PERSONAL Assistant Amanda Williams, 33, has saved £380 in a matter of weeks with two simple money-saving tricks.
Getting free cash by switching bank account and haggling down the price of her mobile phone and broadband deals have saved her hundreds.
Like many people feeling the squeeze in the cost of living crisis, Amanda has been taking advantage of simple tricks that can boost your finances.
The mum of two from Plymouth, Devon, says: “I wanted to change bank accounts but First Direct offered me £20 for simply opening an current account, so I did that
“If I move all my banking using the current account switching service, I'll get £150."
It sounds almost too good to be true, but plenty of banks will give you free cash just for opening an account.
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Right now you can get up to £170 for moving your current account to a different bank.
And with savings rates at rock-bottom and inflation pushing up the cost of everything from energy bills to the food shop, it's an easy way to get some extra cash.
Amanda said: “If you Google ‘cash bonuses bank account openings’ you can see what other bank deals are out there."
Currently, HSBC is offering £170 to new customers, First Direct £150 and Lloyds Bank £125.
Be sure to check the terms and conditions though – you might not be eligible if you've been a customer before, or you may have to pay in a minimum amount each month to qualify.
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Amanda's other top tip is to haggle on your bills.
She said: "I printed off all my bills and realised I could make money by swapping provider or ringing up and asking for cheaper rates or loyalty discounts."
She cut her broadband bill from £40 a month to £19.99.
"That extra twenty quid a month has helped me buy more fruit and vegetables for the kids," she said.
Next, she called her mobile phone provider and managed to save a fiver off her bill by switching her package. Then she switched her car insurance provider and is not paying £45 a month rather than £70.
Amanda said: “I am doing these checks monthly and every month I find a new way to make some cash.
“I also swapped my credit card to an interest free card of 0% for 12 months saving £120 in interest which goes to paying off the debt faster.”
Haggling with companies on your bill can be an easy way to cut your outgoings. Many firms would prefer to reduce your price than lose you as a customer.
If you are planning to haggle, make sure you do some research first so you can provide evidence that you can get a better deal elsewhere.
You can use comparison sites such as Uswitch, Broadbandchoices and ComparetheMarket to help scour the market.
Check whether there are any penalty charges for leaving your current deals, and be polite with the person on the other end of the phone for the best results.
Inspired by her savings, Anna is looking for new ways to cut her bills and make a bit of extra cash.
She said: “I also do surveys and get paid to be a mystery shopper, even if a survey earns me fifty pence when I am lying in bed and enjoying a lie in, I am still making a few extra bucks.”
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We have previously spoken to one savvy saver who made £4,000 from doing online surveys in her spare time.
And here are all the ways you can make some extra cash – from watching TV to selling your old mobile phones.
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