Savvy saver explains the ‘key to saving’ money as he amasses £1,400 extra per year | Personal Finance | Finance
Amid the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, spending money is a something people will be doing increasingly more compared to the last few months. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t ways in which people can make their hard-earned cash go further.
Take one top deal hunter, who has saved nearly £1,500 per year on his bills by “shopping simple”.
James Latter, 34, claims too many people get fooled by complicated language and extras they never need.
The savvy saver, from Walthamstow, east London, says by following a few simple rules, he finds it easy to be consistent and save money.
So, what does James, a video producer, suggest?
Doing research, avoiding meaningless or unnecessary add-ons and swerving bundle deals are his top tips, he says.
“The key to saving this much is to keep things simple,” James exclusively tells Express.co.uk.
“Anyone who uses language I can’t understand, I avoid.
“Any deal that looks too good, do your homework first.”
He adds: “Sometimes there’s some amazing deals out there but you need to keep your wits about you as a consumer, especially when jargon is bandied around so much.”
Thanks to his saving tips, James saves a huge £1,434 per year.
He has shared a breakdown of how he achieves these mammoth savings.
How James saves £1434 per year
Car insurance renewal
Usual price: £405
What James paid: £322
Phone contract (annual)
Usual price: £456
What James paid: £96
TV package (annual)
Usual price: £516
What James paid: £275
Comparing prices and buying items second hand
Rather than paying a price of £405 for his car insurance renewal, James challenged the renewal quote, and saved £83.
He said: “I just go for the cheapest comprehensive I can find and look for breakdown cover separately.”
James first set up his business in Leeds eight years ago after graduating from Leeds University before moving back to the capital.
The savvy saver has been able to use the savings he’s made to buy new equipment for his business, and to fund his mum to get online by giving her a Plusnet broadband subscription and a Google Nexus tablet.
When it came to choosing his own smartphone, James looked at what he would really use it for, rather than what he could use it for, he explains.
He opted for an LG V20 on a Plusnet sim-only deal, which costs £8 per month for unlimited minutes and 10 GB data – saving him £360 per year compared with an equivalent plan, costing £38 per month.
James had bought the unlocked handset three years ago for £274, meaning he could shop around for the cheapest deal.
He explains he also avoided expensive TV packages – choosing Plusnet’s Unlimited Fibre broadband, costing £22.99 per month to stream movies from Netflix, which costs him £5.99.
He says it saves him £168 per year compared to another provider’s package.
Having recently moved house, James needed to shop for furniture including a mattress, a sofa and kitchen equipment.
But instead of rushing out to buy all three at the same time, James used tracking sites such as CamelCamelCamel.
This tracks the price history of items, revealing whether it has previously been cheaper.
If he doesn’t come across a price he is happy with, James searches for the item second hand on eBay, Amazon Marketplace and Gumtree.
Using this tactic, he managed to find an almost brand new Kenwood microwave for £15 and a leather sofa for free.
“People get caught up in the marketing but it’s amazing the number of things on Black Friday and Cyber Monday that were much cheaper even a few weeks before,” he says.
James estimates he applies this principle to between 80 and 100 items per year, saving him at least £750.
He said: “I definitely make time to do my research and look at online deals sites quite a lot.
“There’s a buzz to knowing you get the best value.
“Being self-employed means my income can be a bit irregular but these savings mean if I do need to replace a piece of equipment I can do so without worrying about where the money is coming from, and can do nice things for people who need it, including my mum.”
James has shown money saving hacks can prove to be effective, and the concept could apply to others too.
New research from value communications provider Plusnet found the average household wastes £1,500 per year on confusing products or services they don’t want or need.
The survey found the average UK householder over the last 12 months has paid £299 over the odds on their mortgage, £222 too much on their fuel bills, thrown away £156 on broadband and wasted £132 on TV packages.
Worryingly, they also spent £162 on car insurance and £84 on pet insurance they either did not realise they bought or did not understand, according to a survey of 1,500 UK adults commissioned by Plusnet.