When it comes to your finances, loyalty doesn't pay. Banks, insurers, mobile providers none of them offer the best deals to existing customers. Take action and hunt for the top deals in every aspect of your life and you could save yourself around £3,000 a year, according to comparison site GoCompare.com. Here are the four switches that are likely to make the biggest impact on your finances.
First, take a look at your energy bills a move endorsed by Prime Minister Theresa May, who told the Conservative Party Conference that "it's not right that two-thirds of energy customers are stuck on the most expensive tariffs". Switching energy provider is simple. Take a recent bill, visit a comparison website such as uSwitch.com or EnergyHelpline.com and tap in your usage data.
In under five minutes you'll have a list of the cheapest deals and how much you would save it is usually at least £100 and may well be more if you haven't switched in a long time. Then contact the provider you want to switch to and they will do the rest. All you'll have to do is provide a couple of meter readings.
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Next, check your mortgage rate. Are you on your lender's standard variable rate (SVR)? If so, you could save thousands by switching onto a table-topping deal. Mortgage rates are at record lows of below 1%, but the average SVR is 4.6%, according to MoneyFacts.co.uk. Switch and you could save tens of thousands of pounds over the life of your mortgage.
How about your mobile phone? Around 75% of us are paying for minutes and data we don't use each month, according to a survey by uSwitch. So shop around to see if you could get a cheaper deal with a different provider. You'll be able to keep your mobile number and could save up to £186 over 12 months, according to MoneySavingExpert.com.
Finally, check your car insurance. If you auto-renew you are probably overpaying, as insurers tend to push up the premiums. Consumers waste £1.3bn each year on expensive auto-renewals, says comparison site MoneySuperMarket.com. Check several comparison sites others include Confused.com and CompareTheMarket.com to find a cheaper deal quickly.
Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.
Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.
Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.
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