Sunday, 19 October 2008

Electricity and gas prices

I had a shock recently when my gas bill arrived through the letterbox. On opening it, I found a letter that seemed far too pleased to tell me that from the next month, my gas bill would be increasing from £48 per month to an astonishing £83 per month!

What's more, my electricity was going up from £25 to £30 per month. This is with Npower, who have been in the news recently for hiking up their utility prices.

Now last year, after paying a set amount each month, I ended up in credit by about £150 as well, so all in all, they were pretty much going to double my prices. 100% increase on what I paid last year for my gas. Shocking.

Two days later, a poor unfortunate knocked at my door. He was from Scottish Power and asked if he could do a tariff review to see if he could save me money. Poor guy never knew what hit him. He was dragged in off the street and sat down with my bills shoved haphazardly in front of him.

After looking at them, checking his latest prices, he shook his head, said he didn't know how Npower had come to these figures and told me exactly what I would be paying with Scottish Power. His workings out on my current usage were £40 for gas and £20 for electric.

That works out at £13 a month cheaper on last years pre-price hike figure (£156 a year) OR... and this is the biggie... from switching to Scotish Power from Npower for this year, it would save me a whopping £636 a year.

Shame on you, Npower!

Oh and I get 10% off at Argos with a discount card.

...And Scottish Power are one of the greenest energy suppliers in the UK, so that helps my carbon footprint.

So, needless to say, I switched. If all is well and I haven't been duped somewhere along the way, I shall keep you posted, but so far, so good!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Intelliworks Energy Saver

Whilst I am all for people who want to make money from home, one thing that gets my goat are those who are unable to see savings they can make already.

There are many ways to save money around the home, from energy saving lightbulbs to switching off appliances that you would normally leave on standby.

I'll go into a rant about such things another time. Today, I thought I would tell you about something that you plug in to save you money!

About 6 months ago, I heard about the Intelliworks intelligent energy saver. Not one to be suckered in with phony items, I did my research and was impressed with what I read. So much so that I purchased one.

It cost me £17 including postage. They're available from various places online. It arrived a few days later in a small box. I unpacked it to find an item around the size of... er.. A large mouse I suppose. The computer kind, not the animal kind. On the reverse of the plastic unit is a 3 pin plug. You just plug it into a socket near your electric meter, and it regulates your electricity and saves you money.

Simple as.

But does it work?

Well, it's been plugged in for about 4 months now and I am pleased to say that it does. In fact, i'd say it's saved about a third of my total electricity charges. Which means, it's almost paid for itself 3 times over already. Now, results do vary and I was pretty sure that the "save 50% of your electricity" was over ambitious, but 33% is pretty darn impressive!

The websites claim a saving of between 10 and 20%, which is still pretty darn amazing really for a £17 bit of plastic!

Over the year, it should save me around £120! probably one of the best seventeen quids I have ever spent!

**Update** Well, I've had this installed for over a year now and It's probably saved me around £100 in electricity charges. And that's taking into consideration that electricity prices have risen in the last 12 months, so I'm really happy.

If this post has been helpful, please feel free to buy me a coffee.

Home Equity Loans

I saw a report last night regarding the home equity line of credit. In other words, taking money from the value of your home.

In this day and age, this is a dangerous way of getting your hands on quick cash.

Even more dangerous is the new companies that will buy your home and lease it back to you.

In the UK there are more and more unregulated companies that will purchase
your home off you for a reduced price than what you would receive from selling your home the usual way. They then say that you can live in your home for as long as you like.

What they fail to tell you is that you are simply just a tennant to them now. They own your home. You pay them rent to live in the home you purchased.

A sobering thought. What makes it all the more painful though, is due to these companies not being regulated, many are just out to rip off the people who live there. I have heard stories of companies increasing the rent extortionately, so that the people that live there are forced to move out, then the house is sold shortly after for a profit.

These underhand methods of getting their hands on your home should be regulated and should have a governing body but at the moment there isn't one.

If you are tempted to sell your house and rent it back, you have been warned! There may be legitimate companies out there, but most only care about their profits. Once you've signed away your house, their concern for your wellbeing will act like an inverse ratio to how much you end up paying in rent!

If you've found this post useful, feel free to buy me a coffee.

How To Make Money


Welcome to Make Money, Save Money, Become Debt Free.

Over the coming weeks and months I will be posting hints and tips on ways to earn extra income, pay off debt and save on your outgoings.

All methods will be tried and tested by myself and I will give you an honest review of how I got on and what successes I have had.

In the current economical climate, due to the credit crunch, people are looking to consolidate loans, looking for other places to get debt help and end up as a result becoming more in debt than ever.

I have some tried and tested ways to free up your income. Some are brilliantly simple and have amazing results, others need a bit of work, but the rewards are greater.

If you fancy flexing your entrepreneurial skills and are looking for ways to make money online, then bookmark this page and come back often.

I am hoping to update the page daily with hints and tips, so there should be plenty to read every time you stop by.