Managing your finances online

When you think about upgrading to superfast broadband, you’d be forgiven for focusing on how much that might cost you. What’s equally important, however, is that making the move to speedier fibre connections can actually save you money in the long term; here’s how.

Keeping an eye on transactions and contracts

If you’re worried about credit card or identity fraud, or just want to keep a careful eye on your finances, you can’t beat online banking.

It’s never been easier to log in to your internet banking, check on your balance, spot if any odd purchases are taking place and alert your bank or building society if you spot anything untoward.

Similarly, if you have a mobile phone or broadband contract with a limited data allowance or a set number of inclusive minutes or texts, a quick check online can prevent you crashing through your monthly quota and potentially running up big bills in the process.

Shop online

Every year, reporters tell us how more and more people are turning to the internet to handle their Christmas shopping – but it’s a phenomenon that’s not just limited to the holiday season. With many major supermarkets offering online shopping and home delivery, and stores like Amazon.co.uk stocking an increasingly diverse range of products, there’s more reason than ever to do your shopping via the internet.

Not only do you avoid spending time getting to and from stores, you also save on travel costs, avoid queues and can limit over-expenditure by removing the temptation of point-of-sale advertising.

Online shopping really comes into its own if you have items that you regularly buy: shop with the same site and you’ll find your regular items can be saved in a list so you can quickly and easily add them to your basket. The faster your connection, the sooner you’ll nip through the online shopping aisles and get back to doing more interesting things. You can also use various comparison websites to check this – we’ve listed a few below. Please remember that comparison sites work by receiving a commission from the ISPs and may not list all of the available options. Therefore you may want to try several such sites before making a decision.

Handle benefits, taxes and regular bills online

The move to scrap the physical tax disc and switch to an online registry of taxed vehicles instead is likely to be just one in a long line of governmental services that end up exclusively online. As a result, being online and having a connection that can handle uploading and downloading of potential large files is a good way to make your home future-proof.

The transition from having to queue in a post office or council building to complete everyday paperwork to doing so online will save time, energy and money. Whether you’re applying for child benefit, checking up on what you can expect the state pension to bring in when you retire, or just finding out how to sort a new passport, the internet offers the most direct and round-the-clock way of keeping on top of benefits, taxes and recurring bills like electricity, gas and water charges.

Save and get value for your money

By making the move to e-billing, you’ll notice one immediate benefit straightaway: traditional paper bills will stop landing on your doormat. While making the switch to paperless billing won’t make the actual debts go away, the majority of service providers will pass the savings they make on printing and mailing your bill back to you. So much so, it’s estimated the average UK household can save around £60 per year by ditching traditional paper bills and managing them online instead.

Finally, in the same way that a flight abroad can sometimes be cheaper than a local coach journey, superfast broadband offers far better like-for-like value than ADSL. When you consider that superfast fibre speeds are up to 10 times faster than their old copper wire predecessor, you certainly don’t pay 10 times the price. When it comes to value for money, you’re getting more bang for your buck with superfast fibre.

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