How To Save Money in 2013: Our Tips
January is always a pretty skint month for the best of us, so with all that staying in you have to do, why not take the opportunity to give your self a financial overhaul?
It may sound boring, but time spent sorting out your bills, hitting the sales and changing some of your attitudes could end up saving you enough for a designer handbag!
Take a look at our best money saving tips for 2013 here...
Always Check for Promo and Discount Codes
Always Google for discount codes or offers when buying items online, before you pay the full amount. You may often come across expired codes but it's always worth doing a trawl, as careful hunting around can bring you savings of 10% or more.
Save On Next Christmas Now
There are some amazing deals to be done by stocking up on cards, wrapping presents, and even presents while they are all half price or even less in the sales. If you have room to store them you will be so glad of the extra money in your pocket come December!
Switch Credit Cards Annually
Again, a little bit of admin once a year could save you a packet - credit cards drain you of cash with huge interest rates, so aim to clear your balance each month. However, we know that's not always possible, so switching the debt to an interest-free balance transfer card could save you a fortune.
For example, by switching £3,000 of debt on a card with the average interest rate of 17.32 per cent to the market-leading Barclaycard Platinum, there would be no interest to pay for 24 months. This card does charge a small fee to shift your debt, but you can still save as much as £387 over the year.
Check your Tax Code
Tax = boring, right? However, if you have the wrong tax code on your payslip, it could mean you are overpaying the government - so double check what you should be paying and check if you are eligible for a rebate at moneysavingexpert.com/family/check-tax-code
Martin Lewis from the site says that some users have saved thousands after double-checking their code.
Check Your Mobile Phone Tariff
Apparently, eight out of ten of us on monthly contracts are on the wrong tariff, and less than a third of us use our full minutes and texts allowance which could mean you're wasting up to £200 a year (think of the shoes!).
Themultitude of tariffs and offers can make it difficult to find the cheapest plan, but you can get help from internet services that compare providers prices. BillMonitor.com compares all the deals avaliable, and can even work out which one is best for your usage
When you have found a much better deal, you can always call your provider and let them know you plan to leave - they may even match the offer you've found.
Don't Buy Guide Books for Your Holiday - Borrow Them!
Libraries aren't just for your holiday bonkbusters - use your local library to borrow travel guides and maps for free before you head off on your trip. CDs, audiobooks and DVDs are cheap to rent too - we reckon it's an untapped goldmine.
Buy & Sell Your Old Clothes or Unwanted Presents
It's become easier than ever to make money from your old clothes, enabling you to buy and make room for new ones (result!) or just to save up for a rainy day. We love eBay and ASOS Marketplace, but Music Magpie and other similar sites are popping up all the time. Set aside an afternoon and blitz a huge pile, then wait for the cash to start rolling in.
Always buy Generic Medicines
Big brand names in medicine charge a massive premium for just that - the name. But when ypu realise that a 16-pack of Nurofen caplets costs £2 compared with Tesco's 16 pack of Ibuprofen caplets at 19p, and they serve exactly the same purpose, you'd be a fool to be sucked in.
Review Your Current Account
It may seem like a hassle, but changing current account provider to one that pays a good rate of interest could earn you some additional cash, as well as give you some introductory deals - the 1st Account from First Direct offers £100 if you switch.This would earn you £90 over the year compared with an account that pays an average rate of 0.65 per cent.
Also check your monthly chrages - if you use an overdraft every month, you could save ££s every year by switching to an account with an lower average overdraft rate and interest free on a percentage of that.