It’s the time of the year many of us vow to improve our physical fitness. But what about our financial fitness? Here are 8 simple changes you can make to save £100s (or even £1,000s) in 2024.
We’re in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. Energy bills have just jumped another 5%, and doing an energy comparison and switching doesn’t offer the savings it once did.
But there are other areas you can easily save. So have a read and make 2024 the year you keep more of your hard-earned cash in your pocket.
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1. Bag an easy £175 + top service just for switching bank
If you are looking to start the New Year with a cash boost, First Direct is giving newbies £175 when you switch your current account to its free 1st Account.
Not only do you get free cash, the bank regularly tops customer service polls. And you’ll get access to a regular saver which pays 7% AER on up to £300 a month. Many also get a £250 interest-free overdraft.
To be eligible, you must:
- Use the bank’s switching service.
- Pay in a minimum £1,000 within 3 months of opening the account.
- You can’t have had a First Direct current account (or opened one with its sister bank HSBC) since 1 January 2020.
The £175 will then be paid in 28 days.
2. Millions are out of contract and overpaying on their broadband – switch & save £100s a year
Seven million households are out of contract on their broadband and are free to switch to a cheaper deal. So check your paperwork now. If you have rolled off your initial deal (which usually lasts for 12-24 months), it’s likely you are now paying too much. And with prices set to rise again in April, it’s time to act.
Pop onto our cheap broadband comparison and do a five-minute check now to see how much you could save by switching. As an example, right now you can get 63Mbs speeds for £23 a month with Now Broadband.
For those on universal credit, pension credit or similar benefits, you may be able to slash your broadband bill further by switching to a social tariff. See which providers offer social tariffs and how to check if you are eligible.
If you are desperate to stay with your existing firm, learn how to haggle a better broadband deal. And if you’re not out of contract, make a note of the date ready to take action then.
3. Does your energy firm owe you £100s?
Energy firms are sitting on billions of pounds of customers’ cash. Give an up to date meter reading, then check your account. If you’re more than two months in credit, it’s worth contacting your supplier and asking for some of your cash back. See energy refund help.
Most suppliers will allow you to decrease your monthly direct debit payments in your online account. And you’re within your rights to request a refund if there’s a disproportionate amount of credit on your account. According to Ofgem licence conditions, direct debits must be fair and refunds should be issued where the customer requests it.
Your supplier can deny your request for a refund, but it must give a clear reason for doing so. If you’re not happy with this, you can complain to the Energy Ombudsman.
4. Try the 1p savings challenge to save £672 in 2024
If you want to start saving in 2024 but your budget is tight, the 1p challenge could be for you.
The 1p challenge is a 365-day (or 366 this leap year) money-saving trick. If you’re successful, you can save £671.61 by the end of 2024. The idea is you save 1p on 1 January, 2p on 2 January, 3p on 3 January and so on. So you’ll have to put a bit extra in if you are starting today to catch up.
See our explanation for more on how the 1p challenge works.
5. Slash your mobile bill by £100s with the best SIM only deals
If you’re happy with your current mobile phone but are one of the 14 million out of contract on their mobile, switching to a SIM only deal is an easy way to slash bills.
Our SIM only deals comparison tool makes it easy to find the right deal for you. While prices for those in contract are rising – and will rise again in April – the price of the cheapest SIM deals has been falling for some time.
Right now, you can get 3GB of data for 99p/month for thee months, then £4.95/month with Lyca Mobile, or 50GB of data for £8/month with iD Mobile (you’ll find both deals in our comparison).
And if you do need a new phone and SIM, never go direct to you network. Check out our easy to use mobile handset comparison for the best deals.
6. Get 1% cashback on your normal spending this year
We’re all aware of how much prices have been rising, and many are feeling the pinch. So this year, at least get paid to spend.
The app-only Chase bank current account gives new customers 1% cashback on almost all everyday debit card spending for a year – up a a maximum of £15 a month. So you could make £100+ in 2024, just by changing the way you pay.
You don’t need to switch your account to it and Chase only does an ID check, so opening an account won’t affect your credit report.
Chase is also a top-pick for spending abroad as there are no fees from Chase when you spend or withdraw cash overseas (£1,500/month limit for withdrawals), plus you get cashback abroad as well. You also get access to a linked easy-access savings account paying 4.1% AER (4.02% gross) variable interest, paid monthly – a competitive rate, but some top easy-access accounts pay more.
Sound right for you? Use this Chase Bank current account link to apply.
See full Chase info and exclusions below.
- 1% cashback on everyday debit card spending up to a max of £15 a month. Available for your first 12 months as a new customer. See cashback exclusions below.
- Top-pick for spending abroad as there are no fees from Chase when you spend or withdraw cash overseas (£1,500/month limit for withdrawals), plus you get cashback abroad as well.
- You also get access to a linked easy-access savings account paying 4.1% AER (4.02% gross) variable interest, paid monthly – a competitive rate, but some top easy-access accounts pay more.
- 1% AER (1% gross) variable interest on the balance in your current account. Interest paid monthly.
- Plus, opt to round up your spending to earn 5% AER (4.89% gross) variable interest on your ’round-up pot’.
You don’t need to switch your account to it and Chase only does an ID check, so opening an account won’t affect your credit report.Chase Bank current account link to apply. Key account info:Interested? Use this
- App-only. You’ll need a device with at least iOS 14.1 or Android 8.1.
- Overdraft: None
- Minimum pay-in: None for the first year.
- Cashback limit: £15 a month for at least a year (Cashback paid on first £1,500 of your eligible spend each month).
- Cashback exclusions: You won’t earn cashback when you use your debit card to pay for items in antique shops, estate agent fees, or for gambling and betting. Full list of exclusions.
- To bank with Chase: You need to be 18+ and a UK resident.
7. Paying off credit card debt? Slash costs by switching it to interest free
If you’ve got credit card debt, you may be able to save £100s, or even £1,000s by shifting the debt to a 0% balance transfer credit card. As you don’t pay any interest (though there’s usually a fee), it means your repayments clear more of the debt, not just pay off the interest.
You can currently get up to 29 months at 0%, with a 3.45% fee, from Barclaycard. Plus, it’s offering newbies £20 cashback when you transfer a balance of £2,500 or more within 60 days of opening the account.
As the rates can change quickly, use the credit card eligibility checker from our sister brand Go.Compare, to see the latest rates and if you’re likely to qualify for them.
Just select the ‘0% interest on balance transfers’ option from the drop-down menu to see what you’re likely to be accepted for and how many months at 0% interest you could get.
Important: If you’re getting a card, to keep it at 0%, always make at least the minimum payments and don’t spend on it. And remember, once the 0% period ends, the rate will jump to the APR at the time. So aim to clear it within the 0% period.
8. Turning your thermostat down by just one degree could have a major impact on your energy bills
I don’t want to cause arguments in your home, but turning down the thermostat down by a single degree is one of the most impactful things you can do right now to save on your energy bills. With no cheap gas and electricity deals on energy comparisons to switch to, using less is key.
Many of us crank the heating up higher than we need to. The World Health Organisation says 18°C is enough for healthy adults, yet many of us have it set way above that.
So try to turn the heating down by a single degree and see if you’re still comfortable. At 1°C lower, you could save up to £100 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust, without really noticing any difference.