After welcoming twins into the world, it was becoming more difficult than ever for paramedic Samuel Crowe and partner Claire Holmes to keep up with the bills.
But after The Sun stepped in – with the help of a comparison site moneysupermarket.com – The couple learned they could deduct more than £1,600 from their outgoings.
The news couldn’t have come at a better time for 31-year-old Samuel and 29-year-old receptionist Claire, who live near Woodbridge with eight-month-old twins Evie-Mae and Esme-Rose. Suffolk,
New Guardian Together they earn £50,000 a year, and their daughters are due to start nursery in October, which will cost up to £1,200 a month in fees.
And despite being careful about their money, the family is still struggling.
Samuel opts for shifts at work that pay extra and even noticed that his house was in the wrong council tax band, which caused him to bill being reduced.
But there are also great pressures. they are on one fixed rate energy Deal with the octopus until August, when it will regrow.
“The balance on the card has just run out,” says Samuel, as the family has turned to credit since Claire was on maternity leave.
“Trying to manage different demands is really tough. With the rise in National Insurance, it seems my salary has taken a cut this year. ,
Having twins also costs a lot.
Samuel says: “Buying a double pram alone costs £1,200. We cook their food from scratch because it’s cheaper to do it this way than to buy a pouch. But the cost of formula has gone up, which adds up when you’re feeding two of them.
“All of this is causing a fair amount of concern. We know there has to be savings.”
Fortunately, there is room to go to them and cut a substantial portion of their expenses. moneysupermarket.com Website.
They currently pay £972 per year for a combined television, broadband and landline package with Sky.
But they could save £642 on £330 with the TalkTalk TV and broadband package.
Samuel also has room to maneuver on his credit card payments.
Although half of the £10,000 balance is on the zero percent card, 20 percent interest is charged on the balance.
He tries to pay £500 out of it every month.
MoneySupermarket money expert Joe Thornhill says: “By the time you’re approved, you can have more than one low-interest credit card. If Samuel used one to convert that balance to another zero-percent interest card.” Paid a small fee and kept paying £500 per month for 24 months, he could have saved £513, or about £207 a year.
“With a very strong credit score of over 900, he is in a good position to be able to secure another low- or no-interest card.
‘this is incredible’
“To bring his monthly payment down to £500, he could take out a card with a longer zero-interest period, although he may have had to pay a larger fee first. He just had to remember to pay it off before the term ended. “
While couples look around for the best deals, they don’t base their choices solely on price.
“We also look at the benefits that come with the package,” says Samuel. Monitor and then we get cashback for driving carefully.
“Things like this make us want to be with them.”
Looking at price alone, however, Samuel could save £190 per year by switching from AA to insurance.
Claire, who paid her £300 in advance Nissan Qashqai The cover could save £45 if she’d made the same switch.
With his mobile, Claire pays £14 per month SIM-only, while Samuel pays £38 for the unlimited package, both with EE, Together, they can reduce their annual bill to £230, with Claire switching to O2 and Samuel switching to Three.
The couple pay £70 a year for content insurance with More Thanh, but can save £18 if they swap to cover with Swift Made.
Overall, Samuel staggers the amount they could have saved.
He says: “It’s unbelievable. We will definitely reconsider some of these big bills when they come up for renewal.
Another couple needing to save are Hannah Galliers, 30, a freelance accountant, and her fiancé Michael Williamson, 31, a funeral director.
They live with son Dax, 18 months, near Cheltenham, Glocks, and earns around £70,000 per year.
‘Struggling to save’
They want to set aside £6,000 for their wedding in May next year, but rising bills That means they’re struggling to save anything – and Hannah is worried.
She says: “Sometimes when I go to get petrol, I can feel myself in a panic.”
He used to pay £75 a month for his energy bill, but closed himself last summer with a fixed deal of £100 per month.
Hannah is already terrified that next year will be over.
She says: “If things don’t get better by then, I don’t know how we’ll afford it. When I was a student I got stuck in payday loans and everything spiraled.
“I buried my head in the sand and then received the loan recovery letters. My mobile was also disconnected. I never want to be in that situation again.”
When it comes to trying to get the best deals, Hannah’s attitude is typical of many people. She says: “The first time we take something out, I look at using online comparison sites to get a good deal.
“After that, though, I tend to let things automatically renew. Life is busy and the best insurance deals go to the bottom of the pile.”
But when The Sun showed how they could save £738 a year on their insurance, broadband And mobile bills alone, the couple will give more time to compare in the future.
Hannah pays £248 to insure her Toyota Igo, while Michael pays £416 for her Citron C4, both with direct line.
But Hannah could save £95 if she paid for a policy with Lancaster, while Michael could cut £200 using Swiftcover.
Joe says: “These are good savings already, and they may be able to bring them down even more by looking at their additional amount, or any add-ons on their policy. But obviously if they take that extra risk If they can lift it, they have to lose weight.”
‘Savings really add up’
There is savings to be made on broadband as well.
Currently paying £540 a year with Virgin, they can bring in up to £360 a year with Cuckoo Fast Broadband, adding another £180 to their wedding fund.
The couple will have to wait until next year to change their mobile phone contract. But based on current data, Michael could save £83 a year with an unlimited data deal of three to 100 GB with ID Mobile, and Hannah could pocket £123 by changing her contract to O2.
Joe says: “Everyone should check that they are using their data allowance and if not, they can save money by bringing it down.”
The couple has already transferred their £4,000 credit card balance to the Zero Cent card. They can change current accounts hsbc And get £170 each as an incentive.
They could also shave £35 off their home insurance by going to Right Choice and paying upfront.
And they could buy a travel insurance policy for £32.35 instead of the £55 they spent last year.
About comparing utility bills, Hannah says: “I’ve been guilty of thinking that shaving just a few quid a month really isn’t worth the hassle.
“But now I can see that it could actually be over a year.”
- The comparison is based on basic information and reflects the estimated savings that can be made on the available deals moneysupermarket.com While going to press.