Fancy an extra £10,000 in your bank account over the course of the next year? Follow our definitive list of the 20 best deals right now and that cause the least trouble to achieve.
No need to turn off the lights or live on bread and water. It is simply a case of searching for value for money in everything from your bank account to what you wear and how you keep fit.
1 BANK ACCOUNT
Nationwide – Earn £125
The country’s biggest building society offers one of the most competitive current accounts. If you can put £1,000 a month into it, FlexDirect offers 5 per cent interest on balances up to £2,500 for the first year – as well as a free overdraft.
Money in the bank: It is simply a case of searching for value for money in everything from your bank account to what you wear and how you keep fit
Saffron Building Society – Earn £46
Low interest rates mean cash savers are struggling to earn a decent return unless you are willing to keep your hands off the cash for a year. This 12-month ‘fixed rate regular saver’ has a decent rate of 3.5 per cent but you can only put up to £200 a month into it.
3 CREDIT CARD
M&S Shopping Plus Mastercard – Save £400
Putting spending on a credit card is rarely good for the finances. But this card from Marks & Spencer is user-friendly. It provides 20 months of no interest on new purchases – and a 20-month interest-free period on balance transfers made within 90 days of taking it out. The cost is a one-off £5 fee. Of course, once the deals end, you must pay off debt as annual interest kicks in at 19.9 per cent.
If that is not enough, you also receive a point for every £1 spent in M&S stores. Collect 500 points for £5 off a future shopping bill.
The average person has at least £2,000 owing on credit cards so interest charges soon stack up – perhaps £400 for the year if you are charged at an average rate of 20 per cent.
4 CASH ISA
Leeds Building Society – Earn £410
If you are able to salt away money into a cash Isa and not touch it for five years, then you can earn a fixed interest rate of 2.05 per cent a year with the ‘issue 88’ offer from Leeds.
Putting aside the maximum £20,000 tax-free allowance into the Isa earns you interest without risk – that is, provided interest rates do not start rising and suddenly make 2.05 per cent look uncompetitive.
Rebates on purchases – save £280
Get a cash rebate on an online purchase by buying through a cashback website such as TopCashback or Quidco. These traders direct customers to big brand shops that pay them for providing the lead. In return the cashback firm will send you a rebate – from a few pence to several pounds.You must set up an account with the cashback provider before you get any rebates. Quidco believes average savings a year are £280.
Marks & Spencer Bank – Save £89
BORROWING money can be a risky game – but those of us who live in the real world often need extra cash for buying cars or home repairs. This deal charges interest of 2.9 per cent on a loan of £10,000 paid back over 60 months. Savings are based on an average loan rate of 4.6 per cent.
HSBC – Save £3,000
HSBC Bank’s two-year fixed rate remortgage deal, priced at a competitive 1.74 per cent, is available to anyone who has at least 60 per cent equity in their home. If remortgaging a £150,000 loan, you pay £617 a month with a repayment loan over 25 years, compared with £867 on the average standard variable rate mortgage of 4.89 per cent. A monthly saving of £250 – with no arrangement fee. But remember to remortgage again in 2021 before HSBC increases the rate to 4.19 per cent.
8 HOME INSURANCE
Quotemehappy by Aviva – Save £118
Bundling your building and contents insurance together should save money – and if you tick all the right boxes, you can secure it for £82 a year. This compares to an average £200 for a £235,000 home. You will have to pay the first £350 of any claim and both accidental damage and home emergency are not included.
9 TRAVEL INSURANCE
Coverwise – Save £26
There is no point making all those savings from our guide unless you are going to spend it wisely – on at least two holidays abroad a year.
A no-frills £24 multi-trip annual worldwide policy could be the way to go – with a competitive £125 excess and £1,000 of baggage cover. This works out at less than half the average multi-trip policy cost of £50. If you have pre-existing medical conditions you must tell the insurer – to avoid a claim being turned down.
10 ENERGY SUPPLIER
Octopus Energy – Save £300
You can be sure with gas and electricity that the best deal will change – usually as soon as you switch. So, do not sign up to a supplier that penalises you if you want to escape to a better deal. The Octopus ‘v1 tracker’ deal, the best dual-fuel deal currently available, can knock a chunk off your annual bill if you are burning money with a major supplier. Experts say an average £1,165 bill could be slashed to £865 by turning to Octopus.
Direct Save Telecom – Save £156
THIS internet provider charges just £16.95 a month if you are willing to be tied into a year-long deal – and there are no rip-off set-up costs. It offers unlimited data usage but you pay extra for landline calls. The average download speed is 11Mbps on traditional phone lines – more than enough for video streaming. But for those keen on computer games it could be insufficient. Competition such as BT promises up to 50MB speeds but demands £30 a month for the privilege.
12 MOBILE PHONE
Motorola G7 Power SIM-only – Save £500
There is no need to show you have more money than sense by buying the latest smartphone. This model from Motorola costs £179. Also, do not waste your money on an expensive contract but instead pay for a SIM-only deal such as £10 a month with giffgaff. For that, you get three gigabytes of data, unlimited calls and texts.
Aldi – Save £364
Aldi might not have the cachet of some rivals but it wins hands down on value for money. A mystery shop by The Grocer magazine found £33 covered a basic essentials weekly shop at this German supermarket chain compared to an average of £40 elsewhere. Of course, if you prefer quality and in-store experience consumer group Which? rates Waitrose the best supermarket – and the most expensive.
Make sandwiches or get meal deal – Save £1,040
Popping out for coffees and a sandwich can see £8 frittered away in minutes. Making the occasional packed lunch and using the kettle in the office can save a small fortune. Or why not try a Boots Meal Deal for £3.99. With a Boots Advantage Card you get 4 points for every £1 spent – each point is worth a penny off future shopping.
Shape up on a shoestring – Save £1,028
The average person spends £124 a month on fitness and health, according to a survey by Myprotein – much of it wasted on unused gym membership. A PayAsUGym day pass is much better value at £6. So, allowing for a new pair of £100 trainers and five £6 pay-as-you-go trips to the gym a month, you can save more than £1,000 in a year. Alternatively download a free ‘couch to 5k’ running app and start jogging. In three months sign up to a free Parkrun. There are more than 580 of these 5km events held every Saturday countrywide.
Cinema – Save £96
Saving money need not involve sitting at home in the dark – you can do this in the cinema instead. Compare The Market offers two for one tickets every Tuesday and Wednesday for the Odeon, Vue and Empire that might otherwise cost £8. You must have used the comparison website to have switched deals for services such as a credit card, energy or broadband, to benefit from the offer. Other deals include two Odeon tickets for £7 any day for Vodafone customers and films at Vue from £4 every Monday. Avid filmgoers might consider a membership, such as Odeon Limitless. For £17.99 a month – £19.99 in London – you see as many films as you like in its cinemas.
Shop savvily – Save £600
Avoid the temptation to buy on impulse. Savvy shopping at discount stores such as TK Maxx and factory outlets can slash annual clothes bills. Online shops including boohoo focus on cut-price fashion. We spend an average £1,042 on clothes a year, according to the Great British Wardrobe Report. Websites such as The Good Wardrobe share style advice and tips for repairs – and how to turn drab clothes into something new.
Turn trash into treasure – Earn £700
Cleaning out the garage or attic of rubbish is a job that is easy to put off – but if you can make money out of the task it might provide an incentive to roll up your sleeves and start. The average home contains £3,500 worth of junk, according to online trader Gumtree. Selling can be a hassle so set yourself an achievable target. Websites such as eBay provide access to a global market – though they take a 10 per cent cut of your sales. Set aside a day to pick out unwanted items, take plenty of photos and provide honest descriptions that include any faults.
Fuel – Save £226
The cost of petrol and diesel at the pumps varies hugely depending on where you go. But it is not a hassle finding the cheapest forecourt prices if you use a free app such as PetrolPrices to do all the work for you. Searching out the cheapest prices can save motorists annually an average £226 on petrol and £158 on diesel. The best deals can usually be found at supermarkets.
20 MOTOR INSURANCE
RAC Free Legal – Save £283
A motorist with an unblemished record can pay £202 a year to insure a new Peugeot 208. Breakdown cover costs an extra £30 a year. The insurance comes with a huge £650 excess if you are involved in an accident – so prangs should be avoided at all costs. But the average motor insurance policy costs £485 a year.