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Get a car for free? Tips on balancing the budget

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Ever heard the saying “nothing in life is free”, well this is often very true. However, today we are going to show you how you can make changes in your life to get a car for free.

Ok, so maybe the title to this article made you think that we were going to give you a free car… well as much as we would like to, unfortunately it’s not possible. However, what we can give you is a range of clear set of ideas that you can save money with to be able to afford to buy a new car.

Sounds simple right? Let’s get started!

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On average most people spend between £150 and £300 per month on a car loan per month. Some may choose to spend more, but we want to empower people to get to that £300 per month in savings, so they can buy their new car.

The savings that you make can come from a range of activities and you can choose the ones that suit you best. The ideas may also get you thinking of different ways that you can save that are more suited to your circumstances.

As you will see many of the savings on their own are not going to be life changing, but when used in combination the effect can be far more beneficial. We are going to cover the following areas that you might be able to save money:

• Gas and electric charges – checking that you are not paying too much.
• Magazine and newspaper subscriptions – Could you save money by going on-line.
• Weekly food shopping – Big savings can be made by switching from big brands
• Snacks – Watch your weight and save money.
• Coffee and Soft drinks – A fancy coffee and a can of pop add up over time.
• Home phones – Do you really need a landline?
• Mobile phones – Are you on the right tariff?
• TV – All those channels but do you really watch them?
• Make your own lunch – take your lunch to work and save money!

Gas and electric charges – checking that you are not paying too much

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I am sure that you have heard this a hundred times – you need to check your Gas and Electric tariffs to ensure that you are getting the best deal. This should not be news to anyone as there is so much information available about it but switching your Gas or electricity supplier.

Where people often fall down is by actually doing it. Yes it is time consuming and not that easy, but checking that you are on the correct tariff could help you get the car you want.

Even if you checked six months ago, check again, the best deals are changing all the time and you might not be with the cheapest supplier.

Top Tip

Money Saving Expert offer a cheap Energy Club that will compare the market for you making switching your Gas and Electric easier than ever:
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/cheapenergyclub

Saving:

On average £18 a month (based on research carried out by Which?)

Magazine and newspaper subscriptions – Could you save money by going on-line.

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If you purchase a daily news paper and a copy of the Radio Times once a week you are likely to be spending almost £5 a week.

An alternative to buying the paper and those glossy magazines is to switch instead to reading to the on-line versions, which you will often get for free. The digital world has changed the way printed publications are now run allow you to get much of your news for free.

If you have a smart phone then you will also be able to download official and third party apps that will provide you with all of the information you need on your tablet or mobile phone.

Top Tip

News providers and companies are building new apps all the time. All of the following brands have apps: BBC News, BBC Sport, Eurosport, Sky News, Sky Sports, The Telegraph, the Guardian, ITV News, The Sun, Daily Mirror, OK! Magazine light, Yahoo, FOX News, The Economist and many more. Please note not all apps will be available on all mobile devices.

Saving:

Potentially £19 a month

Weekly food shopping – Big savings can be made by switching from big brands.

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One of the biggest temptations when shopping is to pick up things that are on special offer, that you want on a whim or that have been displayed by the supermarket in prominent positions.

The way to avoid these temptations is to make a list of what you need and then make sure you just buy these items. If you can avoid the temptation traps set up by the supermarkets you will save yourself a small fortune.

For bigger savings and to avoid further temptation do your shopping online so you do not get tempted by the glossy packaging, if you can arrange for delivery outside of the busy time slots you can often save 50% or more on the delivery charges too. You will also find promotions and offers for discounted delivery rates.

Top Tip

Money Saving Expert provides a “downshift-challenge” tool that compares how much you currently spend on brand names and the finest ranges from the supermarkets and shows you the potential savings to be made by using the supermarkets own brands and value alternatives.

Bonus Top Tip

Products shown at the end of shopping aisles you will often find popular products with savings advertised, however these are almost always not the cheapest options.

Saving:

Up to £90 a month

Snacks – Watch your weight and save money.

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We all enjoy a treat once in a while but if having these treats start becoming part of your daily and weekly routines it can often become a habit. This will have a big impact on your health, waist and money.

If you are the sort of person that buys a chocolate bar every working day it is likely you will be paying about £0.60 per bar per day. You will also be consuming around 5000 calories a month extra. This is often an unnecessary cost and consumption of calories so why not consider having a treat day once a week.

Top Tip

If you need a sweet snack buy them in bulk and take them into work or consider swapping this snack for a healthy alternative such as some fruit.

Saving:

Up to £12 a month

Coffee and Soft drinks – A fancy coffee and a can of pop add up over time.

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Similar to snacks that we mentioned above, coffee and soft drinks can quickly turn from a treat to a daily habit.

If you enjoy a coffee from one of the major coffee chains on your way to work, or during a break, you are probably spending £2.70 on it. If you are keen on fizzy drinks you are likely to be spending £0.80 per can / bottle.

Why not try drinking some water or squash as a cheap alternative to fizzy drinks and coffee, this will be healthier and will save you money.

Top Tip

One simple alternative that does not deprive you of your morning caffeine jolt is to invest in a good travel mug and fill it up with your favourite beverage before you leave the house.

Saving:

Up to £54 a month

Home phones – Do you really need a landline?

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It was only a few years ago that a telephone in a home was the vital way to communicate with people in other areas. Times change though and now with the huge popularity of mobile phones it is a good time to question “Do we really need a landline?”.

Most mobile phone contracts now offer their users hundreds of minutes or unlimited free calls. So the simple act of making a phone call is often the cheapest way to make calls.

This begs the question of whether spending £8 a month on line rental is really necessary.

Before you jump up and cancel your line rental you should speak to your supplier as they may be able to offer you a package deal on your phone, internet & TV that saves you more than you would just by stopping the line rental.

Top Tip

If you make frequent calls abroad then you should find a phone provider that will give you a all inclusive rate for this service. Many providers will include these calls for a small additional monthly fee.

Saving:

£8 line rental

Mobile phones – Are you on the right tariff?

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Many of us take out phone contracts with more free time and texts than we need. We are also usually tied into a contract of a certain length. The big question is “Are you on the right tariff of mobile phone contract?”

You can answer this question by analysing the amount of minutes you use each month and how many texts you send. If you don’t use all of your minutes and text you many be able to change to a lower tariff and reduce your monthly bill.

If your contract has ended ensure that you switch to a ‘Sim only’ contract. Many providers bundle the cost of the phone into the monthly price and therefore you do not want to continue paying this additional cost.

If you also do not need to upgrade your phone and move to a ‘Sim only’ contract you can slash your monthly bill from around £30 to just £14.

Top Tip

Do not call premium numbers from your mobile phone. A call that is only a few minutes long could cost you a lot. Use the following website to find out the local number instead of the premium number: http://www.saynoto0870.com/

Saving:

£16 a month

TV – All those channels but do you really watch them?

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There are some great programs, films and sporting events available on TV, but are you making the most of all the options, if you are not watching 3 or 4 channels at the same time you may be paying for entertainment that you only watch occasionally.

One Sky package, with films, sports and 90 entertainment channels costs £55.50 a month, but for £21.50 you can have enough TV entertainment for the whole family on the Sky entertainment package.

Virgin media offer 200+ channels for £37 a month, whereas their basic package only costs £6.50 a month and you will still be able to access and record 100 channels.

There are also options that you may be paying for that you do not use such as multi room or HD. Even if you do use them, weight up the benefit. HD can cost as much as £10 per month more, this is a massive £120 a year, just for an improved picture.

Top Tip

If you are with Sky it is fairly common for people to be able to call up and haggle the price of the package they are using. You could literally half your bill for the cost of a phone call.

Saving:

£30 – £35 a month

Make your own lunch – take your lunch to work and save money!

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This is a really simple one. By planning your weekly lunch meals, making them yourself and taking them to work you will save a small fortune.

Not only will you earn money but you are able to completely control what is in your food and you are likely to eat more healthily.

If you buy a sandwich, packet of crisps and a drink from a supermarket it costs approximately £2.50 – £5.00 and this soon adds up over the course of a month.

It is estimated that the average family in the UK throws away £600 worth of food each year, this includes things that have gone out of date and food left over after a meal. So by taking your own food into work you will be using the items you have already purchased and helping the environment as well as your wallet.

Top Tip

Many people say the main reason they don’t make their own lunches is because they get bored with the same old stuff. There are plenty of websites that help you overcome this with creative ideas such as: BBC Good Food
and Allrecipes lunch ideas.

Bonus Top Tip

Using last night’s left over dinner (you can plan to cook to much and save it) is almost like having a free meal. No such thing as a free lunch, think again! More information on food waste and ideas for getting that “free lunch” can be found at http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com

Savings:

Between £55.00 – £100.00

We have presented some great ideas that could really help you to save money. Here is a breakdown of the possible saving that you could make each month:

Electric & Gas bills – £18

Newspapers & Magazines – £19

Shopping – £90

Snacks – £12

Coffee & Drinks – £54

Home Phone – £8

Mobile phone – £16

TV – £30

Lunch at work – £55

Total monthly savings : £302.00

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Without having to make too many sacrifices and with just a few changes in your lifestyle you really could benefit from some huge savings! You could have £300 to spend on your new car each month, this is a good amount of money that will help you to buy a really nice car. Better still you won’t have to spend any more each month than you are already used to spending!

We have just provided you with a guide on how to get a car for free now do you want to know what sort of car you could be driving. The best way to do this is to look at the value of the car you could afford. Without any deposit you could be driving a car worth £14,300 (48 months at £297.92 with an excellent credit rating).

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