About a month ago I was talking to a friend of mine who I suspect is wasting a sizeable chunk of her pay.
Here in the UK we don’t talk about money even with close friends. However, given that this is money my friend could be putting into investments to do her well in her retirement I used my position as a ‘foreigner’ – I still think people don’t expect me to know how to behave so I can do what I want.
In my experience, people waste money on three main items: food, insurance and household bills/energy.
After some probing, it turned out that my friend does buy the occasional ready meal; they buy clothes too often (she does have two teens and they are growing fast). These are not the main over-spending points.
Their main over-spending point, I thought, was energy. For a house that is considerably smaller than ours my friend’s family were paying more for electricity and gas than us.
For that matter, so do our sons and their house can fit in ours three times. Our sons rent and they suffer from ‘the curse of the prepayment meter’.
I felt helpful and, let’s face it, a little bit smug about it: we were on a wonderful rate that John found through a group action on 38 Degrees couple of years back.
Well, it was a bit misplaced for me to fee smug. Last week we got a letter from Cooperative Energy – our provider – saying that they will more than double our energy payment because we’ve been under-paying for some time.
John did manage to negotiate the monthly payment down from what Cooperative Energy suggested but we still owe them £1,400. And we have solar panels on the roof that are generating quite a bit of electricity at the moment (we’ll publish how we are doing on this one separately).
Now we are looking to change our provider; again. Naturally, the place to call is Compare the Market (doesn’t matter what I think about Meerkats with Russian accents) which tells us that it is still possible to save a bit on energy by getting it cheaper.
You may be right thinking that it is better to save on using energy rather than paying less for the energy we use. At the same time, our house is properly insulated, we have double glazing and solar panels. What else could we do?
This leads me to the really exciting part of this post.
The Money Principle is hosting a competition for £150 worth of Amazon vouchers.
Yes, you read this right:
One lucky reader is going to win £150 to spend on whatever they want Amazon!
To enter the competition you’d need to do four things:
- Share in a comment your personal energy saving tips;
- Make sure you don’t miss something important and fun on The Money Principle by subscribing to receive e-mail notifications;
- Like The Money Principle Facebook page; and
- Like Compare The Market Facebook page.
This is all!
You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway will end on June 13, 2014; the winner will be selected by a ‘random winner generator’ and informed within five working days of the close of the competition. Please check the terms and conditions of the giveaway below (two of these are that you should be an UK citizen and over 18 years old).
What are you waiting for? Enter the competition: it is £150 for two minutes work.