Finance

Planning finances, both yours and your little ones, is something you shouldn’t put off. Tackle any issues head on and save yourself from a financial headache in the future.

Look after the pennies with Chip

New phone = New apps = New opportunities!

Due to Microsoft seemingly dropping support for Window Phone users, coupled with the likes of Amazon, PayPal, Rightmove and eBay pulling their apps, I’ve flipped back over to the iPhone.

On doing so, the “App Gap”, which has widely been reported, is huge and has opened my eyes to a whole new world since I last used an iPhone, especially financial apps.
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QuidCo – How to earn £14 in 3 simple steps

The other day, my employer had WEALTH at work pay us a visit allowing us to discuss financial planning for the future. During the discussion that mainly centred around ISA’s and Mortgages, routine ways of saving money when shopping online was also discussed. Pretty much everyone used sites such as uSwitch and CompareTheMarket, but I was surprised at the number of people who either hadn’t heard of, or didn’t use QuidCo.

A little naive, but I thought EVERYONE had a QuidCo account?

Quidco Cashback

Quidco Cashback

What is QuidCo?

If you shop online, QuidCo is a website that allows you to earn a few extra £’s simply by visiting and shopping your normal way, using your regular online retailers.

The average QuidCo member can earn £280 a year. It doesn’t cost you a penny, to join and for a limited time when you open an account here (http://www.quidco.com/free250/) you will automatically get a credit of £2.50 to help start you off.

How does QuidCo work?

The easiest way to think of it is comparing it to the old door to door Avon sales people.

QuidCo get paid a percentage or set fee of any sales generated by people clicking on their links from retailers such as M&S, Mothercare and Boots. This “commission” is paid to QuidCo by the retailer who then give the customer a cut.

Gods Gift For Parents

New and old parents alike, know that little ones cost an absolute fortune so every little helps. QuidCo is great for parents as they have a whole host of baby related retailers all offering great cash-back incentives whether it be;

  • Clothing (Debenhams 5%, George 3%%)
  • Essentials (Mothercare 5%, Kiddicare 5%)
  • Nursery (Argos 5%, Mamas & Papas 5%)
  • Toys (Smyths Toys 3%, Toys R Us 3%)
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Easy Way To Make £14

As an example, for ANYONE to make £14 takes only a few minutes of there time and three simple steps.

Step #1

Signup at http://www.quidco.com and you’ll receive £2.50 credit for your troubles.

Step #2

For an additional £5, request a 30 day free trial with Experian and give your credit rating a good going over. Checking your credit status helps to ensure nothing fraudulent has been recorded against you, but also means you can make sure that any previous loans and credit cards correctly show as paid off.

Make sure you make a note in your calendar to cancel before the end of your free trial to save any reoccurring charges.

Step #3

Pay £1 for a Which? 30 day trial and you’ll be credited with £7.50. While a member of Which? it’s great to make full use of when researching anything from prams and car seats, to the baby monitors or DAB radios.

Again, like all free trials, simply make a note in your calendar to cancel before the end of your free trial.

Boom! £14 in your pocket!

How Much Can You Make

It all depends on your shopping habits how much you’re likely to make in cash-back deals but QuidCo say the average person can make £280 per year in cash-back.

If you do a fair bit of online shopping then its a no brainer. Already this year we’ve accumulated nearly £250 in cash-back, although not all of it has been confirmed.

We’ve generated this by going about our usual online shopping but always using the QuidCo website. We also applied for a Nutmeg ISA, something we were always going to do, but used the QuidCo link to get an extra £100.

QuidCo Balance

QuidCo Balance

Now QuidCo works in-store for a number of retailers too meaning if you prefer shopping out and about you can still take advantage. Mothercare, for example, offers 3% cash-back if you buy in store using your registered debit card.

If you’ve not already done so, join today and get £2.50 free!

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Simple savings, reducing bills and cutting back

Making a list and checking it twice – that’s exactly what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks!

I was never under any false illusion that babies were cheap, especially as I’m a god-father (twice) and have been very involved in their lives thus far. However, never did I realise that you could easily spend £5000 and have pretty much next to nothing to show for it!

I’ve therefore decided to take time out one day and dedicated it to checking our outgoings to see if there is anywhere we can reduce outgoings in preparation for Pancakes arrival, and J’s maternity leave.

Simple Money Saving Steps

Other areas we plan to save money include using the following website a LOT more often;

  • Notifyy – track the products you love and get notified when they go on sale.
  • CamelCamelCamel – a website where you can set up watch lists for Amazon products and get notified when they drop below your “ideal price”. Great for planning ahead for things like prams, bottles etc.
  • Online Sales – buying last season clothes, accessories and toys in retailers online sales.
  • eBay – we’ve already started looking especially at things such as maternity clothes.

So, with my eyes opened a little, the next few weeks I’ll be double checking our TV, broadband, mobiles, insurance and energy suppliers (amongst others) are some of the cheapest out there.

TV Packages

Currently: Sky
We only have the basic Sky package, partly due to being the type who watch a lot of movies or sport and partly due to the astronomical prices they expect people to pay. Annoyingly we can’t cut them out the equation as where we live, we don’t receive any TV signal at all and Virgin haven’t yet dug up our street.

Broadband

Currently: BT Infinity 2
Currently on Fibre with BT and as work pay for 90% of the cost it doesn’t seem worth reducing it as it’ll save us less than £1 per month!

Mobile Phones

Currently: Vodafone
We both buy our own phones which means we can go on a SIM only deal and recently switched to Vodafone on their 12mth SIMO plan at £15.30. We chose this plan after using the Billmonitor service which goes through your previous bills and usage stats advises what you’re actually using in an average month. This great OFCOM website means we’re not paying for benefits that we would never use.

Insurance

Currently: A mixture of companies
Like most, we already check comparison websites when it comes to car and home insurance renewals. On top of that, we sell those “cute toys” on eBay and recently got £50 for Brian Robot Toy. Every little helps! One thing we should look at is dual-car insurance as we’re both with LV= and I think this could save us an extra bob or two.

Energy Suppliers

Currently: OVO
We tied into a deal 4 weeks before everyone started dropping their prices meaning that we’re paying over the top. There is a get-out-fee so we’ll have to sit tight until November, but on the flip side, any overpayments you make, earns 3% interest which is not only better than the 0% you get from other suppliers, but also better than most bank accounts!

Food

Currently: Aldi/Tesco/Sainsburys
We’re not ashamed to say we’ve been using Aldi for close to 8 years now. Granted, you can’t get everything you need for a weeks shop, but for basics they’re great prices and good quality food. After seeing the TV show Bargain Fever Britain we may take a look at Approved Food.

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