Why I LOVE my gas bill!  by Tracey Jane Hughes (babybudgeting’s newest sponsor)

In December I was at a networking meeting when the lady next to me, said “Do you know why I love my Gas bill?”. Of course Ilooked at her strangely and said “No”. “It’s because I only paid £10 this month! Do you want to know how?”

I was hooked! I have a growing family, run my own business, and haven’t been happy with our utility bills for a while, but wasn’t sure where to go. This solved my problems.When I looked into it, joining the Utility Warehouse Discount Club meant that with the whole package, we now pay less for our gas & telephone combined than we used to for gas only!

Let me explain:

The Utility Warehouse Discount Club is a club that you pay a monthly membership fee from £1.50 a month. But our discounts far outweigh this charge! You can choose one of the services or all of them! There are no contracts, apart from with new mobile handsets, so if you find you’re not happy with the price or service you can move.

The Utility Warehouse offers Gas, Electric, Home Phone, Broadband, Mobile & a Cashback Card within its range of services. The more services you take, the more you save.

For example, if you take 4 services (Gas, electric, Home Phone & Broadband), you then get FREE Global calls 24/7 to
10 countries including the UK, USA and Australia. Utility Warehouse GUARANTEE to save you money, or you’ll get Double the Difference back after the first year, as long asyou’ve taken 4 services at the start. How can you lose.

And the Cashback card? Well, this is a pre-paid Mastercard that you load money onto by phone or online. When you use it instore and/or online, you get up to 7% cashback off your Utility Bill. We currently use it mainly for our supermarket shopping & petrol, but have also used it for our new fridge/freezer….our utility bill was very low thatmonth! The lady that introduced me to Utility Warehouse had just bought all her Christmas presents and booked a holiday, hence her very small utility bill!

Are you concerned that you haven’t heard of TheUtility Warehouse? And why doesn’t it show up on the price comparison sites?Well, that’s because it doesn’t advertise. It uses the money that other utility companies spend on advertising, finding the cheapest providers for itscustomers, and giving rewards to customers and its distribution network, of which I’m now a part (I loved it so much I joined it! Must be good!)

The Utility Warehouse Discount Club has come top of the Which? Reports for value & customer service for Energy, Mobile phones, Home phones and broadband over the last few years. Most of us trust Which? don’t we? And with the call centre in the UK, alwayshas been, always will be, you can be assured of excellent customer service from the time you become a member. One number for all of the services you take up,one bill to keep track of, one direct debit to manage. Easy to manage as well!

So, what’s stopping you from saving? As a family, it’s even more important to keep costs down. So rather than  fixing prices now, you can ensure you save money on your household bills every month by using your Cashback card regularly, using the unique Findmethecheapest seach engine, and knowing you’re getting the cheapest utilities Guaranteed! You can even introduce your friends & family and get money off you bill – forthe lifetime they stay with Utility Warehouse! Some customers even get theircashback into their bank accounts, they’ve introduced so many people! Free bills & being paid for shopping? Sounds bizarre, but it’s true!

You may not know me personally. I’m a Mum, run my own growing business, with a passion for supporting others. What better way to support others than helping you save money every month?

The website is in the process of being updated, so it’s not always easy to find all the ways to save money via the club at the moment. So, drop me an email, or give me a call, 07762000426, or contact me via twitter, & we can talk about how you can best use the Utility Warehouse Club to save your family money.

The Utility Warehouse also offers utility services to businesses. So if you have a business then you can also save moneyby joining the club! The Guarantees? Cheaper than British Gas, British Telecom, your local Electricity supplier & the UK’s cheapest MobileTariffs. They will always be within the top 6 cheapest energy suppliers over
the year, so you don’t have to check for yourself. The Club does it for you.

Is there anything stopping you from saving? Let me know & I’ll try and help you find a solution to saving on your household bills.And if you’d like to find out how you can helpothers save money & make yourself some money, get in touch. It’s a fab thing to do for your friends, family and neighbours isn’t it?

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Are you looking for minimal effort, easy budgeting tips for parents ?

easy budgeting tips for parents

Here are easy tips that can make a difference to your budget with minimal effort: (even if you only do one or two).

1. Give yourself an allowance. – Don’t bury your head in the sand, work out exactly what money you have and give yourself a strict allowance of what is spare each week. As far as you can, stick to it. This will make a HUGE difference to stopping debt.

2. Lose the luxuries – If money is tight don’t meet friends for coffees or just grab a sandwich and juice after the park. Lunch and 2 coffees each week can add up to a conservative £400! In a year and for a tiny bit of effort making up a flask and a sarnie that is a bit silly!

3. Check your utilities. Don’t put it off any longer. Do compare prices online or even ring up your current provider and ask for a better deal. We recently called Orange and got an extra 100 minutes, 1000 texts and a new phone with email for the same monthly price I was already paying!

4. Create a gift drawer…this will really help with birthdays and next Christmas. Last summer ASDA had an offer on large sets of artists pencils £1 a set I bought 10 and these made fab Christmas gifts. Vista print (www.vistaprint.co.uk) did a personalised calico bag offer in Sept £2.98 inc. P+P each. I got one done for all my female relatives with their children’s names on and popped them in my drawer till Christmas. Gifts my children have already or which are really unsuitable (and can’t be returned) also get popped in this drawer (with a tag saying who bought it!) It makes a big different to collect gifts through the year,

5. Use the skills you have to make trades. I swapped one of my books for a beautiful bag for my daughter at Christmas, I have a friend who cuts hair in return for baby sitting, my husband mends friends computers and we get out our house painted. Skill sharing is as old as the hills but completely removes the need for money. Community needs to be the new currency. Be brave and make the first suggestion.

6. Be creative – Have your children make cards – it keeps them busy and helps them develop their creativity and saves you around £100 a year + everyone prefers a home made card

7. Be resourceful – old salad can become toasted salad sandwiches for lunch the next day, cook a cupful of extra pasta and knock together a quick pasta salad for tomorrow. Have an old cot? Get it sold through the newspaper or on ebay and put the money towards the new cot bed you need. Waste is waste and there are many things we can do with what we have. Oxfam swappit parties are a great idea choose a them e.g. books and ask your friends over with all their unwanted adult and children’s books, spread them out in your lounge, grab a drink then you can all go shopping for free in your lounge! Being green is often the economical option.

8. Still treat yourself, but differently – a big hot bath, a pile of new library books, an evening walk by the river, a cuddle, a love note in your partners pack up, giving a massage, setting up a treasure hunt for your kids. …nice things need not involve money and treats just need thought.

9. Make smart choices e.g. if you want to go the gym do you really need to go to a slimming class too. Your local gym will weigh you and probably offer a nutrition program. If you are invited to a wedding overseas that would involve all your holiday budget for the year and says no kids say NO, make them a home movie for next to nothing, write them a very special letter to be read at the reception and send encouraging emails up the day. When budgeting sometimes you have to choose and you have o say NO.

10. Bring it back to basics

· Have friends to yours for tea and have everyone bring a dish instead of going out for a fancy meal
· Socialise through a book club or start power walking with friends. Wine and coffee are not why we meet friends they are just an expensive by product
· For your child’s birthday have a huge picnic in your garden and get out all your toys. Kids totally know how to entertain themselves and an entertainer can set you back £100’s.
· Don’t have fancy hair-dos, keep your cut and colour simple and as close to natural as possible do you have less need to spend hours and pounds at the hairdressers.

Good luck and happy budgeting. I do hope these easy budgeting tips for parents help!

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For more budgeting tips do pop over to Family Budgeting and Thrifty Home

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