Auto-renewal contracts can be very tempting. I have been tempted myself.
When the RAC wrote to tell me that my breakdown cover was up for automatic renewal and that I wasn’t “required to do anything,” I decided to tick that task off my list.
The price? Around £230 , a substantial increase and £100 more expensive than the closest competition.
A quick call to complain was all it took to be offered a much more competitive deal. However, too many of us do not make that call and some of us simply do not notice the price hike in the first place.
Auto-renewal contracts are not the only culprits. By keeping good records, regularly checking your financial agreements and comparing them to the latest offers on the market, you could end up saving hundreds of pounds per month.
Our clients are often astonished at how much more money they are spending than necessary when we review their current mortgage and outgoings.
Here are ten simple tips from our experts to help you spot potential savings:
1) Form a habit of setting an “auto-renewal” alert on your desktop or mobile devices when you take out a new contract. You don’t have to wait for the letter. Contact your provider and let them know that you intend to shop around. Get a concrete figure and if you can find a better deal your provider may even match or beat it.
2) Read reviews. Websites such as ReviewCentre and Feefo are great for empowering savvy consumers. Sales techniques are no match for reviews from people who have already tried and tested the products and services you are interested in.
3) Too busy? Get expert help. If a financial adviser cannot find any flaws in your current financial set-up then you can relax. If they spot potential savings or unnecessary risks, their advice may be worth far more than it costs.
4) Always look at expensive insurance add-ons as that’s where the companies make their profits. On vehicle cover, ask yourself if the extras are value for money such as courtesy car cover, lost keys or misfuelling protection. For building and contents cover, check the costs involved on things like “new for old” and legal cover.
5) Do not assume that group discounts, such as multi-car policies are necessarily cheaper than alternative options. Often they are not.
6) There are now thousands of mortgage schemes on the market. When was the last time you had a professional look at yours?
7) If you have credit card debt, it pays to shop around for best offers. With so many deals around, you could see yourself saving a small fortune and paying the debt off earlier by being market savvy.
8) Going on a holiday? We have all seen the pound slide against the Euro and the Dollar, so getting the best exchange rate has never been more important. Avoid expensive airport currency exchange outlets as they tend to be significantly more pricey than online or prepaid currency card options.
9) Many of us now order our groceries online. Register with all of the shops that you like as many of them will entice you with money off vouchers if you do not use their shop for a period of time.
10) Finally, take a close look at your utilities and compare your prices with other suppliers + remember that you can use different suppliers for gas and electric.