Follow these tips and you'll soon be counting the cash you've saved in 2013!
Save £500 on your credit card
With the average credit card interest rate rising to 19.1% according to Moneyfacts, if you have a big chunk of that debt on your credit card it can be seriously painful.
With the average unsecured debt per household hitting £5,991 according to Credit Action, plenty of borrowers are subject to some whopping great interest charges.
Let’s say you have £5,000 in debt on your card (which charges the average interest rate) and you want to halve it over the course of 2013. That means you’ll need to shell out about £243 a month.
However, let’s say you instead move that debt onto the top balance transfer credit card from Barclaycard, the 24-month Platinum Visa, which offers 0% on transfers for an incredible two years and carries a transfer fee of 2.1%. You’d only need to pay £205 a month to clear half of that debt by the end of 2013, saving you £456!
Total money saved: £456
Get rewarded for your spending
However, as we discovered in the Lovemoney Awards, the cards that are most popular with our readers are the ones that reward them for clearing their balance in full each month.
Just how much you can expect to make depends on the card you go for, and where you use it. But let’s take the example of the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card, which offers 5% cashback on your spending in the first three months (capped at £100) then tiered rates of up to 1.25% depending on how much you spend thereafter.
I tend to spend about £700 a month on my credit card (I put all of my spending on the Tesco Clubcard credit card so that we get as many Clubcard points as possible), so over a year I’d be looking at a return of about £205. Not bad just for using the right credit card!
It’s not just how you pay that can earn you cashback though. When shopping online, make sure you go via a cashback website to earn a percentage of your spend back. It really does make a difference: in 2012 I pocketed over £100 thanks to Quidco.
Total money saved: £661
Save £1,000 a year by remortgaging
Sitting on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) has been a smart move for many borrowers in recent years, with the SVR smaller than many of the top mortgage rates. However that’s changed in recent months with many lenders sharply rising their SVR, despite bank base rate showing no sign of moving.
And according to new research from HSBC the 4.4 million borrowers currently sitting on an SVR could save as much as £1,000 over a year in monthly mortgage repayments by moving to a new deal.
Of course, this all depends on your individual circumstances, but when you consider the typical SVR is 4.86%, even borrowers with small equity stakes stand a decent chance of being able to find a better rate.
You can compare the best mortgages for your own situation by making use of our mortgage tool.
Total money saved: £1,661
Switch your energy tariff
Energy costs have been high up the news agenda in recent months, with the majority of providers announcing price hikes.
The best way to combat this is to regularly shop around for a new deal, to ensure you are paying as little as possible.
Users of the our energy switching tool save an average of between £160 and £200 as a result of switching.
Total money saved: £1,861
Recycle old bits and bobs for cash
All of us have things cluttering up our homes that we no longer want nor need, whether it’s clothes we don’t wear anymore, DVDs we are never likely to watch again or old mobile phones gathering dust in the drawers.
There are plenty of ways to cash in on them too, from dedicated to recycling sites to eBay to the good old fashioned car boot sale. I got a little over £50 recycling my old mobile this year, and plan to test out the new car boot sale down the road in the New Year.
Total money saved: £1,913
Get the best bank account around!
There aren’t too many bank accounts that can rival First Direct’s 1st Account. It doesn’t look that great on the surface, paying no interest, though it does come with a cracking £250 interest-free overdraft.
No, it’s the customer service that sets this one apart, with the bank winning every customer service award going – including our very own Lovemoney Award! And best of all, just for opening the account you’ll pocket £100 as a welcome bonus. First Direct is so confident you’ll love it that it will pay another £100 if you decide to leave after a year!
Total money saved: £2,013.
So how are you planning to save in 2013? Let us know in the comment box below.