We’re all pros at online shopping these days, but there are plenty of clever tricks out there that will help you keep hold of your cash.
Shopping for imperfections (or imperfect listings) can help you nab an absolute bargain – plus there are always cheaper alternatives to be found if you’re willing to compromise.
And don’t forget to check what you might be missing out on.
Unclaimed prizes and heating allowances could lend your finances a helping hand.
Ikea has got you covered
Ikea really has thought of everything. Next time you are buying flat-pack furniture from the Swedish retail giant, swipe your Family Card at the checkout to automatically get free product insurance for ‘accidental damage on the way home and during assembly’.
Claims can be made in-store within 90 days of the date you purchased and damaged items will be replaced on a like-for-like basis or you’ll be given a store card for the item’s current selling price.
Bear in mind that this only applies to items bought in store and excludes Bargain Corner items, cut fabric and custom-made goods.
Get your Family Card here.
Missing out on a Premium Bond payout?
More than £64million worth of Premium Bond prizes remain unclaimed, according to new figures from NS&I. Check now to see if you’ve won some cash you didn’t know about.
The good news is that they are valid forever – unlike lottery wins where you have only 180 days to claim – and if you register online, it also means you’ll never miss another prize. Check if you are due a payout here.
Protect your kids
Figures from the Childhood Bereavement Network estimate that every 22 minutes in the UK, a parent dies leaving dependent children.
Between the ages of 5-16, one in 29 young people will have had a parent pass away – meaning adequate life insurance is crucial. If you’re not sure about what level of cover or type of insurance policy you might need, you might want to use an advisory broker such as LifeSearch.
Fat fingers can mean big fat bargains
Thousands of items are listed on eBay with spelling mistakes and these often end without any bids as no one can find them.
Visit fatfingers.com and type in a search word – the savings might surprise you.
Get reductions on ex-display footwear
Fancy a new pair of Ugg boots for £100 instead of £175? Or what about a pair of women’s Hunter Wellies for £64.99 rather than £100?
High-street chains Office and Schuh each have a website – separate from their normal online store – where you can pick up some mega-reduced, ex-display shoes that may have suffered some minor wear-and-tear after being tried on in store.
What’s more, it’s not just those with small feet that can make serious savings – a quick search on the sites show ample selection of a very average size six. Check out Offcuts and Schuh to have a look.
Dormant Dart accounts can cost you
Almost 78,000 motorists may be able to reclaim cash from Dartford Crossing payment accounts which have been automatically closed due to lack of use.
Drivers who use the Dartford Crossing must normally pay £2.50 per car per crossing. If you set up a Dart Charge account and top it up in advance, this is cut to £2 per car per crossing.
But if you don’t use your registered vehicle to make a crossing for at least a year, you’ll be notified by email that your account will be closed within 90 days if unused. You won’t be refunded automatically and if you later use the Dartford Crossing your account won’t be reactivated.
According to an investigation by MoneySavingExpert.com, as of last November 77,949 accounts had been closed solely due to inactivity, with a combined balance of £1,014,414.
Check if your account is still active by logging in or phoning customer services on 0300 300 0120.
Get credit where it’s due
If you share a bank account with someone else you are likely more connected than you may think because the credit record of the other account holder will have an impact on your own score.
But if you have had a joint account with a previous partner or housemate who has bad credit, don’t panic. You can break the financial link between you through a process called ‘financial disassociation’.
Simply check that the accounts in question are completely closed, and any debts paid, then request that credit agencies – such as Experian, Equifax and Transunion – have them removed from your credit report.
Multi-room music for a song
Are you tempted to invest in a new multi-room sound system, but are put off by the high price? It’s worth a look at Amazon Echo speakers which you can link up around your home with a few taps on an app.
Music buffs might argue that these speakers don’t quite compare to rivals when it comes to sound quality, but they’re all considerably cheaper than the entry-level products from other big brands.
With the current version costing just £89.99, it’s more affordable to dot these speakers around your home than the Sonos One (£179).
Change the locks when you move in
Nearly three-quarters of movers fail to change the locks on all external doors when they get the keys to their new place, and it is frightening to think how many people could have duplicate keys.
According to Home Office statistics, you are almost twice as likely to be burgled in the 12 months after moving. Play it safe and ensure you book a locksmith to meet you on moving day.
Cash for cold weather
Low-income households can get £25 a week to help with energy bills during the winter thanks to the cold weather payment scheme.
When temperatures are recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days on average between November 1 and March 31, those eligible are entitled to extra money to heat their homes.
You get £25 for every seven-day period where the weather is below 0C during this time frame. Check if your area has had a cold weather payment by checking your postcode here.
For more money-saving advice as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join Metro.co.uk’s Facebook group, Money Pot.
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