If you regularly get to the end of each month and can't seem to work out where all your money's gone, Martin Lewis' five-minute challenge could help you save £100s.
Speaking on the Ask Martin Lewis podcast, the money guru's shared his five-minute challenge. Trust us when we say it is so unbelievably easy, you won't be able to understand how you haven't done it before.
To prepare for the challenge all you need is your phone, bank account login details and Martin Lewis' money-saving words of wisdom.
Martin Lewis' five minute challenge
'The challenge is this. I'm laying down the gauntlet,' said Martin Lewis on his BBC Radio 5Live's podcast. 'I want to know how many of you are wasting cash, letting money drip from your bank account without knowing, and it is all about regular payments.'
'Log into your online banking and go through your standing orders and direct debits. See what's there,' he suggests.
Are you paying for a music subscription you no longer use? If you've kitted yourself out with a home gym, can you give up that gym membership?
If you are paying by standing order or direct debit, these can easily be cancelled as they come straight from your bank account. However, recurring payments can be a little trickier, but you should still be able to stop them with your bank.
One listener who tried the challenge managed to save £100 a month by stopping a bill for a phone she no longer uses. And ending a subscription she didn't know she still had. Another listener found they were paying £15 a month for a website he'd only visited once.
If you're not sure what to cut, Martin's tip is to look for payments for services that you haven't used in a while. For example, are you still paying insurance for a boiler in a house you know longer live in?
'The next category is "things you don't need, but you sort of want". Is it worth it?' says Martin.
This could be as simple as whether you need your Amazon Prime account. We still get a thrill when the table lamp or Flash Speed Mop we ordered at 2pm turns up the next day. However, could you bear to wait a few days and save some money?
During your five-minute challenge, you might note a few essential outgoings, such as energy bills and broadband that you wish you were paying less for. Martin says this is the time to think: 'is it as cheap as you can [get]?
Hop on some comparison websites and see if you can find a better deal.
Will you be trying Martin Lewis' five-minute challenge?
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Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.
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