Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Money Savings Tips | By Harrison



Prepare yourselves for a long one.

Believe it or not, I have a professional job where people actually trust me with their money. I know, me, in charge of peoples money. You've got to be kidding. My role at work is a Personal Banking & Insurance Manager. I literally get paid to talk about money. So I thought, why not bring my skills from my job over to the blog and talk to you all about saving money. 

I think saving money is one of the most important things you should do as an adult. To have a healthy savings balance as something to fall back in on. To have that pot of money there for you to be able to enjoy your hard work. Save save save, that's what my parents always taught me.

So for today's post I thought I would go through with you how I save my money, how to save money and the best ways to do it and share with you a recent experience I had which lead me to saving a massive amount on my monthly expenditure. 





Let's kick things off with The Tips shall we? 

- Just Save: Literally, just put money into your savings account. Set up a standing order to go out of your Current Account on payday and into your Savings Account. That way, every month you know you're putting away some money and whatever is left, you can spend. It's not just about saving, you work hard for your money so you need to enjoy it. Equally, you need to have something to show for your money and have a little savings pot for protection. 
- Know Your Accounts. I recommend, once a year going into your bank, sit down with the Personal Banking Manager and have a review of your accounts. Make sure you're aware of all the accounts on offer in both your current bank and others on the high street. Learn how to make that account work for you. Does your Current Account pay interest? If not, get one that does.  Also, a packaged Bank Account. For £10 a month, you can get an account that provides you with your travel insurance, breakdown, mobile phone insurance and even gives you a little interest. Don't pay for it all separately, it always ends up costing more. Do you have a Credit Card? Believe it or not, Credit Card's can very much work to your advantage. They build up your credit score (Providing you pay them off every month) some of them are free to use abroad and some even give you cash back. Shop around, do your research, Know Your Accounts
- Shop Around. For the sake of an hour or two, you could save yourself a lot of money by shopping around. These days we have so many shops both on the high street and online that are providing great discounts and offers. Look at shops like TKMAXX for example, their tagline is Big Brands, Small Prices. If you're someone who likes branded clothes, check out TKMAXX first and you never know, you may find your favourite brand for half the price. You've also got shops like Home Bargains, all the same stuff you would find in Tesco or Sainsbury's but for half the price. Do not rely on comparison websites. Not all companies feature on comparison websites, so doing the work yourself can really save you some big bucks. 
Gift Cards/Loyalty Cards - The amount of money I have saved at Nando's by having their Loyalty Card is insane. I eat there regularly and it's somewhere I love to go, so why not build up points on my card to get some free food? Pizza Express, whenever I have been in there, they always give you some kind of discount card with your bill. 241, BOGOF, it all adds up. Nero, I like to go in there in the mornings, before work and grab a coffee for me and a colleague. Do that a few times and boom, you've got yourself a free one. Use your loyalty! 


Now for story time... 

I'm currently with Vodaphone for my phone contract and have been for years. I'm on a Sim Only contract which gives me Unlimited Calls, Unlimited Texts and 7GB of internet per month. The 7GB of internet wasn't enough for me, so I paid an extra £6 a month for an additional 1GB. In total, my monthly bill came to £40!! A ridiculous amount of money for what I was getting. 
So I decided to call them up, as a loyal customer (theres that word loyalty again) to see if there is any way of me being able to cut down my monthly costs. I wasn't using my Calls or Texts so my aim was to reduce some of them but increase my internet. 
The chap I spoke to over the phone was incredibly helpful, he spent the time looking for tariffs that would suit me, listening to what I was wanting out of my contract and really saving me some massive moolah!! 
Because I had been with them for so many years and had built up so many 'points' on my account (for being loyal), I was able to get an additional 10GB of internet free! So right away, I had gone from 8GB to 18GB without even having to do anything. Then he looked into my account again and because of these 'points' I had, I was able to get 50% off my monthly bill! THATS 50% PEOPLE!!! So at this point, I have got Unlimited Calls & Texts with 18GB of internet for £20 a month. Could you imagine how I was feeling at this point? 
Then, lightbulb moment: I was paying an additional £6 a month for just 1GB of internet, take that off, I go down to just £14 a month, for 17GB and keeping my minutes and texts. 
I went from £40 a month to £14 in the space of just 1 phone call! 

Moral of the story: CALL UP, ASK THE QUESTIONS, SAVE YOURSELF SOME MONEY! 
It really does pay to call up these companies. They're never going to proactively call you because after all, they're a business and they want to make money. However, if you're entitled to the discounts and you ask, they'll give it to you! 

I really could go on forever about saving money. And yes, it's probably a bit hypercritical writing a blog post about saving money yet photographing my YSL card holder but hey, newsflash, you work hard for your money, you should enjoy it! Equally, you work hard for your money, so you need to do everything you can to make your money work hard for you. 

I'm going to leave this post here for now, I may do a part 2 in the future with some other, more specific money savings tips. But for now, I'm off to go and enjoy my extra £312 a year that I have saved by simply calling my network provider! 

| Harrison |