Money saving tips 2024

Our finance tips for 2024

In 2024, as living costs continue to rise, it’s crucial to examine our money saving habits thoroughly.

For most bill payers, this includes your phone bills, broadband, energy efficiency, and subscriptions.

Aside from obvious money saving strategies, such as budgeting, we’ve highlighted a few less common hacks to help you save money.

Let’s explore some strategies to optimise money saving for each category:

Phone Expenses

With mobile phone ownership exceeding 90% and landline usage declining, it’s time to reassess our phone bills. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Check your contract status to see if you’re overpaying.
  • Explore options like switching providers or negotiating better deals.
  • Consider social tariffs for cheaper broadband if eligible.
  • Opt for SIM-only plans, especially if you own a handset.
  • If you still rely on your landline, bundle your services to save up to 34%.

Broadband Bills

A more complex tip which involves initial costs before money saving is transitioning to fibre broadband.

Overall, it offers better value in the long run, providing faster speeds when most needed.

This is especially true if you experience losses due to poor broadband. This includes not being able to work remotely, or having a smart home security hub that frequently drops out or disconnects.

To read more please visit our previous blog post.

Other ways to optimise your broadband expenses include:

  • Negotiating your broadband deal strategically, especially when your contract is ending or during promotional periods.
  • Research competitor offers and use them as leverage during negotiations.
  • Clearly express dissatisfaction with your current package and your willingness to switch providers if necessary. This can sometimes lead to compensatory money.
  • Highlight your loyalty as a long-term customer to inquire about loyalty discounts.
  • Utilize online tools and forums for additional support and guidance.

Energy Efficiency

Improving energy efficiency not only lowers utility bills but also reduces environmental impact. Here are some energy-saving tips:

  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances like LED light bulbs and smart thermostats.
  • Ensure proper home insulation to prevent heat loss.
  • Optimise heating and cooling by adjusting thermostat settings and installing programmable thermostats.
  • Adopt energy-saving habits in your daily life. This includes turning off lights and electronics when not in use.
  • Use your washing line or clothes maiden instead of a tumble drier.
  • Explore renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines.

Subscriptions

Managing subscriptions efficiently can lead to significant savings. Here are some of our helpful tips:

  • Regularly review your subscriptions to assess their value.
  • Bundle services for discounts.
  • Negotiate better deals with subscription providers.
  • Take advantage of free trials to test services before committing.
  • Share subscription accounts with family or friends to split costs.
  • Opt for annual payments for additional discounts.
  • Keep track of renewal dates and use discounts or coupons to save money.
  • Downgrade plans if you’re not fully utilising higher-tier subscriptions.
  • Explore free or lower-cost alternatives to paid subscriptions.

By implementing these strategies, you can better manage your budget and achieve long-term financial stability in 2024 and beyond.

Which Expenses are Going up in 2024?

Unfortunately, annual inflation is common – and 2024 will be no exception.

We’ve covered the main household costs due to soar this year and advised on how to counteract them.

Council Tax

Council tax, a major monthly expense, typically increases in April.

While Scotland enjoys a freeze until April 2025, the rest of the UK awaits news.

Councils in England can hike taxes up to 5% annually, potentially adding £103 to the average bill.

Despite calls for fairer collection methods, missed payments can still lead to consequences.

Explore options like payment rescheduling, hardship relief, tax reduction, or challenging your property’s valuation.

TV Licence Fee

TV licence fees are set to rise to £169.50 in April, a £10.50 increase.

This is below the expected inflation-linked rise, offering some relief.

Renewing before April can lock in the current price.

Additionally, individuals over 75 receiving Pension Credit are eligible for a free licence.

Energy Bills

Energy bills may surge by up to 5% in January due to rising energy price caps.

Mitigate costs by ensuring accurate meter readings, questioning changes, and adopting energy-saving habits.

Mobile and Broadband

Mid-contract price hikes are common in mobile and broadband contracts, with some providers planning increases of over 8% in 2024.

Explore switching to a provider without mid-contract rises or negotiate with your current provider for a better deal.

Insurance Premiums

Home and car insurance premiums have soared, with the average quoted price rising significantly.

Shop around for better deals, consider annual policies, and compare ratings to find the best insurance options.

Mortgages

Mortgage rates have increased, driven by a freeze in the base rate.

Consider switching deals if nearing the end of a fixed term, or, seek advice from a mortgage broker to navigate your options effectively.

We recommend staying in the loop by checking out local money saving sites and news outlets.

Your suppliers also have a duty to inform you about any upcoming price hikes.

Cut your Household Bills With Switch Experts

Ready to find a new fast and affordable broadband provider?

In just a few clicks, we can help you see how much you could be saving on your broadband bills.

Simply search your postcode and browse our latest available deals.

 

Broadband Cancellation Explained

How to Cancel Your Broadband

Broadband cancellation can seem daunting.

However, when you’re informed, you’ll soon realise that there’s nothing to fear!

Gone are the days of intense over-the-phone haggling, chasing emails, or sifting through contracts.

Our experts know just how seamless the broadband cancellation process can be.

In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps and considerations to make.

Are You at the End of Your Contract?

If you’re approaching the end of your broadband contract, you’re in the perfect position! Several weeks before your end-date, you will be notified by your supplier, who will let you know what your options are for next steps (this will either be through email or phone calls.)

Your supplier may offer you alternative deals on the same network – especially if they value loyalty! However, if you’ve got your eye on a competitor, stay resilient to their offers, and insist on broadband cancellation.

Whether you pick a new deal with the same supplier, or switch brands entirely, it’s crucial that you don’t stay put! Letting your deal auto-renew could cost you anywhere up to between 9% – 60% more per year.

Are You Mid-Contract?

Mid-contract broadband cancellations are known to be a bit trickier – and regrettably more costly!

Your first step is to review all your contract terms in detail. Take note of the contract length, cancellation fees, and notice period required by your provider. You should also carefully consider other obligations, such as your notice period and cancellation fees.

Unfortunately, it’s more common than not that you will face early exit fees. However, you can ensure that these costs are as low as possible by promptly returning any equipment (such as a router) to your supplier. Follow any instructions listed in your contract and this will help you to avoid extra charges.

Once you’re armed with this information, contact your supplier, and clearly express your intention to cancel.

It’s also crucial that you document the entire broadband cancellation process, including any emails/written requests and reference numbers. This documentation is highly valuable, should any discrepancies occur.

Is it Possible to Cancel Mid-Contract Without Fees?

Escaping a broadband contract without facing fees can be tricky, but it’s not impossible.

Here are a few examples of scenarios in which your broadband cancellation would be free:

  • Negotiate your way out: If you’re dissatisfied with your current package, try haggling with your provider. They may offer you a better deal or increased speeds to keep you. Check out our Broadband Haggling Guide for expert tips on slashing your bills.

 

  • Changes in terms: If your provider alters the terms of your contract, like significant price hikes, you might have grounds to leave without penalties. While annual price increases are common, significant changes beyond what’s stated in your agreement could give you an out.

 

  • Service faults: If your provider fails to deliver the promised minimum speeds, you have rights under Ofcom’s Code of Practice. Log a fault with your provider, and if they can’t resolve it within a reasonable timeframe, typically 30 days, you can exit the contract penalty-free.

 

  • Cooling-off period: Don’t forget about the cooling-off period! If you’re still within the first 14 days of your contract, you can cancel for any reason without facing penalties.

Our expert advisors can speak to you in-depth to help you understand your specific situation and your rights.

Ready to Switch and Save Today?

Broadband cancellation requires careful planning if you want to avoid extra fees or hassle.

Timing and contractual terms are everything. Whatever your situation, our experts are dedicated to helping advise and guide you every step of the way.

Stuck in a subpar contract? We can speak to your supplier and see if you’re entitled to leave.

If your exit fees are too high, we can help you make a switching plan for the near future.

Ready to switch today?

Don’t wait any longer – start browsing the latest offers here and see how much you could save.

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Ready to part with your landline?

In recent years, the traditional landline phone, once a household staple, has faced a steady decline in usage across the UK.

The average household now uses their landline phone for as little as 35 minutes per week. This has dropped considerably in the last two years – by almost a quarter!

With the emergence of advanced technology and the rapid expansion of broadband networks, the era of landline phones is approaching its twilight. However, this isn’t a change to be feared – it’s one for us all to embrace.

A Lightning-Fast Future is Coming

The UK’s major broadband providers have set their sights on a transformative journey, signalling substantial changes post-2025 that could shape the future of telecommunications for good.

The narrative of landline phones losing their prominence in UK households has been gradually unfolding. We’ve all slowly become more mobile-focused, especially in the last 10 years.

There are now as many as 111.8 million mobile phone subscriptions across the UK. No one needs to stay tethered to their landline cord or get wrapped up in knots trying to pace the room when we have the flexibility of mobile phones.

Why Has Landline Phone Use Declined?

Aside from the rise in mobile, what else has knocked landline phones off the top spot?

  • Technological advancements: High-speed internet and the availability of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services have become much more enhanced and widely available.
  • Demographic shifts: Younger generations tend to rely more on mobile and internet-based communication, which goes hand in hand with our previous point mentioned above.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Landline phone services are often perceived as less cost-effective compared to bundled mobile or internet packages, especially nowadays.

Post-2025 Plans for Landline Phones

All major UK broadband providers are preparing for a significant shift in their offerings post-2025.

As part of a forward-looking strategy, these providers have already made some transformative plans.

The plans include:

Phasing Out Traditional Landline Services

Broadband giants are gradually phasing-out conventional phone services. One way that they are doing this is by subtly encouraging customers to switch from ADSL to full fibre.

Enhanced VoIP Integration

Providers are poised to bolster their VoIP offerings, elevating them to primary communication solutions for households and businesses. This strategic shift aims to deliver feature-rich, reliable, and cost-effective voice services over broadband connections.

Investment in Broadband Infrastructure

Anticipating the increased demand for robust broadband connectivity, providers are working hard to expand and enhance broadband infrastructure. This includes bringing full fibre connections to as much of the UK as possible and improving VoIP capabilities.

Will I Lose Access to my Landline Phone?

Despite the race to implement speedy VoIP technology officially being on, it won’t suddenly cut off your landline access – but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually!

Say if for example, you took out a new broadband deal today, by the time you come to switch or renew, your landline phone will likely be redundant.

Any further broadband deals after this time will no longer be bundled with a landline phone and internet speeds needed for VoIP will ne promptly considered.

Are There Any Downfalls to Know About?

Recently, concerns were raised by MPs about how effective the nationwide transition to VoIP will be.

Vulnerable bill payers that still rely on their landline phone will face the biggest loss, especially during bouts of extreme weather.

This is because internet connections can be affected by extreme weather, whereas in comparison, landlines are unfaltering.

Embracing the Landline Switch-Off

The impending ‘big switch off’ will significantly change the way consumers and businesses communicate.

In our opinion, it’s for the better, too!

We’ve outlined the main benefits of switching to VoIP below:

Cost Savings

VoIP call charges are significantly lower, especially for long-distance communication. To put it into perspective, landline calls can cost up to 20p per minute, whereas VoIP calls only cost 1.5p per minute.

Flexibility and Mobility

VoIP enables flexibility as calls can be made from any internet-connected device, allowing users to stay connected even while on the go. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for remote workers.

Advanced Features

VoIP systems often come with a range of advanced features such as voicemail-to-email transcription, call forwarding, conference calling and many more.

Scalability

One for business owners – the scalability of VoIP! Businesses are able to add or remove lines as needed without requiring significant infrastructure changes, making it adaptable and flexible.

Integration with Technology

VoIP integrates seamlessly with other technologies and software, enabling easier collaboration through video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing.

Enhanced Accessibility

VoIP systems can offer accessibility features which cater to diverse user needs, including options for individuals with disabilities.

Geographical Flexibility: Another one for the business owners! With VoIP, businesses can have phone numbers from different area codes, providing a local presence in multiple regions without physical office locations or hefty calling charges.

Say Goodbye to Landline and Switch to VoIP

The shift away from landline phones signifies a transformative moment in the UK’s communication landscape.

The time has come to bid farewell to the landline phone and embrace a future where robust broadband connections pave the way for an interconnected world.

Switch Experts is committed to keeping you informed about the evolving trends in communication and technology. Stay connected for more updates and insights.

You can also get a head start by searching for the best prices on the latest broadband deals in your area.

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Tired of paying high prices for internet?

We know how to uncover the cheapest broadband plans in your area

Maybe your contract is due to end and you’re not happy with the new plan your supplier offered you.

Or, perhaps you’re just looking for more lesser-known ways to save money right now (who isn’t?!)

Read on to learn how and where you can find the cheapest broadband deals in your area – without ever sacrificing speed or reliability.

How to find the cheapest broadband deals

We’ve got a few crucial tips that will help you find the cheapest broadband deals in your area.

By following our expert advice, you’ll soon be able to trim down your monthly expenses whilst still enjoying a seamless and well-suited internet connection.

  1. Assess Your Usage.

Understanding your internet usage is crucial in finding a deal that suits you. If you’re a light internet user, you might not need the fastest speeds. A lot of households find that they end up paying for high Wi-Fi speeds that they don’t even require – the average household only needs 30Mbps to function smoothly online.  However, if you’re a heavy gamer, home worker, or frequently stream in 4K, opting for a faster fibre plan would be worth it to save you from a lot of frustration.

        2. Check for Bundles.

Many providers offer bundled services, combining broadband with TV and phone services. While this might seem like a good deal, ensure that you genuinely need these services. Sometimes, standalone broadband deals can be more cost-effective. This is something you can tailor through our free deal checker.

        3. Consider Contract Length.

Providers often offer different contract lengths, typically 12, 18, or 24 months. While longer contracts might come with slightly lower monthly costs, they can lock you into a deal that might become less competitive over time. If you’re not comfortable with a long commitment, shorter contracts might be a better option.

       4. Negotiate with Your Current Provider.

If you’re already with a broadband provider and you’ve found a better deal elsewhere, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Sometimes, providers are willing to match or even beat competitors’ offers to keep you as a customer.

         5. Read Reviews.

Before committing to a new broadband provider, read reviews from current and previous customers. This will give you an idea of the level of customer service, reliability, and overall satisfaction you can expect. This is another factor our experts take into consideration for you, and we only work with reputable and trusted suppliers.

          6. Keep an Eye on Hidden Costs.

It’s key to consider any additional costs such as setup fees, line rental, and installation charges. This is something our experts are trained to spot and they can discuss this in detail with you, because hidden costs can quickly creep in and add up.

         7. Research – Don’t Go In Alone.

The world of broadband is vast, and it can quickly get expensive if you don’t know where to look. Instead of manually comparing quotes and websites alone, we’ve made it easy to search offers in one place.

Where is the Best Place to Find the Cheapest Broadband Deals?

Right here, with our experts!

There are a lot of sites and services that help make it easy to search broadband deals, however, Switch Experts will never charge you a penny.

You’re guaranteed to save time and money this way, instead of manually trawling through separate sites.

It’s also fairly common to be charged more when you go directly to the supplier.

How do I Switch?

At first, the idea of switching broadband suppliers might seem daunting, but the potential savings are well worth it.

Our experts are here to make the process as fast and as easy as possible.

With Switch Experts, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to find a new deal.

You search and tailor deals available in your area, we confirm the switch over, then you get to enjoy your new plan and your shiny new savings! Our team will also tailor their advice to you personally, looking at your current contract and internet needs.

Get started today and find your new deal in no time.

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4G or Fibre?

Don’t be fooled by the name – 4G broadband is very different to your traditional home Wi-Fi!

In some cases, it might be a better option for you.

We’ll explain all the how’s, what’s and why’s you might have.

What is 4G Broadband?

4G broadband is a cutting-edge internet connection.

It’s often used as an effective substitute for regular broadband, and we’ve explained why.

Unlike standard phone-line-based arrangements, 4G broadband frees you from the constraints of wire.

How?

By delivering a smooth internet connection to households over the omnipresent 4G mobile network that spans the majority of the UK.

Why Not Just Use Wi-Fi?

In some areas, internet suppliers have limited infrastructure.

This means that some homes simply can’t access faster broadband because they don’t have fibre optic cables installed in their area.

People living in more rural towns might also find that they have limited choice of suppliers and consequently fewer deals to pick from.

Whilst fibre coverage is expanding every day, lots of people are understandably looking for alternative Wi-Fi solutions.

How do I Access 4G Broadband?

You can connect to 4G broadband in a few ways.

Our experts have covered the main three ways below:

‘Tethering’ – The ‘tethering’ feature on your smartphone effectively turns it into a Wi-Fi hotspot. You will be able to connect a small number of gadgets and devices, but your usage will be limited. You might also notice that your mobile data is quickly eaten up when you do this, so it’s key to review your contract terms.

A Mobile Broadband ‘Dongle’ – A mobile broadband ‘dongle’ is a small gadget with 4G or 5G capability. It connects your devices using Wi-Fi or a USB to give you internet access. Compared to ‘tethering’, you can access more data and at a faster speed with a dongle.

A Dedicated Router – By using a dedicated router, you can connect more devices and handle more traffic than you can with tethering or dongles. Most large mobile networks offer this type of router, as it gives you a strong connection wherever you go.

What are the Benefits of 4G Broadband?

There’s a lot of important benefits to 4G broadband.

Our experts rate the top five perks to be:

  • Reliable Speeds. 4G broadband is faster than the speeds you receive to your mobile phone, as it uses more advanced hardware.  This is what makes it comparable to broadband, rather than mobile data signal.
  • Widely Available. Because 4G is practically everywhere, it is an excellent choice for rural WiFi and other areas lacking cable infrastructure.
  • No Fuss Set-up. Installation is quick and simple, requiring little to no setup.
  • Portable. Certain routers can be transported with you when you travel, allowing them to deliver WiFi in a caravan, for example.
  • Flexible Packages. You are not usually locked in long term with 4G broadband, as flexible packages are more readily available. One of our suppliers even offers a 30-day rolling contract.

Are There any Drawbacks of 4G Broadband?

Despite all the benefits, there are a few factors to consider.

  • Limited Bandwidth and Speed: 4G networks can provide impressive speeds, but they still have limitations in terms of bandwidth compared to newer technologies like 5G. As more users connect to a 4G tower, the available bandwidth is shared, leading to potential slowdowns during peak usage times. This is especially the case in densely populated areas or during crowded events.
  • Signal Interference: 4G signals can be affected by physical obstacles such as buildings and trees. Interference can lead to weaker signals and reduced network coverage, particularly in rural areas.
  • Limited Coverage: We’ve already hinted at this one! While 4G coverage is widespread in many areas, it may not be available in more remote or rural locations. This is something we can help you identify.
  • Data Caps and Throttling: Many 4G broadband plans come with data usage limits and may impose throttling or reduced speeds once those limits are reached. This can be a concern for heavy data users who rely on consistent high-speed connections.
  • Security Concerns: 4G networks, like any wireless technology, can be vulnerable to security breaches. Unauthorized access to the network can pose risks to user privacy and data security.

What About 5G Broadband?

5G works the same as 4G – it’s just considerably faster!

5G broadband is still fairly new and therefore less widely available than 4G, but coverage is growing consistently.

Your supplier will let you know if you’re eligible for 5G, as this depends solely on their network.

It’s also worth noting that 5G is currently more expensive than 4G.

Should I Consider Getting a 4G Broadband Deal?

If you live in a rural area with limited internet availability, it could be a perfect solution for you.

4G and 5G broadband solutions are growing in popularity due to being flexible, fairly priced, and reliable.

However, if your area also struggles with flaky mobile signal, this could affect your service.

This is something our experts can help you decide.

Start searching for the latest deals in your area today and see which plan is best suited to you.