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’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!