There's not a day goes by at the moment without a story somewhere in the media about the current economic situation and its impact on families across the country. The recent benefits changes have highlighted this once again.
All of us are feeling the pinch right now and one of the first tips when you're looking to save money is to check all your monthly expenditure to see where you can save money. It's common practice to consider changing your utility suppliers to save money but I'm not sure quite as many consider whether or not to switch bank accounts to a better provider.
Recently I went to a local bank to set up savings accounts for my children. Whilst there they also offered to review my finances for me and as it was something that I hadn't had done for a while I agreed. I thought that I was generally on top of my day to day finances and I run a monthly spreadsheet of all my income and expenditure so I keep track of every single penny that we spend. What I hadn't take into account though were the new bank account options that some banks now offer.
The financial advisor I saw looked at all my direct debits over the last year and pointed out the large amount I pay anually for breakdown cover. Now I consider this to be a necessity. I drive quite a bit with the kids and if I were to break down at the side of the motorway I want to be able to guarantee that I will have a way of getting somewhere safe quickly. What he pointed out to me was that if I upgraded our bank account to one where you pay a monthly fee I would get equivalent breakdown cover (with the same provider) for free. The monthly fee for the bank account would be less than I was currently paying for breakdown cover alone – it was a bit of a no brainer to swap. I also now get things like travel insurance, mobile phone cover and card protection as well, so I'm actually getting more than I did before, but for less money every month.
I simply hadn't realised just how much some banks were offering and as a result I was so grateful for this financial advisor pointing all this out. I'm now saving money every month and getting more benefits. To me that's a winning situation.
Disclaimer: This featured post was brought to you in association with Halifax. All experiences described above are 100% genuine.