Look After The Pennies…

With council tax, rail fares and national insurance rates set to rise in 2022, now is a great time to re-evaluate your finances and look for ways to make and save money where you can

Did you know that some retailers have schemes where they will reward you for recycling a bag of old clothes? H&M will give you a £5 off voucher (to be redeemed against a £25 shop) if you recycle a bag of unwanted clothes or textiles in any condition. You can get £5 off a £35 Marks & Spencer shop if you donate items to Oxfam – however one item needs to be from M&S (either clothing or soft furnishings).

Recycle empty toiletries as you can be rewarded for returning empty beauty products to stores. John Lewis, for example, offers a BeautyCycle scheme to receive £5 off your next purchase when you bring five or more empty beauty products to one of its branches and show your John Lewis card. Lush offers a Bring It Back scheme which allows you to return empty Lush products and receive 50p off your next purchase. Boots has a recycling scheme that will take old makeup and empty toiletries and give you 250 free Advantage card points, which are worth £5.

Sign up for supermarket loyalty schemes. Loyalty schemes are no longer just about points – they can also unlock big discounts and other exclusive rewards. Tesco now features deals on everyday items exclusive to Clubcard members, Lidl will allow you to unlock more vouchers the more you shop and with a My Waitrose card you can receive a free newspaper if you spend more than £10.

Compare car insurance, put a date in your diary or set a reminder on your phone for a few weeks before it renews so you have time to shop around. Insurers are now banned from offering new and renewing customers’ different prices. But it’s possible a different insurer could view your claims history, vehicle and neighbourhood in a different way – and offer you a lower premium. Also don’t be afraid to haggle.

If you and others in your household have subscriptions to services like Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime, you should be able to save with a family package. These let you share the same benefits for a cheaper monthly fee.

Invest in a dining card restaurant discount schemes can save you up to 50 per cent at some chains. Tastecard and Gourmet Society both have 60-day free trials. This means you could get free restaurant discounts for four months – a third of the year – by trying these out back-to-back before committing to one or the other if you like them. Both of these cards also offer significant discounts on cinema tickets which could save you a third on an evening out. When your trials are up, Tastecard costs £19.99 for six months or £39.99 for a year. Gourmet Society is £6.99 a month or £29.99 a year.

Bring your own cup coffee shops will reward you for bringing your own cup – a win for you and the planet. There are different schemes available, for example with a free Costa Club membership you need to buy eight drinks to get a free one. However, if you bring your own cup, you only need to purchase four drinks before you earn a free coffee. In Starbucks customers who bring their own mug get 25p off.

Change bank account, you might be able to access cheaper overdrafts, higher interest and better customer service by switching banks. Plus, there’s a chance you might also make money if the bank you move to offers a switching bonus. Existing Nationwide customers who do a full switch to the FlexDirect, Flex Plus or FlexAccount can get £125, while new customers can get £100. Switching to a Virgin Money M Plus account as a new customer gives you the choice of receiving either a £150 Virgin Experience Day or a luxury case of 12 Virgin Wines worth £150.

Switch your mobile provider and check the perks If your monthly mobile bill is eating into your budget consider switching providers or changing your plan. If you’re happy with your handset, consider switching to a sim-only deal – because you own the phone you are only paying for the air-time plan. Some deals also include up to six months free Disney Plus or Apple Music so if you pay for this service anyway, you could save yourself at least £47. Also, check what perks your mobile phone provider offers.

Consider a reward credit card. A cashback credit card is a type of reward credit card that pays you a percentage of what you spend back as a credit on your bill or in some cases straight into your bank account – monthly, quarterly, or annually. Treat them like a debit card to earn back more but remember to pay back each monthly statement in full to avoid being charged interest. For example, you could earn £108.75 in cashback if you spent £500 each month for a year with the American Express Platinum Credit Card.

If you don’t fancy recycling your old items, have a go at selling them online. There are specific platforms you can use to sell clothes easily such as Vinted and Depop or you can use eBay. Facebook Marketplace is also popular as it means you can sell the items to people in your community (without the need for expensive postage). Make sure you know your rights if you are selling on these sites. To sell old tech, books and CDs quickly, try sites such as Music Magpie, CEX and Zapper.

For more money saving tips for 2022 check out: which.co.uk



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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