Time is money! Don’t pay for a last-minute lifestyle…

We’ve all done it – paid express delivery for a late birthday gift or top whack for travel money because we’ve run out of time. But a bit of forward planning could save you a lot of stress, time and money…

Take out the guesswork

Setting up automatic bank payments for your bills and credit cards, can help to prevent the worry about late payment charges, additional interest or reconnection fees.

Make the most of your diary!

Dentists and other professionals can often charge for missed appointments, and you don’t want to accidentally let your home or car insurance lapse or automatically renew. So, make sure you enter ALL important dates in your smartphone or diary to help keep track and keep an eye out for any important insurance renewal information. Adding reminders will even give you time to plan ahead, particularly when it comes to special birthdays and anniversaries too.

All present and correct

Try to pick up suitable presents as you spot them throughout the year. Canny planners even buy a selection of birthday cards in bulk once a year, so they’re never caught short! Some online stores give discounts for a bulk purchase, so you could be quids in! Stocking up on Christmas cards and wrapping paper in the January sales can save you from forking out the full price later in the year too.

Travel savvy

If you need foreign currency, don’t leave it till the day you leave! Currency converters at airports charge a premium because they know you have no other option. Shop around early to avoid unnecessary charges, commission and poor rates of exchange. Money Supermarket has some useful tips.


Have you ever been missing a key ingredient for your dinner party? Buying at the corner shop is usually more expensive. Instead, try to keep a shopping list on your fridge door so you can add items as soon as you run out. If you’d also like to keep an eye out for sales in your favourite stores, why not sign up to their email lists for news of promotions, discounts and deals on free shipping.

Annually only

A recent FCA report found that paying for your car or home insurance premium in monthly instalments could in some cases add up to 75% more in interest charges. Why not save money and pay your annual premium all in one go?

Get ahead of the game

If you still need help, here are some of the latest digital tools to help keep your budget on track:

  • Try a free digital assistant such as Google Now to keep track of birthdays and important dates. Alternatively, the 24me app auto-generates reminders so you’ll never miss an appointment, or forget to pay a bill. It also syncs with Facebook to send birthday messages to your friends in case it slips your mind!
  • Shoptagr is a Chrome browser extension that lets you ‘pin’ an online item, in your preferred colour and size, and alerts you when it’s on sale. The ShopStyle and Shop It To Me apps provide a similar function, while the GiftFinder app (from NotOnTheHighStreet.com) lets you create your own folders according to occasion or person.
  • Trainline’s ticket alert system emails you as soon as cheap advance tickets for a specific journey come on sale. Generally, the earlier you buy, the bigger the discount – up to 80% on some routes.

But if you struggle to change the habits of a lifetime, don’t despair. Buying late sometimes pays! Lastminute.com, for example, has last-minute offers for hotels, flights, spa/city breaks, theatre tickets and experiences.

And where can you squirrel away those savings?

Foresters Friendly Society offers a range of savings options which may suit your needs, depending on how much you want to save and how long you want to save for.

To find out more about them click here.

Source: The Guardian – Direct Debit Increases Insurance Payments, FCA finds.

This blog is intended to provide information, not financial advice, to help you make an informed decision about savings and investments. We do not offer financial advice. You should contact a financial adviser, who may charge a fee, if you want financial advice.

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