Ideas for cutting your spending
There are various things you can do to try to cut back on your spending.
Costs associated with cancer can be significant and you may need to pay for travel to hospital, childcare and prescriptions, as well as your housing costs. For more information on how you can cope with these expenses, see:
Ideas for cutting your spending
Check your mortgage
If you’ve had the same mortgage for years, it may not be the most competitive on the market. You could save hundreds or even thousands of pounds each year by switching to a cheaper loan. But you’ll need to weigh up the savings against any charges on your current mortgage for paying it off early.
If you find a better deal elsewhere, try telling your current lender that you’re planning to switch - they may offer you improved terms to stay with them. That way you get the savings without the hassle of switching.
Make cheaper or free phone calls
Check that you have the best call package for your home phone and any mobile. Many phone companies offer cheaper or free calls at certain times of day, so the deal that works best for you will depend on when you use your phone most.
If you have a contract mobile phone, you may save money by switching to a pay-as-you-go deal, provided you set yourself a strict limit on the amount you’ll spend on top-ups each week or month. Before deciding whether to switch from a contract phone deal, check whether there is a minimum contract period and any penalty charge for cancelling it. You could also ask your mobile phone provider to switch you to a cheaper tariff if you call and explain your situation to them.
You may be able to save money by making phone calls online. For example, Skype is a free software program that lets you make free calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world. You’ll need to get a headset if you don’t already have a microphone and speakers for your computer. Skype also allows you to call landlines and mobile phones very cheaply. For details, visit skype.com
The website saynoto0870.com
can also help you save money on phone calls. It can help you find cheaper alternatives to some non-geographical telephone numbers, which can be more expensive to call - these often begin with 0870 or 0845.
Switch your credit card
If you don’t pay off your credit card in full every month, you may be paying more interest than it’s worth for you to have the card. You could transfer your balance to another card, some of which offer 0% interest deals for a limited period. If you do this, you’ll need to weigh up the savings against any balance transfer fee.
To find the best credit card deals, look at the tables published in the personal finance pages of newspapers, or use an online price comparison website.
Switch your fuel suppliers
The market for gas and electricity is very competitive, and it pays to shop around about once a year to make sure you’re still getting a competitive deal. To find the cheapest fuel deals, use one of the price comparison sites listed on the Consumer Focus website.
Save energy around the home
Use energy-saving light bulbs - just one can save you £45 over the life of the bulb. There are also schemes through which you can get free or reduced-cost insulation or draught protection. For energy-saving tips, contact the Energy Saving Trust or Home Heat Helpline.