Jonathan Lally has used savings made through Snoop to increase his pension contributions, monitor his spending habits and got a good deal on Life Insurance
I'm Jonathan, I’m 36, live in Leeds and work as a production planner. Myself and my partner have a 6 year old boy and currently have 20 years left on our mortgage. I started using Snoop at the beginning of this year. The reason I started using the Snoop App was because my father became very unwell and nearly died. The Covid crisis had just started and whilst sitting with him, saying our goodbyes, I started to question my own mortality. I was worried I would leave my little family struggling if something terrible were to happen to me.
Luckily my dad pulled through and is still with us but I was still determined to sort through my own financial situation. Since using Snoop I haven't looked back. It’s helped me get a good deal on life insurance and I’ve become much more aware of where I could save money. With the money saved I’ve increased my pension contributions and started an investment portfolio. I’ve also changed bank accounts to get the best rate available and I've created a Will so I know my family will be looked after if anything happened to me.
Most recently I've used the Snoop to save £000s on my energy and broadband. I went from checking the app every other week to checking it every day - sometimes twice a day! Now I recommend the app to all my family and friends :)
Jonathan likes LISA
Hi everyone! This month I’d like to talk about one of my favourite Snoops from the app ‘My favourite savings and investment apps…’.
I read a few reviews on most of the apps suggested and the three I looked in to further were Moneybox, Freetrade and Wealthify.
My niece recently turned 18 and finally had access to some inheritance money her grandfather left her. We spoke online about what she should do with it and she told me she would like to use some of it for a deposit on a house.
After learning about Moneybox from Snoop I suggested she open a LISA (Lifetime ISA) and for every £4,000 a year she saved in the account the government would add an extra £1,000. I thought this was a great way to for her to save up a deposit, so I helped her set up an account. The app was simple and user friendly and she was able to set up an account and start saving almost instantly.
Be aware though, a LISA can only be used to buy your first property or for retirement. If you withdraw for any other reason you will lose the bonus payment.
I also set up Wealthify and Freetrade accounts for myself. The Wealthify app is the easier of the two investment apps as the app does all the investing for you. After signing up the app asks you a few questions to gauge your risk tolerance, income and investment style. After depositing, the app will invest your money for you into one of their funds. There is also an articles section on the app which I enjoyed reading through to learn more about investing.
Freetrade is a little more complicated as you must pick the stocks yourself but as the title suggests there are no management fees and is free to use.
Before signing up to any of these kinds of apps I always search to see if there are any kind of sign-up bonuses. Both Wealthify and Freetrade offer referral bonuses and once you’ve signed up you can also share a referral link to invite others.
Wealthify offer 5% cashback to you and a friend when they deposit £500 and stay invested for 3 months.
Freetrade’s offer is a free share worth up to £200 for both you and a friend after they deposit £1.
So, after receiving the sign-up bonuses and then using my referral links to sign up my partner I was already off to a flying start.
One final tip before I go, if you ever get stuck on what to do or how to use these kinds of apps I found some great tutorial videos by searching the companies on Youtube, they give great advice with step by step guides.
There are also plenty of reviews from ordinary people just giving their honest opinion on the apps to help you along the way.
Scheming Insurers Scuppered by Snoop
So this month Snoop was a godsend. Whilst at work, at the beginning of the month, we were all discussing car insurance. We were all comparing quotes and I found a common theme. Every year your insurance company will try charge you more than the previous year, even though you now have an extra years no claims bonus. Surely it should automatically be less, right?
This conversation reminded me that my insurance is due to expire this month. I checked my email and found my renewal quote in my spam folder. I opened it up to see they were quoting me £650, that was almost double of what I paid last year! It's almost like they hope you don't check so they can charge you more. (Note from Editor: They definitely hope you don’t check!)
I called the insurance company to complain and they managed to get my quote down to £425 which was still £100 more than I paid last year. They said it was the best they can do but I still wasn't happy. Next stop: Snoop.
I headed straight over to the payment hub section and clicked on the car insurance tab which took me to Go-Compare. Within minutes I found a quote for £310 and also received £250 free excess. Hopefully I won't need the free excess but it is certainly nice to have.
This was an absolute bargain compared to my original quote. I called my current insurance provider to inform them that I would be cancelling my renewal. They asked if they could try beat the quote, which I declined. I told them that even if they could beat it I won't be taking it after they tried over-charging me, twice!
From putting on the pounds (Ibs) to putting on the Pounds (£££)
Every month I like to look at my spending habits over the past month.
With all of us being in lockdown and not many places open, my spending has mainly been on food. Mainly from supermarkets but quite a lot on fast food.
Then I read a stat in the app that really shocked me. In under a year I have spent over £200 just on McDonalds. It’s no surprise to me that I have put on a few pounds but the fact I’ve spent that much money on McDonalds is ridiculous.
That’s the beauty of the app though, it shows you in black and white that the cost of these little treats add up. And I don’t know about you but I think that money could be better spent elsewhere!
With this new found information I intend to change my habits a little.
I’ve started by going for a walk on my lunch break to increase my step count and burn some calories.
I’ve started taking food to work so I’m not tempted to buy the breakfast sandwiches (which also saves money).
I’ve also cut down on my meat consumption and bought a ticket to a 12k obstacle course in June.
Knowing I have 3 months to get in shape I’m hoping this will get me back in the gym (when they open) and back out running on a weekend.
Wish me luck!
Less fast food, finance and family fun (for less!)
Last month I mainly focused on money spent on food, mainly fast food.
In the month of April we only ordered one takeaway and we used Quidco to earn some cashback.
Usually we will order a takeaway at least once a week so it’s a great improvement. Saving money and losing weight, two goals achieved at once 💪
At the beginning of the month, thanks to a nice reminder from Snoop I was able to take full advantage of last year’s ISA allowance and have now saved over 20K in a stocks and shares ISA.
Last week we also picked up a great bargain thanks to Snoop.
We bought one bottle of Carex which entitled us to a half-price ticket to Alton Towers so thanks to Snoop we have a fun family day out to look forward to this summer!
I also signed my 6 year old boy to 30 Days Wild (@30DaysWild) through The Wildlife Trusts.
It’s free to receive the pack but you can also make a donation to the charity as a thank you. Another great summer activity we found through using Snoop.
My little boy loves wildlife, nature and is keen environmentalist so he will really enjoy this activity.
Snoop also recommended TreeApp (@treeapp_uk) a cool little app that lets you plant trees for watching adverts! (The adverts are green / family friendly)
I let him choose the location of where the tree will be planted, we learn about the area and then we watch the ad’ together. The tree we planted today was in Peru!
With summer coming up I’m hoping to find more family activities through Snoop for us to enjoy. You should too!
Jon is going to save almost £14,000 and be mortgage free 5 years early
Snoop has once again been on top form. Here are some of my favourite snoops for the month of May…
By spending £40 I was able to save £5 by using the Snoop voucher code for Iceland.
Even if your fridge and freezer is full, it’s worth topping up on cleaning products, cupboard fillers and things that generally have a long expiry date to make the most of the saving.
There was also a very handy snoop about saving money on our mortgage by overpaying monthly.
The snoop takes you through to a mortgage calculator where you can enter a few details and it calculates how much you could save.
I was shocked by the amount we could save by overpaying by £100 a month – almost £14,000 and be mortgage free 5 years early!
After reading this we paid an extra £100 straight away and will continue to do so every month.
One of my favourite snoops this month was a recent one where they had compiled a list of all my top retailers and each one had a section on the best ways to save money whilst shopping there.
I’ve pinned this one to my favourites as this will be very useful. Whenever I know I’m going shopping I can quickly check the tips on how to save money beforehand.
Thanks again Snoop!
Not even winning the lottery would stop Jon checking Snoop every day!
So whilst browsing the app in June I found the perfect idea for a Father’s Day gift.
Snoop recommended an app called FreePrints which you can use to upload photos from your phone and they will print and send them to you and you only get charged for postage.
You can link the app to your Facebook account and upload and print the photos from your albums.
So for Father's day I bought a cheap photo album from eBay for £2.00 and printed 40 photos of my little boy for less than £2.00 postage.
The photos ranged from being a new-born to his 7th birthday. My dad absolutely loved it. Thanks Snoop!
Another great money saver Snoop helped me sign up for was a Co-op card which gave us £5 off our first £15 shop and gives you weekly money saving coupons.
Finally, I also took Snoop up on a recommendation to sign up to Curve.
This gave me £10 credit just for signing up and you can also make £25 for every friend you invite to join.
You can simply link all your other bank cards and loyalty cards to your Curve card and then use it like you would any other card in your wallet. It also offers cashback at loads of retailers so could be a great money saver.
Snoop also alerted me to the chance of getting 2 free cinema tickets. For the price of a £2 lottery ticket we were able to claim 2 cinema tickets from Cineworld and went to see Peter Rabbit 2.
I didn't win the lottery but even if I did, I would still be checking the Snoop App every day!
Check out smart and get some air time
This month I found two great money-saving apps whilst browsing Snoop, CheckoutSmart and Airtime Rewards.
CheckoutSmart is a cashback app that's linked to most supermarkets.
It's easy to set up and use. Before going shopping you just open the app and check out what cashback offers are available at your supermarket.
Then get your shopping, upload the receipt and they’ll put cashback into your account.
Whilst using the app I've found a few items that have rewarded 100% cashback which made the item completely free. And you can’t say fairer than that!
I also found another great cashback app called Airtime Rewards which gives you cashback you can use to pay off your phone bill.
I was a little sceptical at first but it does work.
You just link the app to your bank cards so that whenever you shop at one of their promoted retailers it will credit your account with the cashback which you can then use to pay your phone bill.
It also does a few bonuses, special offers and friend referrals to help you boost your balance.
Speaking of friend referrals, I also received a £5 Amazon voucher from Snoop this month for inviting a friend to sign up with them.
I used the voucher towards buying a paddling pool for my little boy to play in over the summer!
One of the great things about Snoop is that it reminds you when your contracts are coming to an end.
Both my mobile and energy contracts are ending in August and Snoop has given me plenty of notice so I can start searching for the best deal through there app.
I'm still searching right now but I know I'm going to find the best deal for me when the time comes.
Thanks again Snoop!
Music and Mobile for less
So this month Snoop informed me of the free podcasts you can listen to through the BBC Sounds App. I spent some time listening to Animal farm by George Orwell, it really is a timeless story and am really enjoying it. The story is read in 20 minute chapters so it's been easy to sneak in a chapter a day.
I also changed my mobile provider this month. Using Snoop I was able to find the cheapest provider for what I needed - a deal that gave me 100gb of data, unlimited text and unlimited calls for £15 a month less than I used to pay.
It was my partners birthday this month and Snoop gave me a great idea for a present for her. I bought her a nice pair of wireless headphones but also got her a 3 months free trial with Apple Music to go with them. There are so many music streaming companies now that you can easily get a free trial - before the end of the 3 months with Apple Music we will cancel the trial and start a free trial with Spotify or Amazon!
I have being doing this myself for nearly a year now without paying a penny. If you haven't done this yet and you love music I'd highly recommend it.