This is a guest post from Plonkee Money. She is a UK based financial blogger, so you'll minor differences to what you may be used to (like using the Pound rather than American dollar).Â The concepts are universal, so I encourage you to subscribe to her RSS feed.
I'm not the most organized person in the world, and this is not a good trait when combined with my penchant for putting off till later what doesn't strictly have to be done right now. In some respects this is comical. I can get ready for work including taking a shower within 10 minutes if I really try - I know this because I've put off getting out of bed until 10 minutes before I really, really, really have to leave for work. But when it comes to my finances, its not had such great outcomes. Here are seven ways in which I could have saved money if I'd got my act together quicker, in order from bad to worst.
- Updating my address
When I moved house a couple of years ago, I had my post forwarded for six months by Royal Mail giving me plenty of time to change my address with the relevant parties. After the six months came to an end and I still hadn't updated them, I had to fork out for another six months at about Â£36 to avoid having my post sent to my old address.
- Switching Electricity Provider
In the UK, electricity is an open albeit somewhat regulated market. When I first moved into my old flat I think that I wasted about Â£50 by not getting round to switching to the cheapest green provider.
- Buying Train Tickets
Train tickets are definitely cheaper if bought in advance. On a recent trip to London, I could have saved Â£16 by booking as soon as I knew I was going to go. I'd have also been able to go on the quicker route and this would have saved my more than an hours traveling time as there were engineering works on the slow route. This is not exactly an uncommon occurrence in my life. I estimate that it happens at least 4 times a year.
- Changing House Insurance Provider
The cheapest deals for house insurance require the house to be occupied, have window locks and smoke alarms as well as premiums to be paid annually. For this reason it was better for me to go with a more expensive company for the first month of my new purchase as I wasn't actually living there. Not switching to a cheaper deal as soon as possible cost me around Â£120.
- Going Grocery Shopping
When I actually go shopping, I'm quite good. I make a list and a budget and stick to both. Of course all this is only beneficial if I can actually be bothered to go. I often don't go until several days after I've run out of food and in the mean time I pick up a few things from a small supermarket every day on the way home from work. Not very cost effective and I estimate that this has wasted about Â£20-Â£30 a month for several months.
- Paying Credit Card Bills
I have to admit to opening a SonyCard to get the some bonus points which I'll be using to buy Christmas presents. I put off paying the bill until closer to the due date, and was then very late. I've paid about Â£14 in late fees and I've made a dent in my credit score.
- Claiming Expenses
In the last year I've run up work expenses totaling approximately Â£750 which remain unclaimed because I didn't get round to filling in the (relatively simple) form and sending them off. I have established to my satisfaction that at some point I threw away the receipts - I'm not getting this money back.
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