Money saving tips
We would all like to make our money go that bit further. The good news is that there are things we can do to get the most from our income.
From changing your energy supplier to getting the right bank account, this section will show you some of the simple things you can do to save money.
You can also try using our budget tips and planner here.
There are some quick and easy things you can do to keep the heat in and the costs down that - combined - can save a lot of money.
Switching off appliances at the plug socket, closing doors behind and making sure taps are turned off don’t take a lot of time or effort and by making your home as energy efficient as possible you could save over £300 a year on fuel bills and reduce harmful carbon emissions.
For all the best hints and tips read our Saving energy guide.
Basic bank accounts are simple accounts that are designed for managing day-to-day money. They may be ideal for you if you:
- Have a poor credit record
- Want to ensure you can’t get access to more money than you have in your account.
Basic accounts allow you to have money paid directly into your bank and if you get an account with a debit card you’ll be able to use it to pay for goods and services, for shopping online and for withdrawing money at cash machines.
This type of account isn’t for everyone so it is important to know what will work best for you. A basic account won’t let you overspend so if you are going to use it to pay bills by direct debit or standing order then you will need to make sure there is enough money in your account; if there isn’t then your bank will not make the payment and you may be charged a fee.
If you want to discuss which type of bank account may be best for you then please contact us.
Having home content insurance could save you lots of money in the event of a burglary, fire or flood; without it things like televisions, carpets, jewellery and games consoles would not be replaced.
Why do I need it?
If you are a tenant who rents, then your landlord may not cover your contents as part of the tenancy agreement. It’s a good idea to consider what a home contents insurance policy would cover you for in order to help you make an informed decision on whether you need one.
Contents insurance is designed to help protect your possessions. No matter how careful you are, there’s always a risk that your belongings could be broken, damaged or stolen so home contents insurance can help provide peace of mind.
To help you decide whether home contents insurance is right for you, Progress Housing Group have teamed up with Thistle Tenant Risks, and Ageas Insurance Limited who provide the My Home Contents Insurance Scheme, a specialist Tenants Contents Insurance policy.
The My Home Contents Insurance Scheme can offer you insurance for the contents of your home including cover for items such as furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes, bedding, electrical items, jewellery, pictures and ornaments.
How do I get further information?
• Ask your local housing officer for an application pack.
• Call Thistle Tenant Risks on 0345 450 7288
Alternatively, please visit the www.thistlemyhome.co.uk for more information or to request a call back.
The National Housing Federation is an Appointed Representative of Thistle Insurance Services Ltd. Thistle Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 310419. Registered in England under No. 00338645. Registered office: Rossington’s Business Park, West Carr Road, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 7SW. Thistle Insurance Services Ltd is part of the PIB Group.
‘Help to Save’ is a new Government savings scheme for people on low incomes who receive certain benefits.
The initiative gives you a bonus payment of up to 50% on savings paid into the account.
Who can get Help to Save?
You can apply for a Help to Save account if you are receiving Working Tax Credits (WTC) or if you have a nil award for WTC but are receiving Child Tax Credits (CTC). You can also apply if you are claiming Universal Credit and earned at least £542.88 in the last assessment period.
You only need to be eligible on the day you apply for Help to Save. If your situation changes and you stop claiming Tax Credits or Universal Credit, your Help to Save account will stay active.
However, there are currently only a limited number of accounts available whilst the scheme is on trial until October 2018, have a look today:
If you are struggling with your finances please contact your local Citizens Advise Bureau for face-to-face support or https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en for free and impartial advice. If you are struggling to pay your rent you should always contact us in the first instance to see how we can help.
One of the areas where people can often save a lot of money is on their food shopping.
Top 10 tips to reduce your food bill
- Food apps such as OLIO and Too Good To Go help prevent waste by connecting people to bargain bags of surplus food from supermarkets and other local businesses. Lidl offers a box for £1.50
- Look out for wonky veg deals.
- Bulk out meals – Eat less meat and use cheaper ingredients such as pulses, chorizo, and chickpeas to add nutrition to your meals and make them go further.
- Plan your meals and batch cook. Freeze the meals, which you can eat later in the week/month.
- Check your fridge is set to the recommended temperature of 4°C or lower to ensure your fresh food and leftovers keeps for as long as they should.
- Make use of store points and vouchers and look out for good deals.
- Make sauces from scratch. For example tinned tomatoes is far cheaper than a ready-made curry sauce. You can add herbs and spices, which last longer.
- Buy frozen food, rather than fresh food, as it can be stored for longer.
- Shop in the evening, when there might be more ‘yellow sticker’ items.
- Look in the world foods aisle which can often have cheaper store cupboard foods.
Most of us are guilty of buying too much and wasting food or impulse buying but by effectively planning you could make a big saving. The Money Advise has a budget tool to help you budget more efficiently have a look:
We also have local community shops that provide more affordable food:
- The Base community centre, Broadfield estate, Leyland:
Community cafe every Monday offers free hot food for the local community between 10am - 4:30pm
One stop shop every Wednesday – Register and pay £2.50 per week to select 10 items of food from the shop.
- The Fylde Food Community Hub - Lower Lane Community Centre
Open Saturday mornings. For more information visit their Facebook page.
- Wade Hall Community Shop, Royal Avenue, Wade Hall, Leyland. Open Mondays 12.30pm until 6.30pm. Members pay £3.50 per visit for 10 items. More details can be found here: Wade hall community association | Facebook
Money Saving Expert has pulled together this guide which covers everything from budgeting for the big day, creating affordable magical memories for children, to how to get cheap fancy perfume: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/christmas-savings/
Here are our top five favourite tips:
1. Seek out good quality, second-hand items through charity shops or toy swap shops and local Facebook Marketplace groups.
Money Saving Expert has some tips on how to bag some bargains: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/cheap-online-shopping-shopbots/
Price-drop alert site https://www.lovesales.com/ allows you to add items from online retailers to your 'wish list' and name the price you're willing to pay, or ask for an alert when the price drops. Retailers include Asos, Amazon, John Lewis and M&S.
Sign up to Money Saving Expert’s weekly emails to find the best bargains: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip/
2. Calculate your budget (see our free Budget Planner), and ask: "What can I afford to spend?"
Make a list and stick to it, to make sure you don’t go overboard. We all want the perfect Christmas, but not at the risk of getting into debt or not being able to afford your rent or bills.
Try starting saving early by putting a small amount of money aside each month.
3. Make a No Unnecessary Present Pact (NUPP) with family and friends.
If you ‘feel guilt-tripped’ into buying presents for people, explain you want to cut back this year and focus on giving gifts to your children and close relatives. Chances are, with the current economic climate, those people may also want to cut back and don’t want to be the first to say so.
4. Secret Santa
This can be a fun and creative way for you to give one gift within a large group of friends or family, rather than buying everyone a present.
5. Make your gift meaningful
Instead of spending money on a gift, why not perform a good will gesture? Offer to babysit, do someone’s household chores, spend some quality time with someone who is isolated, cook a nice meal, or treat someone.
Create special memories by making plans to spend a day or evening with someone and do an affordable activity, like a treat day or date night.
If you still have any questions, please contact us.
If you need additional information from trusted local services about a wide range of local health and community services, please check with your local council.
Visit the Government's Help for households campaign for discounts and offers on groceries, retail, entertainment, transport, utilities and health and fitness