It’s been a strange old year in the world of personal finance with the pandemic greatly affecting our ability to spend money and businesses struggling to get customers in due to lockdown. With that in mind it’s great to see the month of August bringing more open stores and people out spending money and having fun. But it’s still important to watch those pennies and the upbeat no-nonsense broadband provider, Plusnet, have put together a cheeky guide to how to be cash savvy like a “True Northerner”. That’s right, Plusnet are seeking to give the gift of value to the whole nation in time for Yorkshire Day on August 1st, and this is how…
Starting with a visual guide highlighting some of the tips and techniques that a Yorkie might use to stay savvy with their cash, Plusnet have teamed up with David Seaman (renowned for his own great saves!) to lead the charge with money-saving tips gathered from his life ‘Oop North.’
Available as a free downloadable eBook, “Save it, Like Safe Hands” is Plusnet’s tongue-in-cheek look at how to spot deals this coming Yorkshire Day on August 1st.
Get Chipper At The Chippy
According to the eBook, David as a young lad would often visit his local chippy and engage the proprietor in chippy batter…whoops, I mean chipper banter. Being polite and congenial is, I’m sure, how Safe Hands Seaman would have approached his life in general. However, he mentions it in the eBook because the conversation and friendliness led him to get the best bits of fish, free condiments and even a few piles of those glorious scraps chucked in for free. Basic human kindness should always be a given, but in this example, it shows how getting to know the retailers in your area can really pay off.
It’s also something to think about with the Big Brands – I’ve often gone to the Yellow Sticker area of a big supermarket looking for reduced bargains and seen first-hand how shocking people can behave towards the staff members putting out the goodies. Here’s a tip guys, BE NICE! Wait your turn and be polite! The staff are more likely to help you out and even let you know what else is ready to be discounted. My local store recently gave me the lowdown on their price reduction times and have helped me save tons on items – up to 90% off!
Sign Up to be a Savvy Neighbour
David also talks about ‘Joining Forces’ with your neighbours to save together. Whether you’re a keen bicycle enthusiast or live your life like Anthony Head in the old Nescafe ads, at some point you’ll likely do well to ask your neighbour for a bicycle pump or bowl of sugar. Again, being friendly and building a relationship with your nearest sane neighbour can really help you out when you’re in a bind. It’s nice to have the knowledge that they might not mind you borrowing a lawn mower or ladder, should you need one. It’s a two-way street, so remember… always return the favour or stick a bottle of their favourite plonk on their doorstep to say thanks. Even doing this a few times will still save the cost of buying that snazzy pressure washer for your driveway if you know a neighbour that might lend you theirs.
There’s a whole ton of other things you can do with your neighbours to cut costs. Group buying is one of these. It works particularly when it comes to buying heating fuel. Boiler Juice, for example, offers their customers reduced prices if a neighborhood comes together to order their heating oil at the same time. It makes sense, less costs for the company due to reduced deliveries and better deals for you and your neighbours. Yorkshire Day is an ideal day to look at how much oil is in your tank as the summer is often the cheapest time to order before you kick your boiler into action for the winter and pop on that warm jumper that you’d never be seen outside the house in.
Talking of utilities for a house, it’s worth asking your neighbours about what leccy or gas provider they use. If you’re clever with it you can become a “tariff tart,” switching providers regularly and using refer a friend schemes for sign up incentives and referral credit with your neighbours. The Bulb energy referral code scheme is great for this £50 for you, £50 for your neighbour… would be rude not to!
Become Quote Canny with “Save it like Safe Hands”
In the Plusnet eBook, David talks about getting quotes from as many tradespeople as possible in order to secure the savviest quote. Try taking this a step further and using the vast array of comparison sites on the web to get the best services, deals and bargains. Once the comparison engines have done their thing, phone the companies with the top quotes directly and see if you can hammer the prices down more by highlighting the competition’s prices or perks offered. It’s amazing when that extra few phone calls pay off and you get a better price, or something thrown in free. I still remember the free toy bus and piggy bank I got for opening my childhood bank account – every little deal-sweetener helps make being frugal worth it.
Consider the Lockdown Look and Drop the Chop.
I’m a lucky guy when it comes to the barber bill. Most of my hair departed in my early twenties and it’s saved me a handful of wonga in haircut bills. For most, however, the lockdown has meant a chuffing great range of home hair creations. Some folks, just like David Seaman, embraced the long locks and had money to spend elsewhere. Now barbers are reopening, consider whether you rocked the lockdown look and only need the occasional trim, or whether you need to still fork out in order to not scare the neighbours away.
If you really must get your barnet looked at, try out a new salon or barber, checkout sites like Groupon for a discounted introduction for a simple cut and then phone them to see what extra they’ll chuck in at a discount. This worked amazingly for a lovely lass I know. She was quoted £160 from her usual place for a cut and balayage (posh colour, apparently). Heck no! She ditched them, found a cheap Groupon introductory cut elsewhere and then phoned them to add a balayage, paying the difference. Net result was only £60… £100 cheaper! As David says in the savvy eBook from Plusnet, “If they’re not playing ball, then by ‘eck lad, just walk away”
Enjoy ‘Appy Days and Bring Your Own
Lockdown’s been hard on many. But the Government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme will make August a great time to both support your local restaurants and takeaways while saving you a few quid too in the process. During August you can get up to £10 off per head for up to five people. That’s a whopping £50 off your bill. Use David’s tip from the eBook about locating a purveyor of grub that allows you to bring your own bottle (ie. non-licensed or charging corkage). Alcohol is one of the things not discounted in the Government’s discount scheme, so finding a venue participating in the scheme and allowing you to quaff your own booze would be the holy grail of savviness.
Should you not be eating in, most takeaways benefit from huge savings on their prices right now due to the VAT cuts on hot food and drinks. You can combine these cut prices with loyalty apps (Costa, McDonalds… oh, and the northern staple diet of Greggs, Wahey!) and earn rewards while making savings… Appy days! Go on, get out and about in the month of August to make the most of restaurants participating in the “Eat out to help out” scheme.
Make the most of Yorkshire Day with Plusnet
As part of the celebration of Yorkshire savviness this Yorkshire Day, Plusnet’s broadband and fibre is available for 25% off! That’s right… from 15th July to 4th August, Plusnet are looking to give the whole nation the gift of great value. Starting from just £17.99 per month, their options are great value, even if you’re not in Yorkshire!
Financial savviness is a well-known Yorkshire trait celebrated in the eBook published by Plusnet and David “Safe Hands” Seaman, but you don’t have to be from Yorkshire to start seeking out bargains. from the Plusnet website and use it in combination with the tips above from me to eke more value out of every aspect of your life.
*This is a sponsored article in association with Plusnet.