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Moneyforums guide to SAVING MONEY ££££ - Start today and save thousands off your annual spending ! 
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Guide to saving money on household bills & personal finances - Start saving thousands of 's every year TODAY !
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Money Saving Guide - Start saving £'s today ! - Updated Nov 2006
 

Households can literally save thousands of £'s off their annual expenditure, just by putting in effect small changes. This Moneyforums guide explains all of the differing ways and ideas that you can start saving money ..... today !

1. Save Money on your Gas & Electric Bills by switching

2. Do your Shopping Online

3. Book your Holidays Online

1 Save Money on your Gas & Electric Bills by switching 

Why Should I switch Supplier ?
If you're signed up with British Gas and the traditional electricity supplier in your region, you can probably save more up to£170 EVERY year by switching energy suppliers. Suppliers are always changing their tariffs and prices, so regardless of which company you're with, you might still be able to save a substantial amount, by using the online switching service Uswitch.com
 

How easy is it to switch Supplier ?
Switching energy suppliers is simple. The process is as follows:

  1. Compare all of the suppliers and packages using the Uswitch.com calculator.
  2. Select the most suitable option and fill in your personal details. To compare and sign up takes around five minutes.
  3. Uswitch.com will send you an email to confirm the switch.
  4. The details are processed and forwarded to the supplier.
  5. The supplier will contact you to confirm the date on which your new service will commence. You will have to take a meter reading on this date, to ensure you're not billed twice for the same energy.

Is switching energy suppliers a complicated process ?
No, around 100,000 people switch their gas and/or electricity suppliers every week and 90% of them say switching is easy, according to an independent MORI survey.

Will there be any interruption to my supply?
No. Your new supplier will continue to use exactly the same wires, pipes, and meters as you currently use. Your new supplier will also contact your existing supplier to arrange the transfer of your supply. The only change you will notice is the company name at the top of your bill.

If I decide to switch, do I need to contact my current energy supplier?
Your new supplier will arrange the transfer for you. Your new supplier will take a final meter reading from you (at the date of transfer), so your current supplier can produce a final bill (you may need to ensure this is done at the time of transfer).

Can I get gas and electricity from the same supplier?
Yes. Many suppliers now supply both gas and electricity and offer combined plans that include incentives, discounts or reduced prices. These plans are often referred to as "dual fuel" deals.

Service Rating - what is it, and how is it calculated for each company?
Uswitch.com has developed an impartial rating system which assesses the quality of service provided by energy suppliers. Each company is measured on its range of services, current and past performance, and record with the regulator. The rankings provide a percentage for each fuel type for each supplier, with 100 per cent being the best and ten per cent being the worst. To achieve a high rating a supplier must offer a range of services including varying payment methods, call centre support and extras such as green energy tariffs. In addition, they must not have had any actions taken against them by regulatory bodies in the last six months.

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2 Do your shopping online
 

Shopping online can often save in some cases as much as 33% off the price in the high street stores as they don’t have the same overheads involved when selling online. The best way to shop online is to use price search engines that find the best price or if you have more time to invest, regular search engines to find multiple online stores that sell the product your looking for .
 

Online Shopping

How easy is it to Shop online ?
As simple as a mouse click ! The goods and services are usually presented in a catalog style. And all the buyer needs to do is add the goods they want to buy to their basket after which proceeding to the checkout process and paying by credit card.

Is online shopping safe ?
Did you know shopping online with a credit card is safer than paying cash in a store? You are 100% protected against fraudulent charges on your card, including misrepresented items online!

If your card is ever billed for a charge you did not authorise, simply call your bank and have them issue a chargeback.

What is a chargeback?
A chargeback is when you are refunded your money for a transaction you did not authorise, did not receive goods for, or were defrauded in some way.

How do I ensure I am shopping safely ?
When buying goods online in a secure environment you will see 2 things happen.

1. The web address (URL) on their site should change from something like http://www.website.com to https://www.website.com. Notice the "s" in "https". This means the page is a secure web page.

2. A small lock icon should appear in the browser window indicating the web page is now secure.

When the web page is secure, all data transmitted is fully encrypted, which means that if anyone is able to intercept the signal between your computer and their website, they will not be able to decipher the data. Data sent through a secure page is almost impossible to crack. So just be sure that the website you are on has encrypted and secured your data and you will always be fine.

Which online price matching services do you recommend ?

Pricerunner.co.uk Pricerunner are by far the most comprehensive service in the UK market, listing over 2.6 million prices from over 4,000 retailers. Their service has the highest bookmark rate and average visit time of competitors in the UK. Retailers include, Dixons, Comet, Pixmania, Digital direct and misco etc.

Are there any high street stores that offer online shopping ?
Yes, many high street stores offer online shopping and 'some' carry discounts against their instore prices, here are some of the more competitively priced high sreet stores, with offers available for signing up.
Maplins.co.uk Maplin Electronics has 12,000 audio, video, electronic and computer products, components and accessories, all available online. - Special discount of 10% on first order vouchers! Free delivery, and regular bargains
Argos.co.uk Argos is one of the most successful, online and high street retailers in the UK today, regular online discounts and special offers are available
Boots.com Boots is the UK's leading Health, Beauty, gift and Baby website. It includes over 12,000 products. Click for ongoing discounts including 10% off, and special offers.

Which online Stores do you recommend ?
All the stores below have been checked to ensure that they are long established, UK based and offer competitive pricing.
Buy Electrical Direct Sells a whole range of electrical goods, regular bargains section and special offers.
bargaincrazy.com Offer thousands of top brand products in a variety of categories including clothing, footwear and accessories, childrenswear, sportswear, products for the home and garden, home entertainment, toys, games, gifts and jewellery, with regular discounts.
Misco.com The lowest priced Computer Equipment and components ! Misco is Europe's largest IT reseller, specialising in the sale of computers and related products.
As the second largest provider of I.T. equipment, Misco offers both consumers and businesses throughout the UK a one-stop solution for all their I.T. needs, including a source and supply service and IT related services. Same day despatch ensures that customers receive their products without delay with all orders placed by 6pm delivered the next working day.
Great Universal The grand daddy of mail order shopping with many catalogs and high street stores under its name.and jewellery. 1000s of top brand products in a variety of categories. With special 20% money off offer on first purchases.
vitsdirect.com Vitamins Direct is one of the UK's premier suppliers of vitamins, minerals and supplements. That aim to consistently offer customers the highest quality merchandise at the most competitive prices, which is why people keep coming back to for more. 10% money off offer on first purchases.
Free gift on orders over 60 (ex VAT) Staples is one the UK's biggest and most competively priced small and large office supplier - Free gift on orders over £60 (ex VAT) - Plus Free delivery on all orders over £30.
SHOP.COM SHOP.COM is the UK's leading one-stop shopping portal with over 170 merchants and over 360,100 competitively priced products on our virtual shelves. You can choose from 100's of retailers including , JoJoMamanBebe, Choices Direct (Movies, Games), Robert Dyas, F Hinds, Charles Tyrwhitt, eLingerie, Blooming Marvellous, Pharmacy2U, Advanced MP3 Players, HeavenSent Babycare, BuyaGift, KlausKobec, Boys Stuff, Firebox, I want one of those, Toy Centre and many more.

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3 Book your Holidays Online
 

Over a quarter of holiday makers now book their holidays online, due to the conviencene, choice and potential to save money in many cases upwards of 25% !

The advantages of booking holidays online are that you can get compare prices, sometimes get cheaper deals, see pictures of your destination, research the area you intend to holiday, even find webcams so you can see your destination. as well as booking online at far lower prices than if you had used a traditional travel agency.

Online Shopping

Top Tips for booking online

  • If you are free to travel at any time of the year, take the time to check prices carefully. During the low and mid season periods, you can save up to 50% on both hotels and flights.
  • If you are renting a car then enquire if there is free parking in your hotel. Some hotels do not have any car-parking facilities and others ask for a parking fee. This is particularly important if you are on a tight budget.
  • Make sure the Travel agency your booking with is an ABTA bonded company

Before leaving for your holiday

  • Allow plenty of time to get the relevant visa.
  • Ensure you have adequate holiday insurance policy cover for your desintation that covers money, medical and activities.
  • Read up about your destinations before leaving so you can enjoy yourself straight away on arrival, i.e. maps etc.
  • Get vaccinations if necessary before leaving.
  • Don't buy loads of new clothes - be ruthless when packing - most people can manage with half what they take with them.
  • Take an extra carrying bag - it can be used as a day bag and to bring back a few souvenirs.
  • Keep your passport in your hand luggage with your tickets.
  • Try and memorise your passport number incase you lose it!
  • Write down addresses of friends and family, you may want to send postcards to, in a small address book.
  • Arrange for diabetic/vegetarian/vegan meals for your flight with your travel agent.
  • Remove old destination tags to avoid any confusion .
  • On the day of your flight call the airport to check that your flight is on time.
  • Find out how many 'carry on bags' your airlina allows - luggage 20"x15"x10" is average
  • Purchase some water purification tablets if you are planning a stop over in a country with suspect water sources.
  • Plan a rough itenirary of where you would like to go.
  • Pack essentials such as a toothbrush, clean underwear and money in hand luggage, incase your check in bags get lost.

During your journey to your destination

  • Reduce the pain of popping ears; suck a sweet, swallow hard or gently blow your nose.
  • Try to drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated- the cabins highly pressurised air is very dry.
  • Ask cabin crew if you can move to a row of unoccupied seats so you can travel in style.
  • Minimise jet lag by adjusting your watch to 'local' time along your journey.
  • Walk around a little on the plane to help circulation and make the most of any refuel stops for a good stretch.

On Arrival at your holiday destination

  • Try to be as alert as you can; weary travellers make easy prey for pickpockets & theifs.
  • Avoid making long distance calls from your hotel room; it's likely to attract a huge fee.
  • Make sure any taxi you get into is legitimate to avoid any shady goings on
  • If hiring a car, ensure you have appropriate insurance to cover, carefully check it for dents, scratches etc and insist the rental company makes a written note to confirm.
  • Never let a stranger look after your bag - they may steal or put something in there.
  • Ensure that you use sunscreen, wear shades and lip protection.
  • Check for hazardous currents/ tides or dangerous marine life before swimming/surfing etc.

Recommeneded Online Travel Agents & Services

lastminute.com

lastminute.com offers low cost heavily discounted packaged holidays at short notice bookings. The services are widespread from package holidays, to flight onlys to special ticketed events. Discounts range upto 70%

The London Pass

The London Pass is a Sightseeing Card that offers:
Free Entry to over 50 London Attractions
- Tower of London
- St Paul's Cathedral
- Cruise on the River Thames
- Windsor Castle and many more
- 30 Benefits in Shop's and Restaurant
- Free Public Transport in London

It's all inclusive pass, that makes you feel like a ViP in this huge City

 

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