At Home
Money
Shopping
05 September 2022

Survey - Credit Card Availability

Would you mind taking 2 minutes to complete our credit card availability survey? Recent History Credit card availability to Islanders, or the increasing lack of it, has been on our radar for 2-3 years. We have held multiple meetings with local financial institutions, Jersey Finance, Jersey Banking Association, as well as representatives of the previous government representatives.   Recently, the Council contacted several other providers including AMEX, MBNA, M&S Bank, Virgin Money and Tesco, and received replies from all. We have since become aware that John Lewis is also following the same pattern.   Reasons Their reasons for either pulling out of the Channel Islands altogether; no longer accepting new applications; or only offering existing customers a replacement card; are two-fold:   1). Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom. 2). Providing the service is no longer commercially viable.   Locally, we are only aware that HSBC offers new applications to non-account holders if the applicant meets the appropriate requirements.   Having received more enquiries from islanders during the last year, and many in the last month, it appears the situation is worsening so we're trying to find out how many applications or renewal requests have been refused.   Survey Link The closing date is Wednesday 14 September. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/creditcardavailability Thank you    
At Home
Living Costs
22 April 2022

Netflix monthly subscription costs increasing this month

In January 2021, we advised you that Netflix was increasing its subscription prices. Well, just over a year later, they are increasing again. It may not be a surprise that the company recently announced that, for the first time, thousands of people in the UK have unsubscribed. The possible cause of this could be the current cost of living emergency, as people take a closer look at their financial situation and find ways to reduce their outgoing payments.    Now’s the time to check what plan you have and whether you actually need it. The monthly costs are increasing as set out below: Basic plan £6.99 p/m (£83.88 per year) - increased from £5.99 (no increase in 2021) Standard plan £10.99 p/m (131.88 per year) - increased from £9.99 (a £2 p/m or 23% increase in 15 months) Premium plan £15.99 (£191.88 per year) - increased from £13.99 (a £4 p/m or 34% increase in 15 months)   The higher the cost the more options available to you e.g. more screens can view at the same time and HD or ultra HD. By switching your plan you could save up to £108 this year. It’s easy to change, simply: Log in to your Netflix account and go to ‘Plan Details’. In the ‘Change plan’ option, select the plan you want. Click ‘Continue’ and ‘Confirm’ Your plan will be changed immediately but we suggest you do this as close to the next billing date as possible because you won’t get any money back – you’ll simply pay less the next time you’re billed.
At Home
Living Costs
Money
10 June 2022

New Budget Tool Available

We're delighted to announce the launch of our Budget Tool.   It can be found by clicking on the 'Budget Tool' button at the top of the home page or clicking the link below.   Many of you used the old version so we've built this updated one to help Islanders with money management, especially during the current cost of living crisis.   It's best completed online but there is a print option enabling you to print and fill in by hand if you prefer. As you fill in your monthly income and out-going expenditure, the tool will automatically calculate and total, providing you with a final balance amount.   The information can be saved and recalled at a later date so it can be used to show your financial status to potential landlords, banks or lenders. It can also be updated as needed.   https://www.consumercouncil.je/budget    
At Home
Consumer Tips
Money
15 March 2022

60+ Money Saving Tips

60+ Money Saving Tips From ways to save on food, transport and daily spending, to ideas on how to reduce your energy bills and add some income, we’ve prepared a list of ideas to help you save money.  Depending on your circumstances, we know not all of these may suit you or be possible but hopefully, you can use some. Food Savings Pricecomparison.je – Use our price comparison site and app, which will have some new features in the coming weeks. This compares around one hundred grocery and household items in the six main supermarkets, as well as two online ones. (Alliance, Co-Op, First Choice Groceries, Iceland, M&S, Morrisons, Valley Foods and Waitrose)  Create a weekly menu – By knowing exactly what meals you will be cooking for the next seven days, will help limit the chance of over buying and reduce the amount of unused food that ends up in the bin. Leftover food – If you do have unused food, look up recipes that you could use them in, ideally by using store cupboard items and without having to buy more food. Vegetable soup is a good use of leftover veg, and a chicken carcass can be boiled to create a perfect stock or soup base. Cheaper options – Most stores will have a couple of differently priced options from the cheapest ‘value’ item to a ‘mid-range’ and ‘premium’ selection. You may find that the cheapest value option is not displayed where you would expect it to be. For example, the cheapest shampoo might be tucked away in the pharmacy section and not with the large selection of shampoos, or the cheapest pack of tortillas may be in the Mexican section, rather than the bakery section. Often the cheapest option is not at eye level, so look at both the top and bottom shelves. Own label versus brand names – Many supermarkets have their own labelled products which tend to be cheaper than branded goods, such as Heinz, Nestle or Kellogg’s. They often get a bad reputation for not being as good as the well-known brands, but many supermarket brands are actually made at the factories as the better known ones. Supermarket promotions – Keep a look out for promotions and, if you can afford to, bulk buy. The most important point about promotions is not to be tempted to buy just because something is on promotion, especially if you can’t afford it or don’t usually eat/use the item.Sometimes promotions are not exactly as you might expect, so the easiest way to keep track of how much an item usually costs is to keep and compare your receipts. For example: If a tin of Heinz baked beans usually costs 95p and is on a buy one get one free (BOGOF) promotion at a cost of £1.05 it’s worthwhile. If a pack of nine toilet rolls that usually costs £5 is on a ‘3 for 2’multi buy promotion at a total price of £12 it’s worthwhile as you’re saving £3. But, if a 450g pack of minced meat is usually £3 and is on ‘3 for £10’ promotion there is no point buying whilst on promotion as you’re actually paying £1 more. Batch cook and freeze – If you can afford to make the most of promotions, it’s a great way to bulk buy so you can batch cook. Whether it’s tins of chickpeas to make a large vegetarian curry or kilos of minced meat to make a Bolognese, you will have your own family favourites and there are loads of ideas online. Take outs – A take out is always a treat, and during lockdown the numbers of eateries that went online soared, giving us an excellent choice of options. The problem with this is it’s now too easy to order almost anything and some of us may be spending a lot more money on take outs than we did pre-pandemic. Grow your own – Whether you have a garden or a windowsill, growing your own food is always fun. A pack of seeds from the garden centre may cost anywhere from 50p – £3 but will save you money in the long run. Tomatoes, peas and herbs are all very easy to grow and somehow taste better than shop bought. You don’t even have to buy the plant pots as they can often be found for free via Facebook groups. Transport Savings Limit car use – Save money on fuel and parking. If you’re on a good bus route with a bus stop close by, start using the bus. As of 3 August 2022, fares range from £1.85 to £2.50 (Adult) and 95p to £1.20 (Child). On 21 March 2022, the new Avanchi 18 smart card trial went live. Cards will cost £20 per year and expire on the card holder’s birthday each year.  Account discounts – If you do use your car, it’s worth shopping around for the best account discount available from each forecourt near your home, work, or on your route. Forecourt discounts can be found on the ‘My Forecourt’ section of our pricecomparison.je site. We would recommend only opening an account if it is a free option. Taxi journey – If you need a taxi, phone around to find the cheapest fare available for the number of people and route needed. Connecting flights – Don’t always choose Gatwick or Heathrow as regional airports may be cheaper. Driving abroad – Check whether it’s cheaper to take your car on the boat or hire a car when you're there.   Forecourt fuel prices – Use our Pricecomparison.je site and app to compare the prices of unleaded petrol and diesel across all Island forecourts. Shopping Savings Shop around – It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a fridge, a pet carrier or house insurance, shopping around for the best price is always a good idea. It may be a little time-consuming but checking the price at various retailers and suppliers is worth the effort, and you may even find a better option for a better price. Price match/beat – Ask the retailer or supplier if they’re willing to either price match or beat a quote you had from elsewhere. Loyalty schemes – Several retailers and hospitality outlets have free loyalty schemes, either by building up points or getting stamps. These build up over time resulting in a free coffee, discounted meal, or a percentage off your next treatment. Charity shops – Pre-loved items are a great way to spruce up your wardrobe, home or garden. There are so many charity shops in the Island with a huge range of items from clothes, bags and jewellery to tableware, chairs and beds. It’s a win for all. Books – If you like to read, or are studying for something, rather than buying new, the Jersey Library has a vast range on offer for free. Daily Savings Daily coffee – As much as we all enjoy our daily take out coffee, the cost adds up. If you buy one for £2 every weekday for 48 weeks a year, that’s a whopping £480 just on your morning coffee. It would be better to invest in a cafetière and make your own posh coffee at home each morning, and take it with you in a reusable and environmentally friendly cup. Meal deals – There are many meal deals but it’s not as cheap as making your own sandwich or salad. Grabbing a pot of frozen soup made from leftover food is a quick win. Newspapers and magazines – A daily physical newspaper costs around £1-2 but many newspapers and magazines have online subscription options which work out far cheaper. If you're a member of the Jersey Library, you can access hundreds of free newspapers and other publications using the PressReader app. Entertainment Savings Subscription services – The full SKY subscription costs are particularly expensive, so it might be time to review exactly what you watch and change your plan. The same with other services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, especially as they are increasing their prices more regularly. Home cinema – Although going to the cinema is a great experience, the pandemic forced us to watch great movies at home and made us realise that it’s a far cheaper and more relaxed experience. Garden Savings Water Butt – Buy a water butt to collect rainwater which will save money on watering your garden or houseplants. Compost – Make your own compost heap or buy a compost bin that is less likely to attract rats. Grow your own – If you’ve got space in the garden why not turn it into a small vegetable patch? Grow bags or tubs can be used on a patio. Energy Saving Electricity and Gas – Here are some of our tips. Extra income Sell unwanted items – Selling items you no longer use is a great way to bring in some income. There are many Facebook groups where you can advertise for free.*Scam warning – ‘Facebook Marketplace’ is a hub for scammers so never agree to send something through the post because the person is ‘too busy’ to pick the item up or ‘working in another country so will send a courier. Spare change – OK, it’s not extra income but if you’re able, put that loose change in a jar. Or you might choose to save just 20p pieces or £1 coins. It’s surprising how much you can save by the end of the year which could go towards Christmas presents.  Budget Tool You may like to use our updated tool to help with budgetting and managing your incoming and outgoing finances.
At Home
Travel
08 June 2020

HSBC CI to cease home and travel insurance

We recently became aware that HSBC CI & IOM are halting home & travel insurance to Islanders, so we asked them to explain the reason and if they might be able to offer the service in the future. Their Head of Communications, advised “HSBC in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man is changing the way that it provides travel and home insurance to its island customers. The current insurance provider is withdrawing insurance cover to island customers following changes to regulations by the UK Financial Conduct Authority which no longer allow a UK licenced insurer to invite renewals or take on new insurance business from residents in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. We apologise for the disruption to our customers. We are working to get a new insurance provider in place. Customers’ current insurance policies with us remain valid until their renewal date. Ahead of that renewal date, we’re writing to our customers explaining what’s happening. This doesn’t affect the packaged insurance services we provide as part of our Premier accounts.”
At Home
Money
Phone
26 February 2020

How to Avoid Phone Bill Shock

‘Unlimited’ data can actually result in high phone bills. Many people exceed their data allowance, with even ‘unlimited’ packages often having hidden limits on a customers data usage. Reducing your data usage by turning off background data could help lower your phone bill charges Your phone contract could be wrong for you. Research has shown that 8 out of 10 people are on the wrong mobile phone tariff, with a majority rarely using their full text, minute or data allowance. Analyse your usage and see if another, cheaper package could better suit your needs Set up a spend cap. Some telecoms providers allow you to limit usage outside your monthly allowance. This can help prevent roaming charges from costing you dearly and give you better control over your final phone bill Ensure you are not using data roaming when abroad. By leaving data on overseas, many are hit by enormous bills on their return. Attempt to either not use data at all or as little as possible when away in order to avoid large costs Decide whether pay-as-you-go or pay monthly contracts better suit your usage. For those who rarely use their phone, a pay-as-you-go contract would probably be more cost effective Be careful when making international calls. Especially living in Jersey, it is easy to forget that some calls may be classified as international and carry extra charges. You may consider other methods of communication, such as Skype or Facetime, to avoid international fees on your bill