Lots of us pay our council tax over 10 months which means that we have a two-month break from paying every year in February and March. Today I’m going to share a few ideas on what to do with the extra money you’ll find yourself with over the next two months…
First of all, I’m going to tell you what I’m planning on spending mine on and because that’s not too money saving, I’ve asked some of the UK Money Bloggers to save the day and share their ideas which are much better than mine if you want to do something sensible with your money.
So, me first then? If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that Miss Frugal and I go somewhere on holiday together for a few days every year around April time and have done since she was about ten.
We started small with trips to London and then two years ago we decided to go wild and booked four nights in Cyprus. Last year we went a bit mad and booked a bargain trip to New York which was honestly amazing and we were pretty sure it couldn’t be beaten.
This year, we’ve decided to go all out so we’ve booked a trip to Los Angeles which definitely isn’t as extravagant as it sounds – we got a great deal on flights through British Airways in their sale and used some of our Avios points to get a discount off them and we booked a lovely but good value hotel to stay at when we’re there.
So all in all, thanks to January sales and loyalty discounts it’s not much more than we budgeted for and to make up the shortfall we’ve moved our annual trip to October instead of April.
This means that the money I save by not paying council tax in February and March is going straight into my holiday fund. It’s not the most sensible option around I know but I plan to pay for this the same way as I pay for all of our travel – by saving in other areas to free up money for fun.
Now, as I said, I know my suggestion is probably not the best use of the extra money for most people so the lovely UK Money Bloggers have shared some much more sensible uses for the money:
Katy from Katy Kicker
Buy a TV licence for the year. You’ll have one less direct debit then.
Top up the gas/electricity accounts after the coldest months. This could avoid your monthly direct debit increasing unexpectedly.
Buy BT line rental for a year to save money. This saves money over the year, and gets you one month’s line rental for free per 12 months.
Joseph from ThriftyChap
I always try and put one months worth away into savings or if we haven’t booked summer holiday, it goes towards that. The other month goes on car service & MOT as that’s due one of the months we don’t pay. Very glam!
Fiona from Savvy in Somerset
I think the money saved could be a great gateaway to a decent Emergency Fund. These are something people often want to have but if money is already tight they struggle to get started with. Having £300 already in there could be a great way to get going without feeling like your not getting anywhere by only saving £5 or £10 a week (which might not seem worth it) Hopefully starting with a large a large amount would spur people on to keep adding to it.
Charlotte from Charlotte Musha
I save it to put into our car fund, for things like new tyres or engine check up , the things that crop up that might not be a regular yearly thing! Or…. It is a nice chunk to be able to do a wardrobe update, replace the items that are getting overly worn like boots or jackets
Once bills are out of the way, I either save the remainder in an emergency fund (as mentioned above) or put it towards birthday /Christmas to spread the cost & prevent spending on impulse nearer the time. Christmas items are much cheaper this time of year too & lots of up cycled second hand gifts can be found in charity shops.
Clare from My Money Cottage
Our council tax is just under £130 per month. We use February’s money for our youngest’s birthday and then any we haven’t spend plus March’s money goes in our Christmas fund.
Pete from Household Money Saving
I put mine into an account and save it for my car tax (which is due in April). If it’s not one tax, it’s another!
Emma from The Money Whisperer
A nice little top up to either your ISA or pension as a one off contribution
Charlotte from Shoestring Chic
We tend to put ours into our Christmas fund.
Faith from Much More with Less
I cut the cost of my smartphone by buying a handset, and then paying for a SIM-only deal every month. By choosing a model that is a couple of years old, this saves shedloads compared to an expensive contract for the latest all-singing, all-dancing phone. Only trouble is, you need enough money up front to afford the mobile in the first place. A month or two of Council Tax money would be more than enough to buy a handset outright, allowing you to save on your monthly mobile bills for years to come!
Kaye from Earning by the Sea
I’ve allocated this to my matched betting fund which will help me to increase my ongoing earnings.
Jen from My Mummy’s Pennies
It could be a great way of spending out to make your home work more efficiently, such as investing in a hive or similar smart energy system to save money throughout the year.
Andy from Be Clever with your Cash
If you leave it in your bank it could get eaten up by normal spending. So move it to a different account, and look for one with the best interest rates. You can get 5% at Nationwide for one year on balances up to £2,500. How you use it is up to you!
Jane from Shoestring Cottage
As we are revamping our sitting room the extra money is earmarked for that. Otherwise it would be straight in the contingency fund. I suspect for many people, living pay cheque to pay cheque, it will just be absorbed into daily living.
Lynn from Mrs Moneypenny
Our council tax is £190 per month. So we save it for our house and car insurance both due in March/April. If we pay them in one go we avoid the extra insurance tax you pay when paying monthly.
Emily from A Thrifty Fox
Ours is going towards a holiday cottage. It’s £370 across both months so will almost pay for it outright. Nectar points and other gift cards will fund the rest.
Sara from Debt Camel
If you are in a financial mess, your first thought needs to be to pay off any priority debts (rent/mortgage arrears, utility bills, parking tickets etc) or very difficult debts such as Amigo loans, logbook loans or Brighthouse. Next in priority is the very high interest debt such as catalogues or Vanquis-style bad credit cards. After that, you could just pay a chunk of a credit card or perhaps save it up as the start of an emergency fund.
Becky from Baby Budgeting
To be honest Cass the extra saving pays off what we OVER spent at Christmas so it is very hand. I’d always say to people get any debts paid off first it makes the treats so much sweeter.
Michelle from Time and Pence
We always get both of our cars serviced in February so we don’t have to find the money each year it just works out smoothly with the spare cash.
Kerry from Moneysaving Journeys
It goes into our holiday fund but to specifically be used for meals out whilst away.
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address here and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter, BlogLovin or Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram
Pin for later: