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Money Ideas: Save on Utilities. Earn on savings and Direct Selling

Updated on September 12, 2014
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Jo has been an ITU nurse at the London North West NHS Trust for 14 years. She obtained her RN at University College London Hospital.


Save More Money: Tips and Ideas, Save on Utilities, Earn Money with You Savings, Make Money Direct Selling

Save Money on Energy

With energy bills continuing to soar here in the UK, it is now time to look at what else is available out there. The big six energy companies, have had the monopoly for far too long.

Despite raking in massive amounts of profits each year, the price of energy continues to rise, as the average consumers are left feeling like they have been mugged.

Ofgem, the regulator for gas and electricity in the UK have so far failed to fix the problem.

The government admits that a problem exists with some suppliers giving discounts to some customers only to recoup their money by overcharging others.

It’s time to fight back and start saving money on your energy bills. Over 100,000 people recently signed up with the consumer groups Which and 38 Degrees, in the big switch campaign, to join the fight against extortionate gas and electricity tariffs. The plan is to use collective bargaining power to get consumers a better deal on their gas and electricity bills.

Fixed Tariffs

The average consumer can save on their utilities by comparing tariffs, fixed tariffs are usually the cheapest deal on offer, this is where your energy price remains fixed for a set period of time, usually for 1 or 2 years, which will protect against future price raises.

However, if you should later decide to get out of the contract early, you may find you are required to pay an exit fee. Companies such as www.utilitywarehouse

will reimburse up to £200 towards this exit fee, if you decide to switch and join them.

Although householders saw a reduction in their bills from all the major suppliers of about 5% earlier in the year, it is predicted that prices will begin to raise again this summer, so it is prudent for consumers to get on to the cheapest possible tariff, before the rates begin the upwards climb again.

Take a look at current best buy tariffs to compare prices and to make savings at: Consumers can save on energy bills by:

  • Using less gas and electricity
  • Turn down thermostat
  • Defrosting freezers
  • Use seals, draft excluders and insulation, around the house don’t forget the basements and attics
  • Install green technology, you may be eligible for discount price for solar panels, worth looking into, but not practical for everyone

Make money doing nothing

One of the easiest ways to make money is by placing your savings into the highest interest saving account available, then just sit back and count the interest. However; in our current economic climate, this is not as easy as it may sound.

So where do we get the best saving accounts? Well... if you are a taxpayer, you can start by opening instant access cash ISA; this allows you to earn interest tax free.

What is an ISA?

ISA or the Individual savings account was initiated by the government to encourage saving for the future. The interest gain on savings, bonds and any capital gains made on investments that is held within an isa is tax free. ISA replaced personal equity plans (Peps) and Tax exempt special savings accounts (Tessas) which closed to new investors in 1999.

With ISA, there is a limit on how much can be invested each year, it comes in two sizes maxi and mini, there are rules on how much money can be invested in each.

In April a new cash ISA year opened, allowing UK adults the ability to put £5,640 in a tax free savings account which pays 3.5% easy access or 4.5% fixed. Once in the account, the money remains tax free with a higher rate the longer the cash is locked away.

For the tax year 2012-2013 the annual ISA allowance has been increased to £11,280, but only £5,640 of that may be used for a cash ISA.

Compare cash ISA rates;

Make Money from direct selling

A new generation of entrepreneurial sellers are making money and topping up their monthly income by selling from home. Gone are the 1960s vision of tea parties and boxes of Tupperware.

In the UK alone more than 400,000 people are employed in direct selling, and according to the Direct Selling Association (DSA) this industry makes around £2 billion each year.

Avon still leads this market with 6.5 million representatives worldwide.

Make Money with AVON

Avon pays its representatives commission of 20% of the value of each product they sell, and still remains a good way to earn a second or part time income stream.

The Direct Selling Association (DSA) says, the average direct seller can expect to make anything from £50 to £1000 a month, depending on how much time and effort they put into the business. While this will not be sufficient to make you rich, at a time when food and other household bills are soaring, and energy prices increasing, every little bit helps, as the saying goes.

How to become a direct seller

Firstly, ensure that the company you choose is a member of the DSA.

This will give you some security, since all of their members have to follow a code of practice which is approved by the Office of Fair Trading.

You will be required to pay a start-up cost with a limit of up to £200, this will cover for expenditures such as brochures, packaging and any training required. However; the DSA states, that the average cost is actually much lower, Avon’s set up fee is only £15. And the code includes a 14 days cooling off period for both new representatives and customers who are buying from direct sellers.

Having received the appropriate kit and training, you can now start selling; friends and families are usually the first port of call.

Selling can be done door to door or by throwing a party to show your new product and to get some orders. For every product sold, you will earn commission, the more you sell, and the more targets you reach the bigger the rewards. Each company uses its own discretion when awarding commissions above its standard rate. Pays 20% commission Pays 30% commission 20% commission

As a direct seller, you may need to get insurance to cover fire and flood at you home where your stock of products are stored, your products may not be covered by some content policies, and should be checked for any restrictions.

Working for a direct selling company can be easily adapted to suit your lifestyle. The hours you put into it will directly relate to how much money you will earn.


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    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Rajan, thank you for the visit and comment... everything is so expensive at the moment, we have to make some saving where we can.

      Always good to see you, with best regards.


    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very interesting and useful read, Jo. In these economic times it is imperative we save energy. Apart from saving energy, we will be aiding the environment.

      voted up and useful.

    • profile image

      LeslieB27 5 years ago

      I mean tight budget is where I seem to always be stuck at. Have any of you switched to prepaid phones from the usual contract phones? I know this isnt energy based but its still money ideas and everythign helps!!!My neighbor recently did it and she is thrilled with it and saving with her, her husband, and her son she said more than 125 dollars a month. She used the company Tracfone so she can only speak to that company but she has basically the exact same Samsung phone as me and I want to do the switch but I dont know.. I dont know anything about prepaid! their website seems like great deals but was wondering if any of you have had any info on them

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Angel, thank you so much for stopping by, and you are so right, in these trying times every little bit helps, I hope people will find the info. useful.

      Take care and have a lovely day.

    • Angelme566 profile image

      Angelme566 5 years ago

      A good learning input broad , you explained it well..Time is so hard , we must know how to be resourceful , to be innovative , wise and smart and we must know how to save even a little

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Molly, the solar power is a bit on the expensive side, but in the UK there are some government projects to help with the cost, but not everyone will qualify.

      There are probably similar schemes in the US, worth looking into. thank you for the visit and comment. Take care now.

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 5 years ago from The Shire

      Great ideas, To! Everybody is looking to make/save money these days. I've been seriously considering trying to incorporate solar power into my home. It's too expensive to do all at once, but maybe piecemeal. It would be great to get off the grid.

      Up and useful!