Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeBusinessMoney saving tips: Sign up friends to your internet and budget Netflix

Money saving tips: Sign up friends to your internet and budget Netflix


The cost of living squeeze is biting hard. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t simple tips and tricks to help navigate your way around it.

Each Friday, we round-up five tips we think are worth noting that can go a little way to helping you save money, or make money in the midst of sky-high inflation and rocketing bills.

This week, it features free vouchers for recommending a friend to your internet provider, a £125 current account switching deal with an added bonus for cinephiles, and a money-saving tip for Italian food fans.

Budget binge-watching: This week's five money-saving tips include switching to the little-known 'basic' Netflix subscription, which is cheaper than the standard package

Budget binge-watching: This week’s five money-saving tips include switching to the little-known ‘basic’ Netflix subscription, which is cheaper than the standard package

1. Sign friends up to your internet provider 

I’ve just moved house and signed up with a new internet provider – an annoying process which left me without a connection and spending a small fortune on mobile data for weeks on end.

To claw back some of the money, I should have got a friend to sign me up and taken advantage of one of the referral deals on offer. These hand out retail vouchers or in some cases even cash.

Zen Internet, which ranks highly for customer satisfaction, has just launched an £80 retail voucher scheme for customers who refer a friend, and the friend will get £20 as well.

But almost all providers have one, so whichever company you want to sign up with there is a good chance you will know an existing customer. 

Three offers £80 for the referrer, while BT and Virgin Media offer the referrer and their friend £50 each – to name but a few others. 

This is Money’s comparison service can help you find the best deals on broadband.  

2. Switch your bank for £125 and free cinema tickets

One of the best ways to get money for basically nothing at the moment is to switch your current account to another provider.

You’ll want to make sure the new account does what you need it to first, but if you’re fed up with your current bank you can get a decent bonus for taking your business elsewhere.

Banks are throwing perks at customers like there’s no tomorrow, and this week Lloyds has launched a £125 switching offer for its Club Lloyds account. While it’s not as much cash as HSBC’s £170, it also comes with loads of other free stuff.

Free films: Club Lloyds account holders get six complimentary Odeon or Vue tickets per year

Free films: Club Lloyds account holders get six complimentary Odeon or Vue tickets per year

Account holders will earn between 0.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent in-credit interest if they pay out two direct debits each month, which is better than most easy-access savings accounts, and it also offers cashback deals with the likes of Sainsbury’s and Costa.

They can also choose from six free cinema tickets per year with Odeon or Vue, a magazine subscription including titles such as Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and Esquire, or a year’s Gourmet Society Plus discount card which offers 25 per cent off meals in a range of restaurants.

There’s no fee for the account if you pay in at least £1,500 per month, or it’s £3 if you pay in less than that.

Swapping your account is largely straightforward with the Current Account Switching Service.

3. Beat the Netflix price hike with budget subscription

Netflix has hiked its prices by up to £2 per month, and plenty of people are ditching the subscription service altogether as they try to fight against the rising cost of living.

But if you can’t live without Bridgerton, there is a way to save. Netflix heavily promotes its ‘standard’ subscription which has just risen from £9.99 to £10.99 per month, but there is a little-known cheaper deal you can switch to, priced at £6.99.

The ‘basic’ service won’t get you programmes in HD, and you can only use it on one device at a time.

But for those who stream through a non-HD television or on a smaller screen such as a laptop, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Elsewhere, you could play the streaming switching game and try NowTV on a free seven day trial (and quite often, when you cancel at the end it offers discounts) – or you can get its TV or movies for three months currently at a discounted £6 per month. 

Rocket man: I'm saving on travel to my upcoming Elton John concert after getting a railcard

Rocket man: I’m saving on travel to my upcoming Elton John concert after getting a railcard

4. Get a third off train tickets, just for travelling as a two

The price of taking the train in this country can be astronomical, as I was reminded when I tried to book travel for my trip to see Elton John in Norwich in a few weeks’ time.

I’m going with my boyfriend, brother and sister-in-law and we wanted to take the train rather than travelling by Yellow Brick Road so we can all let our hair down.

We didn’t think we could get railcards, as we’re mostly over 30 and don’t qualify for other discounts – but it turns out there is a card that almost anyone can get.

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The Two Together railcard will give you a third off tickets, just for travelling with another named person.

The best part is that, while other types of railcard cost £30 for one traveller, this one costs £30 for both of you – meaning you get double the savings for half the price.

My boyfriend and I have already saved £18 on our tickets to Norwich and £10 on a trip to Milton Keynes, so we’ve almost made our cash back.

I’ll probably still be standing (ahem) for most of the journey to see my idol Elton, but I won’t feel as bitter about it if I know I’m saving some money.

You can also have more than one railcard with different people. 

So, say if I was taking a trip to Manchester with a friend this weekend, it would be worth us splitting the cost of a railcard even for that one journey. At £98 for a return, we’d save just under £33 each – far outweighing the expense.

The one snag is that it won’t help commuters, as it only works on off-peak trains.

Bunch of savings: I'm trying to save money and reduce wasted food by growing leftover basil

Bunch of savings: I’m trying to save money and reduce wasted food by growing leftover basil

5. Plant your leftover herbs

Home cooking can be healthier and better for your budget than buying ready meals, but only if you don’t end up throwing unused ingredients in the bin. 

I recently bought some fresh basil from the supermarket for a pasta dish I was making.

But the plastic packs always have a little more than you need, and the leftover sprigs were staring to turn to slime in the fridge – until I spotted a houseplant in the corner of my eye and had a flash of inspiration.

I put the basil stems that still looked healthy in a glass of water for a couple of days until they started growing roots, and then – in true Blue Peter style – grabbed a yoghurt pot out of the recycling, poked some holes in the bottom, filled it with soil and planted them.

I’m no expert, but I reckon this would work with any leafy herb – parsley, mint, coriander.

A couple of weeks in, my little plant is still going strong and will hopefully save me a bit of cash next time I fancy a Caprese salad. 

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