Mrs Moneypenny reveals her top tips to help scrimping and saving
6 out of ten Brits admit they’re careless with their money, research revealed yesterday.
A study into savvy shopping, which was commissioned by TalkTalk, found a large percentage of people struggle to manage the money they have coming in, while 43 per cent admitted they let cash ‘slip through their fingers’ on a regular basis.
The research found that the average Brit spends £86 each month on things that they don’t really need at all. As a result more than half end up cutting out the treats about 12 days after payday as thoughts turn to lasting out until their next pay.
Over a fifth said they never shop around to get the best deal or make sure they are getting the best value for their money. The study, also found 45 per cent don’t feel they live within their means with women more likely to feel they are bad with money, finding it harder than men to make sure their wages lasted the whole month.
Despite poor financial planning the research revealed that many have good intentions and if they have any money left at the end of the month they were twice more likely to save it rather than spend for the sake of it.
On a mission to help customers find the niftiest ways to keep finances in check, TalkTalk has enlisted the help of consumer champion Mrs Moneypenny to show families how to cut costs - from capping monthly bills to swapping pricey cinema tickets for watching the blockbusters at home instead. According to the Superscrimpers star, the savviest of shoppers hit the web to make clever savings, taking advantage of online discounts and money-saving tools.
Mrs Moneypenny said: “In a time when we have the resources to shop around and check we are getting the best deal before spending our money, it’s a shame to see so many people missing out. People think they should be cutting down on things like their daily cup of coffee but by tackling their recurring expenditures, such as looking for the best prices on their utilities, they could keep the small treats and still make a saving. There are many things people can do: from using the best value provider in the market such as TalkTalk, to taking advantage of online tools like price comparison and shopping online for the best prices.”
Nine in ten feel online shopping has transformed the way they spend their money each month and over a third describe themselves as savvy shoppers. Of those savvy online shoppers 83 per cent will always search online for discount vouchers or cheaper deals to save money where possible.
Tristia Harrison, Managing Director Consumer, TalkTalk, added: “As a champion of savvy shoppers, it’s great to be working with Mrs Moneypenny to devise tips to help others get more bang for their buck.
"TalkTalk offers the best value TV, broadband, phone, and mobile services on the market, by stripping out unnecessary costs and passing the savings to our customers. Online retailers have a similar model, which means they can maintain their edge in an increasingly competitive market.”
Managing your bills. Money Saving Tips from Mrs Moneypenny
1. Online first for the best deals. Buying online offers enormous time and cost benefits. TalkTalk’s Digital Price Index (DPI) shows it is consistently cheaper to buy online. No wonder 75% of us now shop online to find the best deals and save time.
2. Say goodbye to paper bills. If you haven’t already, try switching to online billing which can often save you money.
TalkTalk homes save £22 a year just by switching to online billing.
3. It’s best to flex. Some providers offer flexible monthly TV channel add-ons so you only pay for what you want, when you want it.
TalkTalk TV customers can boost their TV package at any time with flexible monthly TV Boosts from just £5 per month.
4. Bundling deals. Research shows you tend to get the best value when you buy your phone, broadband and TV together. The same is true for other services as some companies reward loyal customers by reserving privilege deals just for them. Not only do TalkTalk Essentials and Plus customers get TV for free; TalkTalk keeps its best value mobile packages exclusively for their customers.
5. The early bird catches the worm. Check if your provider offers a discount for making early payments. TalkTalk Speedy Payment Discount gives you a 15% discount if you pay within 1 day of notification.
6. Family and friends discounts. Making sure you’re on the same networks as your nearest and dearest is key when it comes to clinching the best deals. As well as offering free calls to other TalkTalk homes, TalkTalk customers can make free unlimited family calls between TalkTalk mobiles in the same household and their TalkTalk home phone. And TalkTalk’s Invite a Friend scheme, for example, gives customers a free £100 Amazon.co.uk gift card whenever they invite a friend who joins up.
7. Blockbuster value. Family cinema trips are becoming pricier these days so why not check if your TV provider has a Box Office – you’ll find the best TV providers often have the latest Hollywood films, on the same day as DVD release. With TalkTalk Box Office you can choose from hundreds of family flicks and kids movies all from the comfort of your living room at a time that suits you. New this month (August) are Rio 2, Muppet's Most Wanted and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
8. Try before you buy. Before you jump straight in to a new service, check if there is a free period which would allow you to test it out for free before you part with your hard-earned cash.
9. Make the most of added extras. It’s worth checking your package to make sure you’re taking full advantage of any added extras which are included. TalkTalk customers get access to free phone and privacy features like voicemail, caller display, anonymous caller reject and last caller barring. It's the only provider to offer all these for free, with other providers this can rack up to as much as £140 extra a year.
10. Watch the pennies. Watch out for those small recurring costs that can really add up. If you don’t already, it’s worth keeping track of those smaller purchases so you can see where you might be able to save. Holding on to receipts or even keeping a money diary for a few weeks can be a really great way to help identify areas where you can cut back. There are also some great apps out there to help with this on the go.
TalkTalk has recently launched its new My TalkTalk app. Free to download from the App Store or Google Play, it gives you access to up to 12 months detailed bills at the touch of a button, and lets you keep tabs on spending by checking calls and TV rentals made since your last bill.