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5 Thrifty ways your Smartphone can save you money in January
It's January, the bills are still rolling in from December's festivities, prices of food, energy and pretty much everything are still on the rise and you could do with cutting down on your living costs. Sound familiar? Save yourself some money with some of the great ideas below -all of which can be done on your smartphone.
1. Use your smartphone to save on energy bills
With a bit of upfront investment it's possible to install an energy-saving device in your house and by using your smartphone and/or laptop, you can control the temperature or times your heating goes on and off even when you're not at home. There are now several systems which are available to buy in the UK which could save you several hundred pounds a year on your energy bills. Get a device installed (eg British Gas's Hive), download the app (you also need a broadband connection at home) and you're in charge of your heating thermostat via your mobile. If you're going out for the evening, away for the weekend or the weather just isn't as cold as you thought it would be, you can alter the temperature and timings of your heating and save yourself some money.
2. Recycle your old mobile
Hands up who has got an old mobile (or three) still stashed away in a drawer? It may not be worth flogging on ebay but you may as well get some cash for your old handsets rather than them gathering dust and cluttering up your house. Check out sites such as Mazuma Mobile to see what your old mobiles are worth. You can even get money for broken phones and they send you an envelope with the postage paid so all you need to do is find a post box. Well worth doing!
3. Simple way to claim for delayed trains
If you commute or use trains a lot, then a new app called Train Refunds could help you save yourself a bit of money. Undoubtedly a lot of train users don't claim for all their delayed rail journeys due to the amount of time and hassle it takes to get a claim form and fill in it. This app does a lot of the hard work for you. You just need to enter your ticket and journey details, find the relevant delay on the app and hit the 'claim' button. It generates a claim form which has already been completed which you just need to sign and send off to get your compensation. If you've got a season ticket, the app can even alert you to any delays which you can claim for.
4. Find the cheapest price in the shops
Download a shopping app such as Red Laser. These handy apps will let compare prices in high street shops as well as online to find you the best deal for the item you want to buy. Some of the apps will let you scan or type in an item's barcode if you're out shopping and can tell you if a shop nearby has the same item at a cheaper price. You can also reserve or buy the item using the app to collect later or get delivered to your door.
5. Use a cashback site
Cashback sites such as Topcashback or Quidco are a really simple way of earning some cash. If you shop online or sort out your utilities or insurance on the web then you may as well earn some money while you're at it. All you need to do is set yourself up with an account and go via the cashback site or their apps which have links to hundreds of retailers, credit card companies, utility companies etc and you can earn a percentage of your transaction or a specified fixed amount . Once you start to earn money you can get your earnings transferred into your bank account or you can exchange it for vouchers or gift certificates for various stores. You'll be amazed at how your earnings can mount up especially if you're changing utility and insurance companies who tend to be the bigger payers.