Finding the Best Value Broadband Package

Finding the Best Value Broadband Package

Getting a great value broadband package is one of the easiest ways you can save money on household bills, but what should you look for when comparing offers to ensure you have the best deal at the right price? Here we’ll show you a few ways you can save money on a broadband contract.

Contract lengths and cancellation fees

Before we delve into money-saving tips it’s important to note the potential expense involved in cancelling a broadband contract.

If you’re not yet out of the minimum contract term (or at least very close to the end of it) then cancelling can be costly. It is generally better to stick with the provider until the contract ends to avoid these fees.

To avoid this in the future always choose a broadband contract length that fits your living arrangements. If you have no immediate plans that may impact the broadband service, you’ll get the best value from a contract length of 12-24 months. But if you know you may have to cancel in less than a year it is worth looking at short term and rolling monthly deals. Students can also find student broadband deals with nine-month contracts.

Switch early, switch often

The best deals are often reserved for new customers, so a simple way of ensuring you’ve always got a good value broadband package is to switch to the latest deal as soon as your contract expires.

Check the small print though: some providers exclude previous customers from these offers.

But you don’t always need to go through with the switch to get a better deal. Calling your current ISP and telling them you want to leave may result in them offering you a new package. Just remember that this will mean signing up for another contract, so you are going to be locked in with them again for up to 24 months.

Choosing the right speed

Not everyone needs ultrafast fibre optic broadband. If your internet usage is mainly web browsing, email and social media then a cheap ADSL service is more than sufficient (and still perfectly capable of handling video streaming, online gaming, downloads and other demanding tasks).

On the other hand, there’s no sense in focusing on price alone and getting a service that’s not up to scratch. If the connection is serving multiple users in a family or shared home, or you’re someone who wants to download quickly and stream high def video, then it’s worth signing up for a faster fibre optic service. For more information, use Broadband Genie’s guide to fibre optic broadband.

On a related note, we would generally recommend avoiding packages with a monthly data usage limit. These can be suitable for one person with very simple requirements but it’s extremely easy nowadays to burn through a data cap in no time at all and find your speed restricted for the rest of the month or, even worse, paying out more due to the extra fees. Unlimited broadband is the best option for most of us.

Special offers and free gifts

The broadband market is competitive so there’s always a selection of special offers. Sometimes these are just a nice bonus, or they can add up to a significant cost saving.

Special offers can include:

  • Discounted monthly pricing
    It’s common for providers to offer a cheaper monthly rate for a set period, and the best deals will cut the price for the entire term of the contract. These can be really good value, but make sure it remains affordable after the discount ends.
  • Free setup
    Standard setup costs vary from around £10 up to £60, depending on the type of service and package, so a free setup offer is not necessarily going to save you a huge amount in the grand scheme of things. It’s also important to note that free setup will not apply if you require a new phone line installation.
  • Shopping vouchers
    Shopping vouchers are a popular free gift. Sometimes these will be for specific stores (M&S and Amazon are popular) or they may be valid at an array of high street outlets. Typically, you can find ISPs offering £25-£100 worth, and when this is taken off the total annual cost of the broadband it can be a big money saver.
  • Pre-paid credit cards
    Even better than shopping vouchers are credit cards pre-loaded with a cash limit that can be spent just about anywhere. The only catch may be that you don’t always receive an actual physical card, which limits their use to online stores.
  • Cashback
    Cashback deals come in the form of either a cheque or a bill credit. It’s a welcome saving, but the amounts tend to be smaller than voucher or credit card offers so these are not usually as enticing. Do read the small print so you know when and how the money should be reimbursed, and to see whether it requires you to fill out an application form.


Tips on how to Save Money for Emergencies


It can be wise to put money by in case you need it for an emergency. This could be if you suddenly need to replace a white good, need new school uniform for your children, run out of money for food before pay day or have a bill that you were not expecting. Many people will have some money put aside to cover these sorts of things, perhaps in a savings account. However, a savings account may not be the best place to keep it because it can be tempting to spend it as it is easy to get hold of. It probably will not earn a lot of interest there either because interest rates are so low.

A pre-paid credit card is a good way to save the money and you will not be able to spend it if you leave the card somewhere where it cannot easily be accessed. Then if you need to buy something in an emergency, you will have the money on the card ready to spend. Most places will take payment on a credit card and you will be able to therefore use it to pay for something you need in an emergency. Continue reading

Saving money as a student

Saving money as a student

Budgeting as a student is an ordeal for most people, and trying to find enough money to buy the right foods, new clothes and textbooks that you need can be a real struggle. While short term loans are a possibility for students, it’s not always the best option, and you can definitely make things a lot easier for yourself by thinking about where the problem comes from and what you can do to prevent any financial problems happening in the first place. Here are a few of the things that you can do as a student in order to save some money.

Make your own food

You should avoid buying takeaway food, and even packaged and processed foods can work out a lot more expensive than you think. You might think those £3 meal deals are a great bargain, but if you do that twice a day each day of the week, you’re spending over £40 per week and not even getting the goodness than you need in your diet. Plan ahead and make a shopping list, then visit the local supermarket and pick up some fresh foods to cook yourself. Continue reading

12 ways to save money

Here are 12 ways that you can save some money. I hope some of them are useful. Do you have any more ideas?

  1. Find a better broadband deal: If you shop around you can get some great deals on broadband nowadays.
  2. Check to see if you are getting the best deal on your gas and electricity.
  3. Use loyalty cards: Using a loyalty card for your shopping can be a great way to get cash vouchers off of your shopping as well as discount vouchers and special offers.
  4. Record your expenses and income: If you keep a track of your money it becomes encouraging when you can see that you have been able to reduce your outgoings.
  5. Lose the brands: You may not be a fan of own brand products but many are actually not that bad or as good as the branded version. If you do not want to sacrifice food brands, why not start with other things such as toilet rolls, washing powder and household products. Continue reading

Consumer tips for home cavity wall insulation

Consumer tips for home cavity wall insulation

Home insulation can dramatically reduce the cost of heating in the home by preventing warm air from escaping. It is a quick, cost-effective method of reducing energy bills by up to 40% every year. Types of home insulation include loft insulation and external wall insulation, but the type that we are going to take a closer look at today is cavity wall insulation. This has the potential to increase your home’s energy performance certificate rating and the value of your property. So, let’s begin by looking at what you first need to ask yourself…

Is cavity wall insulation right for your home?

Properties with solid walls are unable to have cavity wall insulation; properties built before the 1920’s tend to have solid walls. This means there are no cavity walls (space between the outer and inner brick) for the insulation to be inserted between. However, properties built after 2005 may already have cavity wall insulation included as part of their original construction, and you may just be none the wiser. Also, damp issues will need to be corrected and access to exterior walls ensured before the process can begin.

Understanding the installation process

The majority of homes have a space between the inner and outer brick, which is left empty to prevent damp issues. It is now possible to make use of this space by adding cavity wall insulation, the process being relatively simple and taking a professional installer around 2-3 hours. To begin with, a series of small holes will be drilled into the outer wall or your property and then the insulation will be inserted. The insulation material used will either be foam, beads or wool, but the aim remains the same; to stop heat from escaping and cooler air from passing through. Continue reading

11 Ways to Reduce Personal Debt

Climbing out of debt can be a long and tedious process but there are a variety of things you can do cut down on the amount of debt you have. Losing debt is about the battle between income versus expense. The more income you have coming in and the less you have going out the more you have to contribute to paying off your debt. Here are eleven ways you can reduce your debt:

1. Create a budget

A budget is your one stop shop for controlling your personal finances. It will allow you to see where you are spending too much and where you can stand to save.

2. Review Your Luxury Services

If you are faced with a large cable bill at the end of each month you should consider downgrading. How many of those channels do you actually watch anyway? You may even consider cancelling your television service completely and making the switch entirely to streaming services to watch movies and TV shows if that would be cheaper.

3. Review Your Insurances

If you think your insurance payments might be the issue, you should shop around for better prices. If you bring down your payments, that more money in your pocket.

4. Home Phones

If you have a mobile phone and you live in an area with adequate coverage you should consider cancelling your land line service.

5.  Food

Food costs really can add up if you’re not careful. Try to limit the amount of times every month that you eat in restaurants and try to prepare your own meals more often. Don’t be afraid to hunt for sales and generic items.

6. Want vs. Need

Analyse your expenses in terms of wants and needs. Once you fulfil all your requirements look at your expenses that are luxury or entertainment items. You should cut some of them out if you want to eliminate your personal debt. Continue reading

Make High Electricity Prices A Thing Of The Past With This Handy Guide

If you are looking to get the best possible electricity prices for your household, there are a number of things you can do to help you on your way.

In this blog I discuss a number of considerations to have in mind, from simply doing your bit round the house, to shopping around for the best possible deal.

Shop Around And Switch Things Up

Many people think it is overly complicated, but actually switching providers regularly is one of the more simple options when it comes to cutting electricity prices.

Look out for the best deal on the market when your current deal is coming to an end. Specifically, you want to time it so you can reap any bonuses such as annual discounts, and avoid any early leaver penalties. Therefore, knowing the ins and outs of your current contract is essential, so do a bit of research there first of all, before you even start to shop around for other deals.

Still Getting A Paper Bill? – Stop Now!

Another simple option is to change the way you pay, this can often help cut down electricity prices even if it is only by a few pounds – especially if you currently pay by cash or cheque.

Go paperless and also look online to see what special online only deals are available. Continue reading

Invest is Best!

Money, money, money. A lot of us bemoan what a strange and awful thing it is that we allow our lives to be dominated by these weird shiny chunks of metal and sheets of paper – it seems at times absurd that the stuff actually equates to anything of tangible worth. As a matter of fact, more often than not we’re right to value the actual material possessions money is used to buy more highly than the money itself. In an economy seemingly trapped in a spiral of inflation, the value of that money you’re keeping under the bed for a rainy day is becoming less and less by the day. We’d urge you to consider investing it in something, which is instead becoming more valuable all the time.

It’s difficult to decide how exactly we should invest our hard earned cash to ensure not necessarily the best, but crucially the most secure return on our investments. Having said that, there are a few ways to invest which tend to yield fruitful results for most speculators. Firstly, make sure your finances are healthy – if you’re in the red you need to look into measures such as a debt consolidation loan before you attempt to build up some capital and scout out investment opportunities from a solid footing. Now, here are a few fields in which to make those definitive first investments. Continue reading

UK Household Bills rise by 40 Per Cent Since 2007

Bills for British homes have soared by over 40 per cent in the last five years according to Bacs Family Finance Tracker; the company that manages direct debit payments in the United Kingdom.

The company conducted research that looked at the financial affairs of over 4,000 British households. Their results suggest that annual bills on average are in excess over £12,000 per year between essential bills and some lifestyle expenses.

Essential bills were on average £5,834 per year in 2007 and the average now is £8,202 which is a jump of well over £2,000 per year extra for households to find. This is in a time when rages haven’t been rising in line with inflation due to the recession.

The average annual cost of lifestyle services such as mobile telephone bills, gym or fitness memberships and loan repayments has also risen from £3,380 to £4,146 over the same period. Continue reading

Trust Deeds: what, who and why?

A Trust Deed is like many things in life; until you need one, chances are you won’t have heard of it! Some people have heard or seen an advert and often know the term, but the majority of people we speak to don’t understand what it is until they really start looking for help and get advice. So in this article, we’ll be outlining what it is, who uses it and why- so that if you ever need one, you know a bit more about it.

So WHAT is a Trust Deed?

A trust deed is actually a legal document which has been in existence for centuries. It has slightly different meanings and purpose depending on what part of the world you are from but we’ll be focussing on its meaning in Scotland. The first function of the document is that it places your assets and estate in the care of someone referred to as a Trustee. This person is trusted (the clues in the name) with your estate for the duration of the trust deed, which is usually around 3-5 years. Before 1985, this Trustee could be anyone. However, it was decided that a Trustee had to be a licensed insolvency practitioner and hence an expert in insolvency legislation is required to be able to enter into a trust deed (what became a Protected Trust Deed). Continue reading