Here are some of the products and services I use and would heartily recommend that you try using. As this is a blog about frugality with strong eco-friendly side theme, I’m not going to be recommending a 60 plasma screen TV or the latest hot finance deal on a Mercedes-Benz GL Class.
All all items listed here will save you money and/or the planet in some way, and will help make those financial optimisations that help you get to Financial Independence just that little bit faster.
As mentioned above, one of this blog’s main messages is primarily stop buying shit! But if you have exhausted all other possibilities, or really do feel the need for a splurge (hey, we’re all human right!?) and therefore need to buy something brand spanking new, you could do worse than to sign yourself up with a TopCashback account so you can at least get some cash….back (really!? Ah I see where they got the name from now) on the deal.
It is also great any time you need to switch providers on any of your utilities or insurances. Some great cash back deals to be had when searching for an even better rate, so it’s a double whammy win-win situation by switching through TopCashback!
American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card
I’ve dabbled with a bit of “credit card hacking” over the last year and it’s worked out extremely well. Over two cards I’ve made over £400 which is paying for the bulk of our holiday to Scotland this year. Not quite as good as some of the US based travel hacking blogs I’ve read about, but then the sign up offers over here in the UK are just not as good unfortunately. This Amex card is a good one to start with as it offers the best cashback percentage around that I could find*. After that you will earn a further 1.25% cashback on all purchases. This may not initially sound alot but if you spent £10,000 a year on it that is £125… not to be sniffed at for basically just buying what you’d normally buy! It is also the highest percentage cashback percentage I could find so is a good solid card to start off with.
SWEET, SWEET BONUS ALERT: If you sign up to this card through TopCashback.co.uk you will also get £21 cashback!
Important note: Standard credit card hacking “rules” apply here… never run a balance on it, set up a direct debit to pay off the full balance each month so you never pay any interest. If you have previous with reckless spending on cards, then I’d advise against attempting to use credit card hacking techniques
*This is not including sign up bonus period offers for other cards, which can be as high as 6%, but they all revert to 0.5% or lower once your “honeymoon” period is over, so the Amex card is the best for a card you will end up using in the long run.
I switched to OVO about a year ago for the following reasons:
- They provide a 100% renewables electricity package
- They were the same price as my current provider!!!
They also offer a normal “non green” electricity package which is even more competitive. I also like most of their technology they’re employing. They sent us a smart meter which is cool and I don’t have to send in meter readings anymore, and their website and apps are simple and easy to use.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of AirBnB already but if not, it is a great idea for a website that allows people to rent out their houses and apartments on a daily basis. You can choose to search for a fully private residence, or if you want to get ultra frugal and like a chance to have a chat with the owners, you can just rent a private room in their actual house. I’ve searched many different locations so far and the prices are always cheaper than the equivalent quality hotel or privately run BnB. Alternatively you could use the cost savings to bump up your luxury level and stay in somewhere slightly nicer than you thought you could previously afford. If you sign up through this link you will get £15 off your first booking!
Please note: Some links on this page are affiliate links which means I may get paid a referal fee if you sign up through them. Rest assured these are all companies whose services I am already using and would recommend regardless of any referal fees, so if you think you would find their services useful and would like to support the blog at the same time, then I’d be forever grateful if you could click the links provided above! Thanks!