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.

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Fibre VS ADSL Broadband

Fibre VS ADSL Broadband

Which deal is right for your household – fibre or ADSL broadband?

The world of Internet connectivity is ever developing since lockdown, with many still opting to work from home.

One key question we should all consider is the choice between Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL broadband) and Fibre broadband; considering various aspects of performance, cost, and environmental impact.

What is ADSL Broadband?

ADSL relies on landline phone connections and has long been the go-to broadband option for households globally.

According to a 2022 Ofcom report, the average download speed for ADSL broadband stands at 12.6Mbps, a figure that can vary based on geographical location, with rural and urban disparities coming into play.

While ADSL holds its ground with advantages such as widespread availability and easy installation, it is not immune to challenges. One notable drawback is the potential for congestion on phone lines during peak hours.

As multiple users share the same line, it can lead to a reduction in broadband speeds, making it less than ideal for households with high data demands during busy periods – i.e. working from home or streaming Netflix after a long day.

What is Fibre Broadband?

Fibre broadband, a technological leap that has gained momentum as phone lines become less essential in the era of mobile phones.

Fibre offers a range of benefits that address the limitations of ADSL. Its significantly faster internet speeds provide a remedy to congestion issues faced by ADSL users.

Moreover, Fibre’s use of silicon dioxide in optic cables makes it a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution compared to the copper wires used in ADSL.

How are the Two Types of Broadband Different?

Essentially both options do the same thing with the main difference being in the technology underpinnings. ADSL relies on copper wires, a technology that has been in use for decades.

In contrast, Fibre broadband utilises fibre optic cables, either from street cabinets or directly to homes, ushering in a new era of connectivity that promises faster and more reliable internet.

Fibre VS ADSL – Which One Do I Need?

The burning question on many minds is, “Which option is more cost-effective?”

While the initial costs of Fibre broadband, including installation, might seem higher, the long-term benefits make it a more economical choice. The faster and more reliable connection supports multiple devices seamlessly, ensuring uninterrupted broadband speed.

If a loss of internet would have a negative effect on your day-to-day or cause major interruptions to remote working/ smart home security settings, then we believe that fibre is worth every penny – even if just for peace of mind!

Additionally, choosing Fibre contributes to a greener energy output, aligning with the growing trend towards environmentally conscious choices.

Our Expert Broadband Opinion

Fibre broadband has emerged as the gold standard in internet connectivity, offering significant advantages over traditional ADSL technology. Here’s why we believe fibre broadband is the superior choice:

  • Blazing Fast Speeds: Fibre broadband delivers unparalleled speed and reliability, offering lightning-fast download and upload speeds compared to ADSL. With fibre-optic cables capable of carrying vast amounts of data at incredible speeds, users can enjoy seamless streaming, gaming, and downloading without buffering or lag.
  • Consistent Performance: Unlike ADSL broadband, which relies on copper telephone wires and is susceptible to signal degradation over long distances, fibre broadband provides consistent performance regardless of your proximity to the exchange. This means users can experience reliable connectivity and consistent speeds, even during peak usage times.
  • Future-Proof Technology: As technology continues to evolve, fibre broadband represents a future-proof investment in connectivity. With the capacity to support emerging technologies like 4K streaming, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT), fibre broadband ensures that users remain at the forefront of digital innovation.
  • Symmetrical Upload and Download Speeds: One of the key advantages of fibre broadband is its symmetrical upload and download speeds. Unlike ADSL, which typically offers slower upload speeds, fibre broadband provides equal bandwidth for both uploading and downloading data, making it ideal for activities like video conferencing, cloud storage, and online collaboration.
  • Enhanced Reliability: Fibre-optic cables are less susceptible to interference from external factors like electromagnetic interference and inclement weather, resulting in enhanced reliability and uptime compared to ADSL. This increased resilience ensures that users can stay connected when they need it most, without interruptions or dropouts.

Keen to receive tailored broadband advice from our experts today?

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Find the Right Broadband Deal Today

While ADSL broadband remains a reliable and cost-effective option for many, Fibre broadband emerges as a forward-looking, high-performance solution that aligns with the increasing demands of modern connectivity.

In conclusion, the tussle between ADSL and Fibre broadband is not merely a battle of speed but a comprehensive evaluation of factors such as reliability, environmental impact, and long-term cost-effectiveness. As technology advances and becomes more integral to our daily lives, the shift towards Fibre broadband seems not only logical but also essential.

Embrace future-ready internet infrastructure that meets the demands of a digitally connected world.

What’s more, with our free deal finder tool and unbiased expert advice, it’s easier than ever to find an affordable fibre deal.

Landline blog ft image

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.