We can always do with finding new ways to cut costs and save more money.
And the fun thing is that there are always new tips and tricks to pick up.
Sure, you might have got the basics down – you’ve made a budget spreadsheet and learned to adjust the areas where you’re overspending.
But do you know how to get extra bargains at B&M or get unlimited phone data for a tenner?
Read on for this week’s top Bargain Hunter tips.
Look to online outlets for deals
Why drive miles to outlet villages for end-of-line bargains when you can get the best prices from the comfort of your home?
Many high street retailers try to shift their end-ofline stock, ex-display items or returns by slashing the prices and selling through their online outlet stores, either via eBay or special websites.
If you know where to look, you can save a small fortune — big names include Sea Salt, Oliver Bonas and Whistles.
Bag a discount on the shop floor
Bargain hunters love a bit of B&M, the variety store famous for its low prices. Savvy shoppers are saving even more by using their smartphones on the shop floor.
Simply download B&M’s barcode scanner app and you can get more details about the product you have your eye on — including the latest price, which is often lower as the app has the most up-to-date prices before they’re rolled out on to the shop displays.
Get a tax break for tying the knot
Are you married or in a civil partnership? Is one of you a non-taxpayer and the other a basic-rate taxpayer? If so, you may be entitled to a £1,260 tax break. Known as the Marriage Allowance, around 2.4million couples are missing out.
It’s free to apply, so visit moneysavingexpert.com to check if you qualify and see how it works.
Student discounts for school staff
Even when you work in the office, rather than the classroom, if you’re on the staff at a school you can take advantage of some stellar student discounts offered at restaurants and retailers via the online bargain platform, Unidays (myunidays.com).
And the savings can soon add up. For instance, you can get a discount on tech items of up to 40 per cent at HP and as much as 35 per cent off meals from Domino’s and Byron Burger, as well as money off purchases at big-name retailers including Harvey Nichols, ASOS and PrettyLittleThing.
A lifeline when you’re looking for work
Jobseekers claiming certain work-related benefits can once more get unlimited mobile data, minutes and texts for £10 a month.
The six-month “For Now” tariff from Voxi, which uses Vodafone’s network, is open to new customers — and those who signed up the last time the deal was offered will see the tariff extended to October 31.
You can cancel without penalty at any time and, as it’s a SIM-only plan, you can use it with your existing handset. You can get the deal if you’re currently in receipt of at least one of the following: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, or employment-based Universal Credit.
To sign up, visit voxi.co.uk before September 30.
Delay, repay, donate
If your train journey is delayed by as little as 15 minutes you could be entitled to compensation, yet few of us apply for a refund.
The amount offered depends on the operator you travelled with, your ticket type and the length of the delay. Most claims can be made online by attaching a scan of the ticket. Some operators even let season ticket holders register online to make future claims quicker and easier — so you can complain via smartphone before you’ve even arrived at the office. What’s more, disgruntled passengers can now put their refunds to good use by opting to have 100 per cent of the cash donated directly to charities such as Samaritans and Railway Children. Check your train provider for details.
Challenge your council tax
The average household saw their council tax bill rise by £100 this month, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility. But if you feel you are paying over the odds, don’t be afraid to query your annual statement, as making the effort could save you a lot of money.
Any repayment will be backdated for as long as you have been living at the address in question. Neighbouring homes are often in different bands, so compare your property’s banding with other homes on your street by going through the council tax list at gov.uk/council-tax-bands.
Bear in mind, however, that this is about asking for a reassessment of your home’s banding, which may not necessarily mean a decrease in your council tax. It could go up…
Supermarket freebies on your smartphone
Download CheckoutSmart or Shopmium apps for supermarket cashback offers and freebies. To get your refund, buy a product then scan the barcode, snap a pic of the receipt and save in the app. TopCashback Snap & Save and Quidco ClickSnap offer similar in-store grocery shop savings.
Insure your income — and realise your worth
Many parents, especially mothers, put off getting income protection cover on the basis that their salary is not high enough to insure.
Income Protection is a type of insurance designed to cover you in times of hardship and you’ll receive 50-70 per cent of your salary via regular payments for as long as you are too unwell to work.
However, it is crucial to consider the unpaid work a parent does, too. According to the Office for National Statistics, women do an average of 26 hours a week of unpaid work, such as childcare and cooking, while men do 16 hours.
The ONS (ons.gov.uk) has a calculator that will show you what your unpaid efforts are worth. It’s wise to know how much you’d have to pay someone to fill that role if you were too poorly.
Find more about income protection insurance at iptf.co.uk.
If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.
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