Saving made easy – A full bank account without the sacrifice
Saving is annoying, but it is a necessary evil. Travel, restaurants, and extended shopping tours are activities where you should be making sacrifices to benefit your bank account – but that can really hurt. If you don't want to forgo your familiar lifestyle and still want to save a decent amount, you should take these five tips to heart:
Tip 1: Change your electricity provider
Electrical power is becoming more and more expensive. In the last few years, the price per kWh has increased by a solid 42 % from 20.6 to 29.2 censt/kWh.1 Fortunately, as a consumer you don't have to put up with that. There are many power providers who try to attract new customers with lower prices. So you should absolutely compare and change if it makes sense. You can save especially much when you still get your power from the base provider, i.e. the company that supplies the most households in the region. Potential savings of several hundred Euros per year are not rare. In the meantime, there are numerous portals that help you compare electricity prices. But careful: Stiftung Warentest warns that there are frequent tempting promotions with high new customer bonuses that only apply in the first year. To be on the safe side, consult an expert – for instance an OVB consultant you trust.
Tip 2: Pay insurance fees annually
Most people don't seem to mind paying monthly installments for building, home owner's, and car insurance – the withdrawal does not affect the account balance as much as an annual payment. However, you need to stop thinking like that. An annual payment of insurance premiums saves you money up to 5%!
Tip 3: Cancel your mobile contract
Nowadays, customers conclude mobile contracts with providers that include a smartphone. It is quite convenient. However, you have to commit to these rates for 24 months and end up paying more for the smartphone. In addition, some services are not included in the contract, which can result in steep mobile phone bills at the end of the month. If you want to save money and always keep an eye on your expenses you should buy a smartphone yourself and a prepaid card (note: after the issue of the latest smartphone model of a manufacturer you can get massive discounts on the previous model - act now!). You can then load a certain balance on the prepaid card and you pay as you go: by minutes on the phone, number of text messages, and data volume used. Once you spend your credit, you can refill the card. There are no contract terms, you are never committed. With prepaid cards you can significantly lower your monthly fixed costs and are always able to see what services you are paying for.
Tip 4: Liability insurance – two is one to many
Couples who live together can share liability insurance – even if they are not married. Almost all insurers offer this service at no added cost. The only thing you have to do is submit your residential registration card. The saving can range from 40 to 100 Euros per year.
Tip 5: A money market account for emergency money
If you want to save money but at the same time always have access to it, you usually park your cash in a current account. However, what you should be using is a money market account, to at least get a minimum interest. There is no predetermined maturity term and you can access your balance at any time. But it is not as useful for everyday payments. You still need your good old current account for that.