| 15.8°C Belfast

Top tips for saving money... and a guide on how much you could be able to save this year

Close

Ditching takeaway coffees could save you £1,200 per year

Ditching takeaway coffees could save you £1,200 per year

Getty Images

Ditching takeaway coffees could save you £1,200 per year

It’s possible for some consumers to save over £9,000 a year... we show you how with some helpful advice.

Credit cards

Avoid large payments on credit cards by transferring the debt to a 0% balance-transfer card.

The Money Charity estimates that each UK household has an average credit card debt of around £2,058, whilst Moneyfacts said the average credit card APR is around 26.2%.

This means a customer with a £2,058 balance, paying the minimum monthly payment of 3% (£61) with the average APR of 26.2% could save £39 monthly by transferring the balance to a 0% card — even after including a 2.5% (£51.45) fee.

Save up to £470 a year

Energy supplier

Shopping around for a better energy deal could save you hundreds of pounds a year.

Visit a comparison website such as powertoswitch.co.uk and calculate how much you can save on electricity and gas bills.

Aodhan O’Donnell from Power to Switch said there is a £488.98 and £272.62 difference respectively between the cheapest and dearest electricity and gas supplier in Northern Ireland.

Mr O’Donnell said: “Over the last six months, people using our site have saved an average of £160.50 on electricity and £60.92 on gas.”

Save up to £220 a year

Lunch/Coffee

Forget coffee on the go and settle down for lunch in the office. (If you’re still working from home, it might be even easier to boost the coffers.)

Save around £5 a day — £25 a week or an estimated £1,200 annually — by bringing food to work rather than eating out.

Taking a packed lunch with you on a family day out will also save you cash.

Cutting out two shop-bought coffees, costing £2.75 each, every week for a year, would save you £286.

Save around £1,500 a year

Efficient appliances

If you need to replace an old kitchen appliance, take the opportunity to cut your electricity bills by choosing the most energy-efficient model you can.

Consumer watchdog Which? says this can result in significant annual savings of around £37 for washing machines, £83 for tumble dryers and £75 for fridge-freezers.

According to the Northern Ireland Consumer Council, turning off unused appliances can save £35 a year, while turning down your heating by just one degree could save householders up to £60 on their yearly bill.

Save up to £300 a year

Bad habits

Smoking is an obvious bad habit to quit. Not only is it terrible for your health, it’s awful for your wallet too.

A 10-a-day smoking habit can easily cost you £1,825 a year. Over 30 years that’s almost £55,000. Cutting down on booze can save the pennies too. On average consumers spend £1,000 per year on alcohol, which is £63,000 over a legal-drinking lifespan. Cutting out two glasses of wine or pints of beer at the pub a week, costing around £6 each, could save you £624.

Save up to £2,500 a year

Child benefits/vouchers

Transfer your monthly child benefit allocation (currently £84.60 per child) into a separate account for an annual saving of £1,015.20.

Meanwhile, Childcare Vouchers are a tax saving employee benefit that can save each parent up to £933 a year — a possible family savings of up to £1,866. Similarly, under Tax-Free Childcare, working parents can save 20% of their registered childcare costs, up to £2,000 per child annually. Contact Employers for Childcare’s Family Benefits Advice Service for more information. The freephone helpline is 0800 028 3008.

Save over £3,000 a year

Broadband

On average, customers in Northern Ireland pay £33.77 for their broadband deal each month, with the average cost of the cheapest introductory fibre deals at £26.34.

Virgin Media customers, who generally pay the highest average monthly bills (currently costing £41.68) could reduce the amount they pay by just under £145 a year by changing to a different provider.

Customers of BT and Sky could save more than £100 a year by switching providers.

A typical BT broadband customer pays £36.30 each month; Sky £37.32; TalkTalk £28.98.

Save up to £145 a year

Grocery bills

In 2019/20 the average NI household spent £65.10 a week on food and non-alcoholic drinks.

That’s £3,385.20 a year, according to Statista. We also typically spend more than our UK counterparts.

Slash food bills by make a list and sticking to it. Swap branded items for the shop’s own alternative.

Definitely don’t buy food you don’t need. UK consumers throw away almost 20% of the food they buy, which adds up to £50 worth of food waste per month.

Don’t buy what you don’t need.

Save up to £600 a year

Petrol and diesel

Northern Ireland currently boasts the lowest priced petrol and diesel in UK, according to AA data.

The average cost of unleaded is 143.3 pence per litre, while diesel costs 145.2ppl. But motorists should be aware of the vast price difference across forecourts.

Remember: a 5p-per-litre fuel price difference equals a £2.75 saving if filling a typical 55-litre car. So if you are filling up twice a week at the higher tariff, you’re essentially throwing away £5.50 a week or £286 a year.

Save up to £286 a year

Home insulation

A huge amount of heat can be lost through your roofspace. Although insulating the roof must be done by an expert, it can reap dividends long-term.

The Energy Saving Trust said this process alone can save £135 each year for a semi-detached householders. Also, stop heat escaping around window and door frames, pipes and attic hatches.

Draught-excluder strips and expanding foam fillers could help you save around £25 a year. Fill any gaps around skirting boards and floorboards too and save another £20 a year.

Save up to £180 a year


Privacy