Tuesday, 6 January 2009


If you are a tenant, paying less rent may be impossible (although you may be able to negotiate a reduction if you have a longish relationship with a reasonable landlord who is very happy to retain you as a good tenant), but house buyers may be able to find a cheaper mortgage deal (if they are still employed).
Save money by switching your gas and electricity supplier- probably a better saving to be had if you have never switched before. It's also worth checking if you are in credit with any of your suppliers and if you are regularly so, then contact them to ask for a refund and/or to reduce your direct debit.
Water is a problem - we don't have any choices here, so the only option is to economise. If you are on a metered supply (and for environmental reasons) never wash or clean your teeth under a running tap. Have showers not baths. Don't keep washing clothes that are not really dirty and try not to flush the loo unless it's really necessary. I have a Hippo bag in my cistern to reduce the amount used each time I do have to flush it. Fill up the dishwasher all day and only put it on once there is a full load. Remember that the amount of metered water you use dictates the size of your sewage bill as well, so water economies will bring savings on this bill too.
Walk to work if possible but if it's too far, then make sure you have the cheapest bus/train season tickets available or car-share. Check your car insurance (and any other insurances you have) on a comparison website and see if there are savings to be made. If you are paying high monthly credit payments for your car and you are in trouble financially, it may make sense to sell it (if you can) and downsize to something that you can buy outright.
Find the longest interest free credit card deal you can and transfer your debt to it - this may incur a fee, but if you have a large debt, it may still be well worth it. Stop using your credit card if you can't pay it off each month. If you can pay it off each month and have the will power not to overspend, it could be worth finding a cashback credit card that will pay you a percentage back every month.
Check with your council to see if you qualify for any discounts on your council tax bill. If you are a sole occupier of your property, you are entitled to a 25% discount on your bill. If you don't live alone, but the other occupant in your home is a student, this will also give you a discount. Check out this website to see if you are entitled to any benefits - even if you are working you may still qualify. If you have a spare room, think about taking in a lodger, even if it's only from Monday to Friday - you can earn some much needed tax free cash from this.

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