Want to maximise your finances this year and keep hold of as much cash as possible? I do too. You probably know that I’m a rather thrifty lady and that I’d make any changes to my lifestyle in order to live better for less. But thankfully, this option doesn’t require any big changes, no hardship and not going without. It just allows you to hold on to more of your hard-earned pay packet at the end of the month. Read on to find out how I made some easy changes that could save me up to £200 this year…Let me set the scene: 2016 is the year of saving for me. Okay, I try to save as much as I can every year – and I don’t just mean saving money in my ISA. I also mean minimising the amount I spend on all the little things that add up throughout the year. Just shopping around online, buying secondhand and picking up the end-of-line items in the supermarket can all add up to a rather large stash of cash by the end of the year. Even though I’ve been frugal all of my life (being a student for 7 years, I had to be careful!) this year counts more than ever because I’m saving with purpose. I’m buying a house this year!At least, that’s the plan. I expect that you’ll see me blogging about my new front door before the year is out (as long as I can find somewhere lovely that I want to live, that is!). But I need a big deposit and I need to keep putting the pennies into my piggy bank to save for that. Actually, it’s not so much that I need a big deposit, but more like I want to have a big deposit so that 1) I can afford a house that might be out of budget otherwise, or so that 2) the loan-to-value will be lower and my mortgage rate will be better, or so that 3) I own more of the house to begin with and am paying less each month on the mortgage.Anyway, chatting about my financial plans is not why I’m writing this post today. I’m writing to help you maximise your finances in the same way that I am doing. I’ve come across a service that I’ve never used before, yet it’s already helping me minimise my outgoings. If you too have never checked out Ofgem’s Be An Energy Shopper website, now’s the time to take a look. This service helps you to find the best energy deals out there, which will help reduce your energy costs month-on-month.It tells you how to compare tariffs by shopping around online and provides tools that will show you just how much lower your bills could be; so much easier and faster than phoning round energy suppliers yourself! The personal projection page explains what you might pay over the course of a year just by switching supplier – it could be around £200 less! And best of all, I know that I can trust this service because it’s created by Ofgem.It’s not a tariff comparison website; it provides information on energy matters and handy guides to help you understand your bills, including a jargon-busting glossary to explain the language used by energy suppliers. It helps you understand your existing tariff and get to grips with how much you’re already paying, so that you can use this information to your advantage when switching suppliers. It also guides you to the Ofgem approved price comparison websites.I’m usually rather blasé with bills, just paying whatever it is at the end of each month, and my eyes tend to glaze over when I’m looking at a budget spreadsheet. But this website actually held my interest and I became excited about shaving money off my bills each month. As they say, every little helps, and when I’m trying so hard to add cash to the piggy bank, this small change will make all the difference financially. There’s literally no difference in the energy coming into my home (nor is there any interruption in service during the switch), the only difference is the price I pay for it. Which I’m pleased to say will be much lower this year.
So, what do you think? Have I convinced you to spend a couple of minutes this lunchtime checking out the Be An Energy Shopper website? Tweet me @Cassiefairy to let me know if you too make the switch! And please leave me a comment below to let me know how you are keeping hold of your cash this year, any thrifty ideas are greatly appreciated!