With more time on my hands, I have had limited excuses to not get on with doing all the things I said I was too busy (Mrs Minted prefers the word ‘special’) to do.
I had meant to review my standing orders and direct debits for some time. I was recently told that the consumer had the power to delete DDs. I knew this was possible with SOs but always thought that only the receiver of DD payments had the ability to cancel them. I was wrong and it’s easy to do online.
What could have been a dull task turned out to make me feel positive about saving some money and feeling much more in control of my financial position.
Now that I have time to linger at the barber and other waiting rooms, I decided to tackle my many magazine subscriptions with long expired low-price initial deals.
• Vanity Fair: I no longer need to look intelligent and cosmopolitan on my reduced flight schedule. While it looked appropriate on the 6am Zurich flight, it seems less relevant on the Easyjet to Palma.
• Conde Nast Traveller: £10,000 holidays feel increasingly irrelevant with no job. Cornwall is the answer, I tell myself. Tried and tested family holidays.
• Top Gear: Team Minted are not in the market for the new Lambo (much to the dismay of Darling Son).
• GQ and Esquire: these are easier to find in waiting rooms than the others.
I also found an SO for a charity sponsoring the education of Vietnamese orphans. I started this plan in 1995 but have heard nothing in over 15 years and realised he would be almost 40 by now – time to find another charity to support.
My last SO was for the RNLI. I kept this due to their great work and because we may need them one day during the annual Team Minted trip to Cornwall.
All in all that’s about £440 a year saved. Not bad for five minutes work. It’s really worth doing as unwanted SOs and DDs can really waste cash, particularly as DDs remain live even if the relationship with the company you are paying has ended. But don’t slash and burn indiscriminately. A DD could be an important payment where not paying it might impact your credit score.
Fed up with your bank? Check our guide to switching accounts here.