ways to save

Cash savings

Our money is something we have to look after, especially in these days of recession, so cash savings are a must. A very good way of saving money is by transferring the balance on your credit card to one of the banks offering zero percent balance transfer. So when your credit card bill arrives on your doorstep and you look at the amount of money you owe and your heart sinks and your stomach turns over, stop panicking, take a breath and head for the computer. Bring up Virgin money, Barclaycard, Natwest or one of the other banks offering zero percent balance transfer, and sign up. They will charge you 3 percent or thereabouts to transfer your debt from a credit card account to their zero percentage rate account, and give you up to 22 months to pay it off. So if you owe, for example £1000, add on their charge of 3% i.e. £30 and spread the payments over 22 months is less than £47 a month. This is a great deal better than paying the debt off to your credit card company as some of them charge a whopping 30% interest, or £300 on your £1000.

I use Virgin but you can also apply to HSBC, Abbey, Egg, Nationwide or any of the big banks who offer this facility.

The latest zero percent transfer I've seen is from Natwest bank. They offer you 22months interest free for a transfer fee of 3%



Cash Back

Another way of saving money on your bills is by using a cashback site. These sites offer huge lists of retailers, insurance companies and warehouses where you can buy goods or take out your essential insurances, and then they give you some of your money back. Hard to believe, I know but recently I've used them and been very pleasantly surprised by the amount of cash I've got back. Depending on what you buy the cashback given varies from around 5% to 70%.

When my car insurance became due I used Topcashback.com and got quotes from different Insurance Companies. My insurers had quoted me £330 to renew my comprehensive insurance cover. I got it from Liverpool Victoria, through Topcashback, for £199, exactly the same policy. Then I received £70 back from Topcashback, so my policy cost me £129. A huge saving.

On my house insurance, I got huge savings. Through Topcashback I saved £60 by switching to Privilege. The policy gave me much better cover than I was getting for a lot less money.

I also switched my gas and power companies with Moneysupermarket.com and got £30 back for doing it through the cheaper company I found on their site.

Cashback sites take advantage of the way payments from different websites work. They list product providers and retailers, and when you click through to these websites, they get paid for pointing you towards them.

When you’re logged in to the cashback site the money raised from your click is credited to you so the site can pay you some of the money it receives from the click.

They also have agreements with many retailers, who will pay them commissions which they share with you.

The competition is so great now between retailers and insurers that I always look at the cashback sites before I buy anything. You can save hundreds of pounds a year just by browsing. Have fun!


http://www.topcashback.com

ISAS

If you have money that you can tie up for a year, cash Isas are a good, tax free saving.

Cash ISA limits are being increased to £5100. If you are over 50 it comes into force in October this year, but if you're under 50 you have to wait until next April 5th. This is a real boost to your savings as you can get a good deal from banks and building societies and the interest is tax free. If you get in on a yearly fixed rate you can do a little better than the normal cash ISA. At the moment I'm getting 3% with the Principality fixed for a year, but there are plenty of other deals about.


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