Jump Start Jan: Personal Finance Week: Day 6

day 6 get a better deal on one bill personal finance week Jump Start 2014How are you getting on with Jump Start January so far? Today we’re going to try to cut back on one of our outgoings, so pick one regular bill and see whether you can find a better deal on it.

Ideally, have a look at previous bill patterns and personal usage levels, where this applies. Also check the small print and make sure you aren’t going to be hit with massive penalty charges if you move to another supplier (if this happens today, all you need to do after that is make a note in your diary for a rethink of that bill when the clause is up).

You could pick any one of the following:

  • Insurance
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Mobile phone
  • Home broadband
  • Landline
  • TV subscription

There are numerous comparison sites, so try several of them for quotes and don’t take the first offer you see. Shop around as much as you can so that you know the market, then call your current supplier and politely haggle with them. They may be able to offer you a lower price for the same thing or a different tariff that works out cheaper, or you can switch to another supplier if a better deal isn’t offered.

Check the small print very carefully to make sure any new deals are appropriate for your needs, and that there won’t be any extra hidden fees. It’s also worth looking at review sites to gauge levels of customer satisfaction before changing companies.┬áIf you’re switching, choose the best offer first and then check to see whether there are any cashback offers or discount codes associated with it.

Don’t forget that you may be able to get a favourable bundle deal, such as dual fuel, second car discount, or broadband + landline + satellite TV. With TV packages, it’s also worth checking a few online forums to find a few extra tips for reducing your bill at the haggling stage (for example, if one or two channels have been taken out of your subscription in the last few months then you might not have noticed them missing…but you could ask for a refund or reduced bill).

Also make a note in your diary to check that the old supplier doesn’t continue to bill you after you’ve switched. If necessary, complain in writing and keep a copy, and notify your bank to prevent further money being taken.

Good luck!

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