Tales of Robot Hood - Snoop - Cheering Image Robot Hood
Article Author Image - Steve
Tales of Robot Hood | Steve Saunders
Intro post

Steve Saunders has used Snoop to get a better tax code, boost his credit score and claim £376 back from his water company

I’m Steve Saunders, I’m 56 years old and I live in East Devon where I work at my local council in a small team that helps event organisers with licensing and planning festivals and outdoor events. It’s a full time job and I have been lucky to avoid furlough and redundancy at work, although I know just how tough things are for most people and for businesses that I work with. During the first springtime lockdown, I realised I needed to start thinking about how to plan and budget my family’s finances because of what we are all going through. Snoop has been so helpful in that respect with budget planning and other tips I’ve received so more of that shortly!

I’m married and my wife, Louise works part time. It would be fair to say that although we aren’t particularly well or badly paid, we were drifting along without too much regard or thought to our finances until the pandemic. My wife was furloughed and although we still had some of her income, we realised that we needed to prepare and to plan how we could live efficiently or as the saying goes, ‘within our means.’ Snoop has really helped in that respect and has saved us money too. We have two grown up kids, our son, Jack is in full time education in Oxford and our daughter, Alice moved to London in the summer after her contract with the NHS here in Devon ended. I’m immensely proud of how they have both coped and how they have used the challenge to shop around for better deals, to think about savings and to consider their own finances more than they would have done before. 

We still have a mortgage which we’ve had with Santander since moving home 4 years ago. Both kids rent their properties and so as a family we’re always looking at the best options for saving money. For me, the option of just receiving a mortgage statement every year is no longer enough and by using banking Apps and more recently Snoop, we understand how to check our remaining balance along with keeping an eye on potential mortgage deals. When my son needed to apply for his rented accommodation, using Snoop he already has his budget and outgoings prepared and ready to send. 

So I downloaded Snoop in June 2020 after reading positive reports online at ‘money to the masses’ which featured the bank accounts I have. I liked the style of Snoop that was shown, it appealed to me that it was free and also that it was a new App receiving positive feedback in the first few months. At that time I was using another App that begins with ‘Y’ that seemed too complicated when linking my bank accounts and so I changed over to Snoop. I have nothing but praise for it and I can’t think of any other app or website that has helped me with my finances as Snoop has. It was so simple to set-up, to link my accounts and although it was only launched in April 2020, it has become really important for what we need it for. 

I have passed on Snoop tips and help to my friends and to my own kids who are both Snoopers and they have started using the App to help with monthly budgeting and managing their own spending. The great thing about the Snoops I receive is that they are so up to date and current, whether it money off at supermarkets or voucher offers, or just the helpful Snoops about your spending and the little nudges about whether I’m overspending with utility companies. I’m now an avid and passionate Snoop user.

Since downloading the app, there have been many occasions that Snoop has helped. Here’s just a few:

✅ We’ve taken up the Snoop to set up a Family Spotify account recently to merge one Spotify account,

✅ I used the HMRC tip to gain a better tax code because I’m working from home, that has reduced my tax payments, something I’ve not had in my working life before!

✅ I’ve taken on the tips to boost my credit score so when I look at re-mortgaging we’ll be in a stronger position,

✅ Snoop saved me £376 this year with the wonderful tip about contacting my local water authority and guess what, I had been over paying my water bill for the last 4 years and received the refund I didn’t know I was entitled too. This has given my family a 6 monthly holiday from paying water bills!

✅ My wife has a lovely new iPhone coming for Christmas thanks to the Snoop about four months 0% credit with Paypal. I know I wouldn’t have seen this offer without Snoop.

I love ‘pinning’ Snoops that really relate to us as a couple and for us, the simple explanations of the furlough scheme have been really helpful. Snoop has changed my way of thinking about our finances, which for a couple in our mid-fifties is great. Last year we wouldn’t have even considered how much we spent on broadband, mobile phones or the weekly shop and so Snoop offers all this information when it is needed more than ever! I check my incoming Snoops daily now, the easiest thing to do is to sit down with a coffee first thin in the morning before the day gets started to see what updates have been sent along with checking my spending summary. It’s even easier now that it’s possible to Pin relevant Snoops and also by browsing Categories too.

Snoop - Planuary Image
Article Author Image - Steve
Tales of Robot Hood | Steve Saunders
January Post

Snoop’s ‘Planuary’ guide helped me get off to the best possible start to 2021

Snoop provided the chance for everyone to get organised for the year ahead with a four-step guide called ‘Planuary’. At the start of the year many of us begin fitness campaigns and, although I chose to run every day for January, I also realised with helpful tips from Snoop, that it’s just as important to consider the health of our personal finances too. 

Planuary has helped me get off to the best possible start to 2021 and arrived in four parts. Step one looked at monthly budgeting and how to make the most out of the Payment Hub – a simple to use feature that lets me view all my upcoming payments. Step two looked at credit card repayments and had helpful information about chipping away at money owed, this coming at the right time after Christmas! Step three offered tips for checking regular bills which was easy to do using my Snoop Payment Hub. By the time step four arrived I was already moving ahead when Snoop dropped tips about making extra cash with a useful reminder about selling unwanted items around the house using eBay.

February is going to be a busy month with the all latest Snoops that I’ve just checked out too! I’ve joined the SnoopSpace Forum where as a fully-fledged member you can find useful categories, tips and feedback from other members along with news from Snoop on new releases and launches. By finding just a few minutes out of every day, we can all browse and pin Snoops and, although I’m not yet ready to switch my energy provider just yet, I will definitely be doing that later this year. It’s worth taking a look to see what you can save by switching providers too and you’ll find helpful details about whether energy prices are going to rise in the app.

With many of us working from home, I eagerly read the Snoop on “how to boost your broadband speed”. As a result, I’ve ordered a power adapter cable that will improve my Wi-Fi by hardwiring my laptop into the broadband router. There really is a tip for everyone on Snoop and when my son had a problem paying in a cheque he had received at Christmas, we checked Snoop’s ‘Quick tip’ for banks that let you pay in cheques through their app and we found that his bank was there which allowed him to do it.

In addition to making savings, some recent purchases have been made too. After seeing recent Snoops it will be even easier getting outdoors now with my new Regatta coat that came with 70% off the original price, all thanks to the shopping Snoop. With so many families separated in these difficult times, we also took advantage of the Snoop regarding M&S couriered bouquets by sending our daughter some lovely flowers to cheer her up. In the coming month I will be looking at many more useful Snoops and although my running challenge is coming to an end, my budget health check, with the help from Snoop, will last all year.

The weekend ahead is already planned by listing items around the house on eBay and who knows, there could even be some cash arriving from a few sales in the weeks ahead too - so thank you Snoop!

Snooper Stories - Snoop - HiFi Image
Article Author Image - Steve
Tales of Robot Hood | Steve Saunders
February Post

Steve’s Snoops are making sure his bills aint jumpin’ and the Spotify tricks mean his house is pumpin’

Snoop’s success from January continues as we begin to emerge from lockdown!

After helping us to organise our finances last month, I’ve continued to eagerly checking my regular bills with Snoop (every Sunday) to see what’s coming up for the week ahead. Snoop really is that loyal friend who just keeps giving!

I personally can’t wait for Snoop’s new ‘Skills’ (coming soon) that will provide a new ‘Payday Predictor’ to project how much money will be in your account. Thankfully, whilst waiting for new developments, we can still rely on Snoop to keep a close eye on Energy, Credit Cards, Broadband and Mortgage spending. 

I’ve added all my accounts now after the latest app makeover to show pending balances and payments. Spotting changes to payments for recurring bills is now even easier to see and Snoop helped me spot that my council tax payments were spread over 10 months rather than 12 with helpful details for changing payments across the full year. Although it may help some of us by having February and March clear of payments, this tip has helped me by having 12 lower monthly payments spread across the coming year.

Online shopping has never been easier, or more necessary, and so when Snoop alerted me to available deals, I took advantage of the Co-op the ‘freezer deal’ discount and also for 20% off wine box orders at Morrisons. Snoop also helped me to see that I have been spending frequently in one local supermarket and I spotted the tip for downloading the Lidl app to get £5 off a +£25 shop as a new customer.

Looking ahead, Snoop has alerted me to the fact that we’re overpaying for energy and by calculating when my current energy deal ends, I’m planning on being one of the customers who can switch providers to save over £130 a year.

I’ve mentioned before that Snoop offers something for everyone and I shared the tip with my son about switching a current account to HSBC. By arranging his income along with two standing orders, he’s now one of the new customers eligible for the £125 incentive to switch accounts.

Snoops smart tip about importing music files into Spotify really was a gamechanger for my wife and we’ve added her favourite tracks from the 1980’s and 90’s using the update. You can also check out other cool Spotify tricks so you’ll not only be saving money with Snoop, you can also have all your favourite music playing around the house to boost your mood and lift your spirits too!

Snooper Stories - Snoop - Cactus Image
Article Author Image - Steve
Tales of Robot Hood | Steve Saunders
March Post

Snoop has the habit of finding linked deals…

With evenings getting lighter and days getting longer, the need to get out in the garden was boosted with the Snoop tip for getting £5 off with a £30 spend at B&Q.

As a married couple, who are now two new B&Q club card members, we’ve instantly saved £10 on a bulk buy of plants, tools and growbags to keep us busy over the weekend.

Snoop has the habit of finding linked deals and on the same trip to the DIY store we called in to Halfords after seeing the ‘spend £1 to get a free MOT, before 19 April'.

With our car now booked in for an MOT usually costing £38.95 we’ve made savings at two local stores in one trip!

Running a car can be costly and so after seeing the Snoop where the RAC has launched ‘pay per mile’ car insurance, I passed this on to my son who has been working from home and using his car less.

The RAC cover is for anyone driving less than 110 miles each week (or under 6000 annually) and he’s now on track to pay just over 4p per mile as a low mileage driver saving him hundreds of pounds in the year ahead.

I can’t praise Snoop highly enough, there’s something for every family member and sticking with Transport related savings, our daughter has planned her next train journey home in May by taking advantage of the ‘Split Ticketing’ deal that Snoop highlighted.

By splitting the train tickets over the full journey and by picking off peak times for a return train journey, costs have been halved!

One final family money saver this month has been the Snoop that highlighted overpaying for unused mobile phone data each month.

Some extra research helped us to understand that by being out of contract as EE customers and by switching to SIM only deals, it will cut our monthly fees and allow us to gift data when it’s needed on the ‘My EE’ app.

A few busy days in the garden hasn’t stopped me checking my monthly spending summary that Snoop provided for March and a change to a regular insurance payment helped me see that a payment had increased.

The timing was perfect as Snoop also shared ‘8 ways to win when it comes to home insurance’ with helpful tips for cutting insurance costs.

Using the link to speedy comparisons, I found a quote for £120 less than I paid last year and with lower costs by increasing the policy excess too.

I’ve also saved the tip for ‘not auto renewing’ next year when the quote arrives as it pays to shop around and to compare quotes!

I know I can rely on Snoop to keep a close eye on my Mortgage spending and the helpful information for Santander customers like me, has helped me realise that I can overpay in the future.

With constant savings each and every month thanks to Snoop, I have calculated that by overpaying an extra £100 on my monthly mortgage payments will reduce the repayment term and also reduce the interest.

The Santander banking app allows a monthly mortgage overpayment without any charges which I will be taking up from April.

So with Snoop helping me to save and to cut costs, the more that will help me to overpay to reduce my mortgage.

All in all, Snoop has once again provided me and my family another super saving month ranging from a tenner off new plants in the garden through to slashing my mortgage in the months ahead - well done Snoop!

Snooper Stories - Snoop - Loyalty Penalty Image
Article Author Image - Steve
Tales of Robot Hood | Steve Saunders
April Post

Snoop is helping Steve overcome the loyalty penalty 💪

After saving my family money over the first three months this year, it was time to check my April monthly payments with Snoop which was really helpful. 

Snoop informed me that my home broadband payments were too high and a quick look at the link to check Broadband deals saved us £15 each month along with receiving a £75 voucher gift card by switching providers. 

I wouldn’t have checked this without Snoop letting me know that I was overpaying and also out of contract, the yearly saving will be £180 so it’s really worth checking.

Another useful check that I am using is the monthly ‘Your Money’ option where Snoop lists my monthly bank transactions. 

I previously used another app for this (🤯) however with Snoop the details are clearer (😌 🤟) you can check your spending easily and the display shows the logo or brand of every payment made. 

If that’s not enough, clicking away from ‘Transactions’ and on to ‘Categories’ will help you see where the big hitters are in your spending! 

Just checking the groceries category has helped me realise I was showing too much loyalty and spending at one supermarket. 

That’s helped me to focus on checking deals and value for money with other supermarkets. 

Other categories include transport, shopping and eating out and will help if you spend over budget month by month. 

A tip to remember is to keep connecting all your bank and card accounts because this will help you realise how much money is being spent month by month.

If that isn’t sufficient to keep you on track - the Snoop Payment Hub really helps by showing spending on products such as your mortgage, home insurance, energy bills and credit cards.

This section has helped me to see where savings can be made and I can recommend checking your own Payment Hub regularly.

Saving and budgeting deserves a reward and so we’re planning some days out - we all need those right now!

The entertainment Snoop for ‘Days Out Deals’ offers something for all ages and anyone interested can get 60% off, free children tickets along with 2 days for 1 in London when travelling by train. 

So our family is looking forward to a cheaper train journey and meeting relatives at Thorpe Park with 36% off ticket entry. Can’t wait!

There’s also information in the Entertainment section of Snoop on using Codes for Netflix if you decide to stay home, together with a 3 month trial of free music from Amazon.

In the month ahead, the greener apps promoted by Snoop for swapping groceries with Olio are drawing my attention and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s available in my local neighbourhood.

Once again, tips and help from Snoop have saved me even more money in the year ahead along with offering some quick wins with purchases too, thank you Snoop!

Snooper Stories - Snoop - 50-30-20 Image
Article Author Image - Steve
Tales of Robot Hood | Steve Saunders
July Post

Snoop is on track to help me save £1.5k

As we moved into the summer holidays, Snoop provided us all the chance to check our finances with the latest ‘golden budgeting tips’ to focus on budgeting right now.

I love the fact that the Snoop shows all my accounts under the ‘Your Money’ section by neatly viewing what I have in my current account and also what I owe.

I took some time to sit down with a coffee at the weekend to understand my income and outgoings as Snoop suggested.

Snoop has helped me realise that saving is important and by putting away small monthly amounts will help me with the dreaded December costs (I won’t mention Christmas with 5 months to go)!

Try it for yourself, I’ve used the 50-30-20 rule that Snoop highlighted to help me meet financial targets – thank you Snoop.

I knew my outstanding debt needed tackling at the start of the year which Snoop also helped me with and by using all the tips and help Snoop has given this year, I’ve chipped away at credit cards and my regular bills using my Snoop Payment Hub.

This allowed me to reduce my water bill (saving me £376) after using the tip for checking my account.

Switching my energy provider also saved me money and I’ve made countless savings over the year by using Snoop discounts and offers.

Broadband deals saved us £15 a month along with receiving a £75 voucher gift card by switching providers.

I wouldn’t have checked this without Snoop letting me know that I was overpaying and also out of contract. My yearly saving will be £180 so it’s really worth checking.

I can see what’s coming up for the week ahead by taking a regular look at my weekly spending summary and I can spot when some bills are increasing.

Keeping a close eye on Energy, Credit Cards, Broadband and Mortgage spending has been so easy and I’ve added all my accounts with Snoop to help with comparing deals and offers.

Snoop alerted me when I was out of contract for my mobile phone and by switching to a SIM only deal, it cut my monthly fees and saved me even more money.

Using Snoop’s links to speedy comparisons I found home insurance for £120 less than I paid last year. It really does pay to shop around and compare quotes!

Snoop helped me as a Santander customer with a mortgage to realise that I can use those savings and smaller monthly bills to ‘manage my mortgage’ and I can overpay monthly mortgage payments without any charges.

Saving can be fun too and Snoop has alerted us all to cheaper Cinema tickets, discounted takeaways, money off days-out and many online shopping vouchers too.

It really is never too late to start budgeting and I have Snoop to thanks for helping me make so many savings already this year!

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