are a vast majority of price comparisons on the market but my favourite at the moment (purely down to the fact it has consistently given me the best prices) is

This site is split in to sub-categories which will allow you to search for the cheapest deals on the following:

Money – Credit cards, loans, mortgages, current and savings accounts.

Insurance – All the obvious including home, car, life, pet, medical and breakdown.

Travel – Flights, holidays, car hire and hotels

Gas and Electricity – Fairly self explanatory

Communication – Phone, Broadband and Mobile

Only by comparing the market will you know whether you are paying too much.Even a few hours spent to establish that you are indeed using the most suitable suppliers then it would be time well spent, however I’m confident that practically every reader could still make savings in some areas.Bearing in mind that in the case of mortgages, loans and credit cards then a few hours spent checking could easily result in savings running in to the thousands.

It would be apt now to mention the old ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’ maxim however I for one have always found this particular nugget of wisdom to be inaccurate. The hypothetical penny spent would have originally been a greater figure before tax was deducted.Those working within a 22% tax band can consider their penny saved to be the equivalent of 1.22p earned.


About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.