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Save money and organise your finances online, with Plusnet

Save money and organise your finances online, with Plusnet

Save money and organise your finances online, with Plusnet

Money blog banner It's a true saying - look after t'pennies and t'pounds will look after themselves. But sometimes it's tough making ends meet. That's why we've pulled together some pointers that might help you use the web to save money and manage your finances. Keep reading and find out how to make your cheap broadband work even harder for you.

Use online banking …

Online banking’s great – you can see exactly where you are spending or over-spending, and instantly cancel direct debits or standing orders instead of losing money by putting off a trip to the bank. But it’s important to stay safe and bank sensibly online. If you’re banking online then make sure that your security software is always up-to-date, that you always type the full web address into your address bar (rather than clicking links from search engine listings or emails) and that you use a strong, unique password. Don’t repeat passwords that you use when you're online shopping or to protect your emails. Anti-virus and anti-malware software doesn't need to be costly. You can download Plusnet Protect, or use another free security solution like Avira Free, AVG Free or Microsoft Security Essentials.

Manage your money, plan your budget and track your spending …

If you're looking to get your finances in order and run a tighter ship, one of the best places to start is the Money Advice Service. They’ve got tools and planners that can help you with everything - from how to stretch out a tight budget, compare different financial products, and even to prepare for budgeting if you're about to start a family. It's worth doing their 'Health Check' - a quick survey which will give you a personalised money-saving action plan and goals you can work towards.

Use price comparison sites to save on bills and manage your debt …

You can use online price comparison sites like, uSwitch and Go Compare to really save on utilities, insurance bills and credit cards (which can be especially handy if you're looking for 0% balance transfers to keep down the cost of credit card debt). Jamie Gibbs of gave us three great tips to help you find cheaper insurance premiums using price comparison websites. He told us:

1. Pick up the phone

Jamie said:

"Many insurers have an Internet-quote matching policy, or at least allow for some sort of discount to be given. Exploit your brand loyalty and see if anything can be knocked off the price without the hassle of having to switch insurers.

"The best time to do this is a few weeks before your renewal date. This means you can usually dodge any cancellation fees and it puts the most pressure on them to offer you a good deal and keep you sweet. Make sure you have your quote reference number to hand, as well as the prices of the best deals and with which companies. Having hard numbers to hand will help you negotiate a better deal than just saying 'give me a discount!'"

2. Be Honest

Jamie told us:

"Different companies use the information you enter in different ways, and this can affect the price that you pay for insurance. One of the most common examples is your job title: Saying that you’re an ‘Office Manager’ may result in company X giving you the best price, but change it to ‘Manager – Office’ and company Y gives you an even better deal. Making slight alterations to your quote to find the best price is called ‘quote massaging’ and, although it gives you breathing space to find yourself the best deal, you could end up in hot water should you abuse the system and accept a quote based on false information. Being accurate and honest is always your best bet, as it’ll make sure you get a decent and fair price to pay."

3. Look Before You Leap

Last but not least, Jamie gave us this tip:

"So you’ve entered all of your details and you get to the results page. Hitting the top spot by quite a long way is a deal that looks too good to be true. Hold on before clicking 'Buy Now' and take a look at it; a really good look. Some companies may offer stripped-down, no-frills products in order to snag the coveted top spot of the comparison results, so you will likely be getting what you pay for, which might not be much at all. Look at a few different offers and compare the benefits e.g. courtesy car, breakdown cover, as well as the price. Go with what suits your needs as well as your budget."

Make the most of your loyalty cards …

While it's always good to shop for the best deal, brand loyalty does, sometimes, pay - especially when it comes to loyalty cards. If you shop with Tesco, Sainsburys, Boots or Superdrug you should definitely sign up to their loyalty schemes. You can also manage your accounts online so you can keep track of the cash-value of the points you earn. It's important that you don't buy products you won't use just because they come with bonus loyalty points. And, it's really good to keep in mind the cash value of the points you're earning so you don't overspend by mistakenly thinking you're racking-up high value points.

Sell before you shop …

The car boot sale used to be the place to go if you were looking to shift your unwanted stuff or clear your attic, but now you can go online - and make a tidy profit. Try selling-on your unwanted items using sites like eBay, Amazon and ASOS marketplace. Or craft something new and quirky (confetti made from old books? Cushion covers made from old clothes?) and get selling on sites like Etsy. Just set yourself a rule that you've got to make a certain amount selling unwanted items before you can treat yourself to something new or snap-up a bargain you've seen while marketing your own goods.

Get expert money advice, daily …

Official websites are great, but if you really want to save it won't hurt to follow some finance experts and money-savvy sites on Twitter, as you'll get updates with deals as well as advice every single day. Try @Consumer_Direct for advice from the government, @Jasmine founder of and @MoneySavingExp for tips from money expert Martin Lewis.

Get free money …

Few things in life come free, but you can earn by using cash-back deals sites like Quidco and Top Cashback and by entering competitions online. For example, you can win £10 every week to use against cheap train tickets at if you tweet them a tip @redspottedhanky using the hashtag #RSHGuides. Have you been using the web to save money or organise your finances? Have we missed out any sites or resources that you've been using? Please leave a comment and let us know …

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