Roughly once a year I realise that I’m spending way too much on things. Direct debits being the main problem, over time those sneaky businesses increment their payments and before you know it you’re paying 30-40% more for things than you need to.
So I go through them all in what is a very boring process, get new quotes for things like life assurance, pet insurance etc etc. It’s all very tedious but ultimately worth it.
Obviously the one where the biggest saving can be made is the most expensive. Usually your mortgage. My mortgage happens to be with Santander and the process of moving it is made slightly more awkward by the fact that both my wife and I are self employed. Add to that I’m a little bit lazy, so I usually just shift products with Santander. I don;t get the most competitive deal, but I do ok with it.
A strange process
Despite the fact that it’s 2015, I cannot see Santander’s current deals online. I have to ring them up, they have to read them out over the phone, I then have to memorise the numbers and pick the one I think is best. It’s an insane process, but that’s the way it is. Fortunately for me, as I’ve not changed my mortgage in 18 months all the deals available to me are cheaper than the one I currently have. I select a fixed mortgage that has monthly payments that are 10% cheaper than my current mortgage. I’m asked if I’m sure I can afford this. Yes that’s right, they ask me if I can afford a mortgage deal that costs less than the one I currently have (which I’ve never missed a payment on).
It gets even more unusual though. After I pick the deal I want, the person I’m speaking to then makes a recommendation of which mortgage is right for me. It takes about 10 minutes whilst they read out all the financial spiel. After that 10 minutes the mortgage that I initially picked is then recommended to me. I politely agree that it does indeed sound like a good mortgage for me (who’d have thought?) and we proceed with the deal. How bizarre.
Whilst this call was with Santander, this is pretty much par for the course with all mortgage providers. You’d expect better from businesses that are dealing with such huge amounts of money. It appears not though. It’s not too comforting to know the people in charge of my most expensive debt are a little bit ridiculous.