Feb 27

Save over £4,000 a year by scaling down

If you’re struggling to cut down on expensive luxuries read this guide to scaling down. We show you how to save over £4,000 with a few painless, money-saving swaps.

Ditch the car and join a car club

Why should I switch?

The total cost of running a car can be pretty scary – add up the cost of tax, insurance, MOT checks, fuel, servicing, repairs, depreciation and parking and you’re talking about an enormous figure. If you don’t need your car every day to commute to work, joining a car club will save you thousands of pounds.

A car club gives you access to what are essentially pay-as-you-go cars. As a member of a car club any vehicle is covered with breakdown cover and insurance (although you will have to pay an excess). Fuel is also included in the hourly charge so all you have to pay is a membership fee of around £50 and then either an hourly, daily or monthly fee to use the cars. Hourly rates range from £3.95 to £5.99 and daily rates from £29 to £50.

According to, if you drive less than 6,000 miles per year then a car club could save you up to £3,500 a year.

Switch your energy supplier

Why should I switch?

All of the big six providers cut their prices this year so there’s a good chance you’re not on the best tariff. Don’t lose out because you can’t be bothered to switch – we can’t stress enough how easy and quick it is. And best of all, it’s completely free so there’s absolutely nothing to lose and plenty of savings to gain.

You could save as much as £538 just with a few clicks of the mouse.

Moneymagpie’s comparison service is completely free and unbiased. We show you the best rates around from suppliers in your area and you can choose the tariff that suits your needs.


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Switch your premium digital TV package

Why should I switch?

Even the basic subscription from Sky costs £19.50 per month – and that’s before adding any entertainment packs, sports or movies – totaling  £228 per year.

A Freeview box on the other hand will only cost you the price of the box itself and that’s it – no monthly subscription to worry about and you still get up to 48 channels to enjoy. Boxes start from as little as £20 so even the initial cost is pretty small.

Getting the cheapest Freeview box will cost around £20 which would save you £214 per year when compared to the basic Sky package.


Switch to a SIM-only mobile tariff

Why should I switch?

We think the best thing about SIM-only deals is the length of contract – most have a contract of just one month so you won’t be tied down and can change quickly when a better deal comes along. These days networks are only offering the best deals on standard contracts of 18 or 24 months in some cases.

Ask yourself if you would be getting a phone worth over £252 and worth tying yourself to a contract for two years.

Take a look at the SIM-only deals on offer from Virgin, Vodafone, Orange, O2,  T-Mobile and 3 Mobile. Remember that not only do prices vary, but also the inclusive minutes, texts and data limits will too – so you may find that if you want to use the internet a lot, one network offers the best deal, but equally if you love to talk, you may be btter off with a different one. Find out more in our guide to SIM-only mobile contracts.

Get the best value broadband

Why should I switch?

The difference in price between the various broadband options around can be vast, so switching to the cheapest broadband package will save you a bundle.

Basic line rental for BT costs £13.60 (unless you can pay a whole year’s worth in one go in which case it’s £10 a month). On top of this if you take the cheapest option – Basic broadband from BT – it is free for the first four months, then £13 per month thereafter plus, of course, the line rental. This is an 18 month contract.

The Plusnet Value package costs just £6.49 per month and you can get a line-rental with Plusnet for £11.99 a month. The package includes a free wireless router and a monthly usage allowance of 10GB. The broadband service has speeds of up to 20MB a second. The price per month stays at £6.49 per month as long as you are in an ‘optimum broadband area’ which 80% off us in the UK are. You can choose to sign up for twelve months in which case you would receive a free wireless router (but pay £4.99 P&P) or pay for the router and you are only tied to a monthly rolling contract.


Over the first year  you could probably save…

Plusnet would cost £107.87 (including a £25 connection fee and £4.99 P&P for router) plus £143.88 for line rental = £251.75 over 12 months

Basic broadband from BT would cost £121.33 a year plus £166.80 for line rental = £288.13. This is the average price for a year taking into account during the first four months the broadband package is free.  You would be tied into a 18-month contract.

This means you could save £36.38 by switching! For more tips and advice on broadband see our comprehensive broadband guide.

Useful Links

  • Moneymagpie energy comparison page


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