You might have read how our chief exec Peter Vicary-Smith haggled on his car insurance. Have you caught the haggling bug? Using your power to bargain for a better deal can be the key to coping in today’s economy.
As a born and bred Brit, I’m used to sporting a stiff upper lip in difficult times. But events well out of my, and the vast majority of people’s, control over the past half a decade or so have seen the upper lip start to quiver.
The economy is on its way to recovering, apparently. A recent survey suggested that the UK economy would grow by 1.3% by the end of the year, faster than any other rich, developed nation. But while certain sectors might be enjoying a boost, the reality is many people are yet to experience any of the benefits.
The rising cost of living has steadily but surely swamped our once-burgeoning bank accounts. Inflation has outstripped wage growth for a number of years. In a bid to counter this fall in the ability to purchase, many people have raided savings or spent more on plastic to survive. But that cannot be sustainable – I know it isn’t for me.
So, how do you survive in the economic environment of today?
Bargain for a better deal
I’ve shaken off the shackles of stubbornness to wrestle back some control over my finances.
After making two phone calls I was, within an hour, nearly £400 a year better off and there wasn’t a payday loan in sight. I simply haggled with my mobile phone and broadband providers after finding better deals elsewhere. And I know from feedback that many Which? members are doing the same.
There was a time not so long ago that many of us, myself included, wouldn’t have dared ask for money off our bills, even if we thought we were paying over the odds. Not now. There might be a cost of living crisis, but there certainly isn’t a consumer confidence crisis when it comes to fighting for a better deal.
So if you’re still suffering in silence, pick up that phone and see what you can save.