My year of saving over £1,000

Since working at MSE, I've learnt  so many MoneySaving ways

Since working at MSE, I've learnt so many MoneySaving ways

I thought I was a good MoneySaver before joining I’d spend hours finding the cheapest price for a holiday, I withdrew an interest free overdraft and placed it into an ISA and I hit the sale rails whenever I could.

But since working at MSE, I’ve learnt so many more MoneySaving ways. It’s not been overnight, but I’ve tried to put into practise each guide I had read, and working on the deals team, it’s my job (and pleasure) to help you find the best deals to save you money too.

So I started thinking about exactly how I’ve put my MoneySaving antenna into good use over the past year and tallied up savings of over £1,000, which include:

  • Nov 2012 – Transferred my current account to Halifax for the £100 switching bonus (up £100). Booked a Eurotunnel return for £33 as I converted £35 of Tesco vouchers for rewards (worth £105), which should have cost £138 (saved £105).
  • February 2013 – Stayed in a De Vere hotel room for £20, usually £49 to £125 (saved at least £29).
  • April 2013 – Time for a new mobile upgrade. A new Three Sim contract cost £12.90 per month (one year contract) but with cashback of £48.30 and a £25 M&S voucher, this worked out as £6.79 per month for 1GB internet, 600 mins and 5,000 texts (saved £73.30).
  • May 2013 – I paid £10 via Mighty Deals for a Shell petrol card pre-loaded with £20 worth of petrol (saved £10).
  • June 2013 – I bought 64 rolls of toilet paper from Poland for 17p each (I was visiting family so there was no harm in stocking up). In the UK I usually look for 30p rolls (saved £8.32). I also wrote a uniform tax rebate letter to HMRC for my fiancé who’s a builder. Within a few weeks, he got a cheque for £40 and a new tax code for the following year (saved £40).
  • July 2013 – Our insurance renewal quote for our Audi came in at just over £800. After comparing quotes, I found a quote which ticked all our boxes (and fully comp) for £554 (saved £246).
  • August 2013 – Buying online through TopCashback (everything from airport parking, presents and shoes), I got a pay out of £123 (up £123). My brother also asked if I could find him cheap car insurance for his Ford Focus. His renewal price was £1,200, I found a quote for £744 (saved him an impressive £456 – still awaiting a ‘thank you’ bouquet).
  • September 2013 – We’re off to The Ritz for a three-course dinner with champagne for two for £89. This usually costs £150 (saving £61).

So in total, I’ve managed to save £1,028.62 and I’ve received a bonus of £223 (from Halifax and TopCashback). Most of it is on things that I definitely would have had to spend on anyway – like bills and planned trips away. The Ritz trip is a treat, but done at a huge discount – definitely worth it, for me.

Have you thought about how much you’ve saved over the past year? What will you do with the savings? For me, it’ll probably go towards a holiday, but even then, I’ll be using my skills to get the best price for a slice of luxury abroad. Please share your thoughts in the discussion below, or in the forum.