June and July are always super expensive times of the year for us. We try to get a short break away around this time as a family as well as having some of the larger household expenses due.
We have the car MOT due which, whilst it’s not a huge cost to have done there is always the risk that work will need to be completed to get it to pass. There is also our home insurance and car insurance due within a few days of each other.
Not the best planning, but it does mean that all our big one-off expenses are over and done within a short period of time. I thought I would share some tips on how we manage our finances at this time of year.
I am always sure to have the key dates noted down – things like MOT due date and insurance renewal dates. I know that car insurance is likely to be the most expensive so that’s one I like to sort out first.
I also make sure we have the car booked in at the garage in good time for its MOT – if it fails I want time to sort things out – if it is going to fail it will likely be on the tyres and I want to be able to shop around for the best price.
Consider paying your insurance costs upfront
One of the biggest things we do is to pay our insurances off in one chunk, rather than rely on monthly direct debits. It is usually cheaper to do it this way and the cost saving at least covers the MOT costs or allows us to increase the level of cover to include a like for like hire car, for example.
Look at cashback websites
There’s all manner of cashback websites that you can apply for insurances via. They offer a range of incentives to take out insurance, via their link. Often it might just be £30 cashback or in some instances, we have had as much as £100+ back – which for us is around 25-30% of our car insurance costs. It’s well worth spending a bit of time looking at these.
What’s important to you
Be really clear about what it is important to you to have covered. For us we want to make sure that we have a like for like hire car should we need one – there’s no way we would get all five of us (in child seats) into a small car so we need an equivalent. We also don’t pay for accidental damage cover on our home insurance. Make sure you’re only paying for the things you will use.
Save across the year
We are pretty good at managing our finances across the year and we try to move money into savings accounts when we can. This means that we don’t need to rely on the credit card at insurance time and that we have the money ready, to pay insurances up front and thus save a few pounds. If you are struggling with finances then don’t ignore it – there are lots of organisations out there who can assist in helping you to manage money a bit better. Speaking to your debt expert is the best solution to getting support and advice on managing finances better and getting onto a more even keel.
Have a clear out
And if you’re still needing to raise extra funds the it’s well worth having a sort through of old items. Clothes and old toys etc do well on online auction sites (or Facebook market place) and dig around the garage or shed for any items that can be sold. One of our neighbours has a couple of old cars and he recently sold some for scrap to raise some funds – it’s amazing where monies can be raised from when you start to look around at what you no longer need.