How I paid for my summer holiday without spending a penny!

Having a financial ‘sort-out’ is always on my agenda of things to do to, but always seems to be pushed to the bottom of the pile. After months of being on my ‘to do’ list, I finally set aside a morning. Am I glad I did!!

After arming myself with a cup of coffee and biscuits, I closed my office door, put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on and focussed.

First Job of the Day

The first job I thought I would do was go through my bank statements very carefully. I wanted to make sure I could identify every direct debit that was going out of my account each month.

All direct debits that I did not recognise I made a list of. I then went through these to see who I was paying, how much and what for!

One example was a BT Phone Line for an office I no longer have…this was £49 per month. Once I had identified all direct debits like this, I phoned the appropriate company and cancelled the service that day.

The Next Task

After completing this task I then realised that my phone bill was not on direct debit. Each month I had to phone the company and pay. Being the busy woman that I am, sometimes this slips my mind. I have in the past been stung for a late payment charge of £7.50 per month. So, I decided to contact my provider and set up a monthly direct debit for future payments. This is a weight off my mind as I no longer have the time-consuming task of phoning each month to pay.

The phone company also informed me I was paying for Dongle. This is a handy device used to connect a mobile device to the internet. I took this out 2 years ago and have not used it for a while, so I removed this from my account.

Another service I found I was paying for but no longer have was for a HP Ink Service for a printer – £7.99 per month! And indeed, this was cancelled too!

Whilst on a roll I decided to look at my business insurance, as I thought it looked quite expensive. I decided to shop around and received several insurance quotes. I wanted to have something to compare against to see if my existing insurance was expensive. Well, low and behold I managed to get the exact same cover and level of insurance with another provider for a whopping £400 cheaper!

It really is worth shopping around for insurance.

After a morning of sorting out, phoning and googling, the total amount I saved (drum roll please!) was a massive £1,561 over the year! Just call me Martin Lewis!

For those of you out there who keep putting tasks like this to the back of the pile, I beg you to move it to the top of your list and start now!

Now…time to do some research on where I would like to go on holiday!

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