Ways to save money during Covid-19

Ways to save money during Covid-19
Written by Inez Miedema
Published on 27th March 2020
Updated on 31st March 2020
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The insecure times that we find ourselves in, will mean that saving money on frequent bills is now more important than ever. Saving money on regular monthly expenses is key, whether you’ve seen your income decline due to the coronavirus or you foresee a change in the amount of money you have available to spend in the near future. We are working around the clock to ensure that we have money saving tips and offers available through our partners and will be adding them to this page, as they come along.

Switch energy provider to save on your electricity and gas bills

Whether you’re homeschooling your children, working from home for the first time or are retired, you will undoubtedly spend a lot more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic. This can unfortunately lead to higher energy bills, as it’s not yet warm enough outside to rely on the sunshine to heat your house.

We have teamed up with Free Price Compare to offer you a quick and easy way to check if you can save up to £505* when you switch energy providers. All you need to do to find out if you can save money is pop your postcode in here , enter the current details of your plan, pick the provider that suits you and FreePriceCompare will take care of the rest.

Automatic Mortgage switching to get the best deal

Another way to save on monthly bills is to look into your current mortgage plan and consider switching to another provider with better mortgage rates. Dashly - a mortgage switching platform - reported that 1 in 3 homeowners are on the wrong mortgage deal. Dashly is regulated by and developed with the help of the Financial Conduct Authority, which means that you and your mortgage plan are in safe hands.

It can genuinely help you save money to switch mortgage, for some this is possible even within your fixed rate term factoring in early repayment charges. You can set up a Dashly account in a few minutes, for free and with no obligations to switch. Once you’re signed up, the software will complete a daily mortgage comparison and inform you when it’s time to consider remortgaging. If you choose to proceed, you will get a qualified mortgage advisor assigned who will hold your hand throughout the whole process. Check if you can switch your mortgage and save money by visiting our partner's website.

Credit Building Solutions

When you’re zooming in on your financial health, one thing to look at is your credit score and how it affects your ability to borrow money, get a credit card or even buy a house in the future. You can check your credit score for free with Credit Karma or ClearScore. If you know you have a poor credit score, this might be the time for you to think about ways to rebuild it. We’ve listed a few ways to achieve this below.

LOQBOX - Credit Building with LOQBOX

When your income or the way you live drastically changes, it is highly recommended to build an emergency budget. We share information about how to do this here. The outcome of your budget may show that you need to try to cut costs, or find extra cash to cover your expenses in the coming months. If you anticipate that you will struggle to apply for a loan to get your hands on emergency money due to a poor credit score, LOQBOX might be the right solution for you.

LOQBOX helps you save money for a rainy day and help you access cheaper loans in the future. The way this works is:

  • You decide how much you could save in a year and LOQBOX lock away a 0% APR loan for that amount, like a digital piggy bank.
  • Then you pay off the loan over 12 months, and each payment is reported to the credit bureaus helping you build your credit record.
  • At the end of the 12 months, you open your LOQBOX to get access to the loan that was locked away.

In order to set up a LOQBOX, you need to be able to save £20 a month for a 12 month period. After one year, your saved money will be released into a brand new bank account for free.

In summary, if you have previously been unable to apply for a loan due to a poor credit score, LOQBOX will help you build your credit and ensure you have some money available in the future.

Aquis - A credit card for bad credit

People with bad credit are aware that major banks won’t easily provide them with a credit card. An alternative to credit cards from major banks is Aquis, who are specialised in offering credit cards to those who have a poor credit score. A credit card could help you stretch your budget and access emergency cash when paying for essentials during the coming months. Before entering into a credit agreement, ensure that you can afford to pay back the money you spend timely.

You can use the Aquis credit card to improve your credit rating, as long as you stick to the repayment schedule and are able to meet monthly repayments amounts. When your application for credit is successful, Aquis will get you started with an easy to manage credit limit up to £1,000. You will then see your credit limit increase every 5 months upto £4,000. Learn more about accessing Aquis credit cards here.

Cashplus - A prepaid card to build good credit

A third way of improving your credit score in order to set yourself up for success in the future is provided by Cashplus. They offer current accounts which don’t require credit checks and are open to all. Their current accounts come with prepaid cards, all for a monthly fee of £9.95.

Cashplus has launched a successful add-on to your account designed to improve your credit rating. Creditbuilder is a 12-month loan that you can repay over 12 monthly payments. The amount they lend to you is equivalent to 12 months in account fees. You end up paying your account fees as normal and Cashplus uses that money as a repayment for your Creditbuilder loan, which they report to the Credit reference Agencies. After making 12 monthly payments, you have successfully paid off a loan which can significantly improve your credit score. Read more about Cashplus and Creditbuilder on their website.

Switch mobile phone provider and pay less

Many people stick to their monthly phone contract, long after the initial contract period of one or two years. As often the price of your new phone is included in your monthly repayments, you will be overpaying after the original contract date ends. In addition, some phone contract providers are more expensive than others, and it can be more difficult to sign up to a new mobile phone contract if you don’t have the best credit report.

Poor Credit Mobiles - Phone contracts for bad credit

It can be hard to get accepted for a mobile phone contract if you have bad credit, which can be especially frustrating now that the coronavirus keeps all of us at home. Poor Credit Mobiles offers guaranteed mobile contracts regardless of your credit history.

The contracts that are offered are short -3 months only- which means you’re not locked into a two year deal. You will receive a brand new phone or canopy for a SIM only offer. Have a look at their current deals here.

Apply for a refund for your train season ticket

The government advice on travel during corona is clear. Only go outside for essential food items, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home). This means that many people who bought a train season ticket to commute to work, won’t be able to use them.

The good news is that while it’s not possible to temporarily freeze or pause a train season ticket, many companies will let you cancel your ticket for the rest of the season. Do read the terms and conditions before you cancel your ticket as the firm you bought it from might charge a small admin fee (usually £10). Additionally, the refund is generally limited to the cheapest way you could have bought tickets for the trip you had booked.

Get a refund on cancelled events

Many events and gatherings in the UK or abroad have been canceled due to changing health pandemic government rules. Did the coronavirus cancel the events you bought tickets for months ago? Many official ticket sellers might be able to offer you a refund. Some of them will however still charge an admin or booking fees to cover their own costs. Contact them directly before the event date to get your money back.

Postpone Travel Plans

The Foreign Office has advised to no travel anywhere outside of the UK unless absolutely essential. It is now also recommended to avoid unnecessary travel in the UK. This means that many of your Easter holiday plans will have had to be postponed to an unknown date in the future. Have a look at the small print of your airline or accommodation provider as you might be able to rebook to a date in the future for a small fee.

*10% of energy switching customers switching their gas and electricity bills (dual fuel) with Free Price Compare between 1st January 2019 and 31st December 2019 saved £505. Using the same period the savings for gas on a single fuel switch was £267 and electric on a single fuel switch was £282

Inez Miedema
Written by
Inez Miedema
CMO & Take Control Author at Choose Wisely

Inez came on board in the Summer of 2019. Her main focus has been helping as many people as possible find our website through online marketing, writing content and partnership deals. She boasts 6 years of FinTech experience with other brands and has an in-depth knowledge of our customers.