When you sign up for a service or subscription, such as an insurance policy or broadband contract, it’s easy not to give it another thought and just get on with your day-to-day life.
But loyalty to a particular company or provider often isn’t rewarded, and blindly sticking with the same deal for years on end can prove very costly in the long run.
So if you want to free up cash that can be spent, saved or invested elsewhere, researching the market and being willing to switch is a great place to start.
Introductory offers are time-limited
When you first sign up for a service, you might be attracted by enticing introductory offers and competitive rates.
However, these are often time-limited and in many cases, service providers won’t rush to tell you that this offer is about to expire.
That means you could conceivably end up paying significantly more for a product or service you’ve had for a long time overnight.
It’s therefore well worth making sure you know when this deal is about to expire, so you can shop around in advance for other deals that offer better value.
That doesn’t even have to mean switching to a different provider.
In many cases, simply getting in touch with your existing provider and telling them you’re thinking of leaving because a significant price increase is looming, can be enough for them to offer you a far more competitively priced deal.
Your needs change over time
The needs of a household aren’t static, so it’s really important to be prepared to switch to a new deal with expenses like insurance, utilities and mortgages.
As your circumstances and priorities change from one year to the next, it may be that the service you’re currently paying for is no longer suitable.
Perhaps an insurance policy doesn’t best match the value of the property and its contents, or maybe you’re still paying for a service you once used regularly but now never use at all.
You don’t want to be overpaying or not getting the service you actually need right now, so it’s important to look at what’s on the market and make sure you’re signed up to something that really suits your current situation.
Don’t be complacent
When you’re loyal to a particular service provider, you can often become desensitised to poor customer service and higher costs.
But if you actively think about switching, you’ll be shaken out of this sense of complacency and resignation, and encouraged to think about what you want, need and expect.
That can give you the added motivation you need to proactively look for the best deals on the market.
Many brands count on their customers taking their eye off the ball and hoping they don’t notice that they’re paying far more than they did when they first signed up.
But if you let this happen, it simply means you’re paying over the odds for something when you don’t have to.
Take a look at what you’re currently paying for and you’ll be amazed at how much money you can free up if you actively seek out the best products, services and value.
Loyalty is often a virtue, but not when it comes to your basic household expenses, so shop around, haggle where necessary and be willing to switch.
It’ll pay off in so many ways.