Money & Motoring13th October 2013

Money Saving Tips

SL First's regular feature with more money saving tips

by Simon Deacy OBE

The important thing to remember is that is usually pays to shop around.

1. Don’t be frightened to haggle – when we go abroad, many of us are prepared to haggle about the price of things in markets and even in some shops. We do so because we are told it is part of the culture. There are times and places here in the UK where haggling has been taking place for years – buying and selling houses and cars – are two obvious examples.

What people don’t realise is that there are other purchases we make where asking for the ‘best’ price, or ‘lowest’ price is also very acceptable. If you are shopping for a new bed or sofa, these are often items with a heavy mark up and plenty of scope for movement on the asking price. Take a pen and pad with you, in case you need it, but be prepared to ask. If a sales person takes offence at you asking, then they probably don’t deserve your custom anyway.

And don’t be too cautious either, if they can offer big discounts in sales periods, that gives you a clue about the extent of their mark up, because they wouldn’t be selling it at a loss even during a sale. Bigger ticker items such as electrical white goods, TV’s are also worth asking about. If they give you a discount what else could they do to stop you taking your business next door. It pays to ask!

  1. Car insurance is a really good example of a regular family expenditure that is often renewed year after year without challenge. Some people actually stay with the same insurer for a long period, and yet the truth of the matter is, very few insurance companies reward loyalty – if anything the opposite occurs. New customers get the deals and loyal customers pay the top prices.

Our advice – either shop around every year to see if there are better deals available, or tell your insurance company that you can get a better deal elsewhere and give them the opportunity to match, or better it. You will surprised by how much you can get reduced and a ten-pound note is better in your purse or wallet than in the insurance company’s.

  1. When shopping on-line, as many of us do, have you noticed how often you come across a section on the payment page that invites you to give a promotion code. For years, I used to think – what’s that about? I don’t have a promotion code. I was missing out on making a saving on my purchase because I didn’t try hard enough to find a promotion code and include it. Quite often those savings will be 5% or 10%, free P&P, £5 or £10 off, or even higher.

Before you complete the purchase you were going to make anyway, just spend a couple of minutes searching the web to see if you can find one. Quite often they are very easy to find. You can also sign up to websites that do nothing else but send you voucher or promotion codes to reduce your shopping bills. There are several of them, registration should be free, and just remember to only buy because you wanted to anyway, not just because there is a voucher giving you a little off.

Week by week some of these savings can be small, seemingly insignificant amounts. But if someone came to you at the end of year and gave you £200 or £300 cash, and even more, you would be delighted. Shopping smart, can make sure you get that year after year.

Article by Simon Deacy OBE

posted in Deaf Lifestyle / Money & Motoring

13th October 2013