More Money Saving Tips 2-12

Continued from 99 Money Saving Tips

2. Make sure you are getting the best possible interest rate for your savings, opening an online or in branch savings account would normally give you a higher interest rate than a regular current account. Though in the current climate shop around and keep your eye open for good savings rates as when The Bank of England base rate falls it is great for mortgages and loans but not good for savings accounts.

3. Don't miss your credit card payment dates as this will mean you will be charged around £12 for a late payment, even if you only make the minimum payment you will avoid this charge. So set up a direct debit payment to make sure you never miss the date by accident.

4. Many Credit Cards offer rewards so that you choose their card over another, the rewards can be points, cashback or gift vouchers when you sign up. But be careful not to choose a card just for the rewards, make other comparisons such as the APR, interest free period and how many outlets actually accept that card.

5. Interest free transfers are offered for a varying period of time by many Credit Card providers and this can be a great way to transfer a debt and pay it off in a set time. The points to keep in mind are; make sure you transfer while the offer is still on, compare the charges for the transfer against the interest you would be charged if you left the outstanding amount on your current card. Set up a Direct Debit to make sure your clear the amount in the interest free period, don't make further purchases on that card as any payments you make will be deducted from the transfer balance first, meaning that you will be charged interest on purchases until you have cleared your transfer amount, which could be some time!

6. Be aware that the way you conduct yourself with regards to credit is noted and this could affect what rate you are offered when you apply for further credit. In fact if you conduct yourself badly then you may actually be refused credit in the future.

7. If you think that you could easily be tempted if you had a store card, don't get one as interest rates can be much higher than credit cards and you still would be charged if you made a payment late or missed a payment. However if you are sure that you would have the will power to not use your card again after the first purchase (or chop it up) then offers for taking out store cards can be quite good, for example 10% off your first purchase.

8. Try not to get into trouble with your mortgage payments. If you feel you are struggling to pay your mortgage, speak to your provider about taking a mortgage payment holiday, or extend the term of your mortgage which will lower your monthly payments. This is much better than simply defaulting on your payments. Whichever option you decide to go for make sure you are clear on the implications ie: if you take a payment holiday, would this effect moving home and taking your mortgage with you etc.

9. If one month you have a little extra money or you have a bonus, use it toward clearing your credit cards or personal loans as the sooner you pay them off the less interest overall you will have to pay.

10.If over the past 6 years you have incurred large bank charges for going over your overdraft or having insufficient funds for Direct Debits, then go through your statements to see exactly what you were charged. A rule has been brought in to state that any charge over £12 will be investigated by the OFT and could potentially be refunded and due to this you will find most financial charges will not carry a fee higher than £12. This does not mean that £12 is the correct charge it just means that any charge of £12 or under will not be investigated and so most financial charges have been set to this amount for this reason. If you do not have on-line banking you can request copy statements for a charge (usually £10) and anything over this you can request a refund.

11. If you are a frequent traveller with work or pleasure and you tend to use your credit card abroad you have probably found that charges of usually 2.5% per transaction are charged. If this is the case, change your card as some don't actually charge for overseas use, it is simply about being aware and making your money work for you.

12. If you think you may be getting into difficulty with your outgoings, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and ask them for their advice. They are trained to help people with situations such as yours and they can also help you think of solutions, and will negotiate with the people you owe money to, on your behalf.

13. Check that you are claiming any benefits that you are entitled to such as Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit (you do not have to have children to claim working tax credits). Your local Citizen's Advice Bureau can help you with completing the forms and any questions you may have along the way.

Continued from 99 Money Saving Tips

Updated on 21st April, 2009

Puzzle Corner