19 Dec 2009
It’s not cheap being Santa, so when he asked moneysupermarket.com for a makeover, we could hardly refuse.
Like many of us, Father Christmas knew his household bills could probably be cheaper, but he never got round to sorting them.
“I’ve never really bothered looking at my bills because things can get pretty busy round here. But, with the rising cost of reindeer feed, I need to make whatever savings I can,” he explained.
Anxious to be on the right side of the ‘naughty or nice’ list, we went to work, using only the tools available on the moneysupermarket.com website.
We were able save Mr Claus an incredible £1,395.59, so what will he do with the cash?
He said: “Ho, ho, ho! I had no idea I could save that much. I think I’ll spend some of the money on a personal trainer for the New Year – people have been very uncomplimentary about my belly in recent years.”
So how did Santa save this much money? Here’s a rundown.
Utilities – £400
With a house full of elves, Santa is undeniably a high energy user. An average high energy consumer signed up to one of the Big Six’s standard tariffs pays £1,652.18 on average.
If he moves to an online deal, however, he’ll pay an average of £1,249.51 – saving an incredible £402.67 a year.
Father Christmas should also consider investing in an energy monitor. Seeing real-time information on energy use can help people cut their bills by an average of £110 a year, according to British Gas, as well as helping them take action to slash their carbon footprint.
Credit card – £380
When you’re responsible for buying presents for all the boys and girls, there’s quite a lot of shopping to do.
If Father Christmas used a credit card to do this, not only would he gain extra protection under the Consumer Credit Act, he could also earn rewards or cashback.
One option would be the American Express Platinum Cashback card, although Santa would need an excellent credit score to qualify.
It pays 5% cashback for the first three months up to a maximum spend of £2,000. After that introductory period, he’d earn 0.50% on the next £3,500; 1% on spending between £3,500 and £7,500; and 1.25% for any spending over that amount.
That means if he spent £2,500 each month, he’d receive £381 in cashback over the year. That would certainly help out with the Christmas cheer.
Remember, though, to benefit, he’d have to clear his balance every month. This card charges 19.9% annual percentage rate (APR), so the cashback will be quickly cancelled out if he doesn’t.
TV, broadband and phone – £200
Naturally Santa is up to date with the latest gadgetry and has a TV, broadband internet and a telephone.
“Being able to shop online has been a big relief for me and the elves, so I couldn’t do without the internet,” Father Christmas explained.
Some of the best deals for these services are only available if you use one firm for all three, yet more than half of people in the UK pay separate providers for these services.
If Father Christmas hasn’t yet bundled his services, he could save almost £200 a year by comparing deals and switching.
Car insurance – £157
Santa’s sleigh is a bit specialist for most insurers and he’ll probably struggle to find cheap insurance premiums.
“But I do have a car, because you can’t go shopping in a sleigh,” he explained.
According to The AA, car insurance premiums rose by more than 11% in the 12 months up to June 2009, so Father Christmas will probably need to switch providers to find a better deal.
The average amount saved by changing your car insurance provider with moneysupermarket.com is £157.
Home insurance – £116
Protecting your possessions with home insurance is even more important at Christmas when houses fill up with expensive gifts.
It’s easy to see how this is especially important for Santa.
Most home insurance providers will automatically increase their cover over the festive period but it’s worth checking yours does.
When it’s time to renew, Santa could save an average of £116 on his premiums by comparing home insurance providers on our site.
Savings – £80
The average person in the UK has savings of £3,492, according to the Co-operative Bank. With the base rate sticking at just 0.5%, many instant access savings accounts are paying just 0.74%.
Assuming Father Christmas has managed to squirrel away a similar amount in an instant access savings account, he could be making as little as £25.84 in interest a year.
If it’s important to him to have quick access to his cash, he could still earn much more by moving to a more competitive easy access account.
The Alliance & Leicester Online Saver Issue 6 pays 3.00%, meaning he’d make £104.76 – an extra £78.92 a year.
Santa would need to switch accounts after 12 months, as the bonus would end and the rate would become much less competitive.
Current account – £60
Like the majority of us, Santa has never switched his current account. That means he’s almost certainly missing out.
Post-crunch, the banks are fighting for our money and offering some great incentives to switch. In fact, if he moved to a Halifax Reward Account and paid in £1,000 every month, he’d receive £5.
Over 12 months, that totals £60, which will buy a lot of stocking fillers.
Would you like the opportunity to see if we can make you any savings as we move into 2010? If so, then email email@example.com.