As you might imagine the majority of our clients, in keeping with the rest of the UK population, typically don’t like to waste money – and nor should they!
We therefore spend time helping our clients find the best rate of interest for their hard earned savings. We research the market and negotiate with investment and pension providers in order to reduce charges for our clients. We help clients arrange their affairs with a simple and tax efficient approach, which can often save significant amounts, whether that be income tax, capital gains tax, or inheritance tax.
Our clients value this, and we can demonstrably show that we are working hard to save them money.
After all, reducing costs and improving efficiency in this manner provides more funds for our clients to spend or save as they choose. The money we can save our clients can be used on more enjoyable things such as holidays, leisure, or gifting to children and grandchildren.
As part of our cash flow modelling, we ask for detailed information on our clients’ expenditure, purely so that we can ensure our projections of future expenditure are as accurate as possible. Whilst we’re not here to judge what is being spent on what (and nor do we want to!), we often notice in undertaking this exercise that some clients are paying significantly ‘over the odds’ for services such as gas and electricity, insurance policies, and home entertainment packages. Where we notice this we flag it up and help the client find a better deal – all part of the service!
In respect of paying ‘over the odds’ for such things we believe that this is mainly down to the fact many people believe their loyalty will mean better deals and do not realise how easy it is to find the best deals.
It is however, sadly, very rare indeed that we as consumers, will be rewarded for our loyalty with ‘new customer’ discounts being the norm on things like breakdown cover and entertainment packages.
But is that easier said than done? Doesn’t switching gas and electricity, for example, require hours of research, form filling, and then hours on hold to each provider whilst you resolve inevitable delays?
In reality it is likely to be significantly easier to switch than you first imagine. In today’s world of online processing and automation, switching providers can be fairly straightforward.
Comparison sites make it very easy to search for better deals. For example, for insurance policies you may wish to consider Money Supermarket. Enter your details once, and you can save them so when the policy is due for renewal in 12 months, you can easily retrieve your existing input, meaning checking for new deals in future years is streamlined.
Other comparison sites are available, and different providers will quote different premiums on each comparison site. Some people search every comparison site and then go to providers such as Aviva and Direct Line (who do not appear on comparison sites) to get quotes from them. However, this is only necessary if you are truly trying to save every penny. Even spending 30 minutes researching a new car insurance policy, for example, could save hundreds of pounds a year.
For broadband, home telephone, and extra TV services you could try Money Saving Expert’s Broadband Unbundled Tool. This tool allows you to choose the services you want, and then shows you the lowest cost option for those services.
Likewise there are various comparison sites for comparing gas and electricity such as uSwitch, Money Supermarket, and Money Saving Expert’s Cheap Energy Club.
So why not consider setting aside half a day each year to embark on a money saving mission? Think of it as half a day’s work that could pay you (tax free) a few hundred pounds.
If you are unsure how to use any of these sites, but feel you aren’t getting the best deal from your current providers and want to switch to someone more competitive, please speak to your adviser at your review meeting – we’ll be happy to have a quick look with you.