Turning over a new financial leaf with the start of the new decade could save consumers at least £1,000 by the time the year is out, says Which?.
Which? has the following 10 top tips for your 2010 money makeover:
- Check your credit cards – the average APR is almost 17%, but there are dozens of 0% deals which could save as much as £500 a year on a £3,000 balance.
- Switch current accounts – switching current accounts may not save you money but it could transform your banking experience and is easier than you might think. First Direct and Smile topped our survey for customer satisfaction.
- Change energy supplier – recent research from Which? Switch revealed households that switched energy supplier through the Which? Switch site between January and October 2009 saved an average of £263 a year by making the move.
- Get a free water meter – most homes in England and Wales are entitled to a free water meter which can help save water and reduce bills. Water regulator Ofwat estimates that metering can reduce household water consumption by between 9% and 21%. On an average bill of £312, this is a saving of up to £66.
- Get a new savings account – check that your savings accounts aren’t earning any less than 3% interest, and your cash Isas less than 2.5%. If they are, switch.
- Find the cheapest petrol in your area – use the internet to search for the best price for petrol in your postcode.
- Minimise your insurance premiums – car and will try and increase your premiums every year, but by switching, or threatening to, you can keep them to a minimum.
- Have a house swapping holiday – a house swap on a week’s trip to New York could save you around £900 compared to a three star hotel.
- Compare phone, TV and broadband prices – don’t take your home phone service for granted when there are options like Skype or bundles available.
- Insulate yourself – insulating your loft with blanket rolls can provide significant savings in heating bills.
Shop around for the best deals and don’t accept mediocre service
Martyn Hocking, Editor, Which?, says: ‘If you make just one New Year’s resolution this year, make it that you’ll face your finances head on. Check what you’re paying for goods and services, and shop around for the best deals. Don’t settle for mediocre service either – vote with your feet and take your business elsewhere if you’re not happy.’
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