Not long ago someone in our family asked me about renewing their house insurance (people ask me the strangest things!). They'd always used an insurance broker who every year offered them what was in in theory the best policy for them, and had never questioned the advice they were given. They were interested to know what Catrina and I did.
I said that we normally go on a price comparison website to make sure we're getting the best deal, and offered to do the same for them. They were staggered to find that they could buy the policy from the same company the insurance broker was recommending, but with better cover in terms of the excess and the amounts covered, for over £200 a year less than the broker was offering. Not surprisingly they declined the deal the broker was offering and signed up for the online offer.
There's a weird thing in our society that very often being loyal puts you at a disadvantage. Whether it's car or house insurance, gas and electricity contracts, mobile phone contracts, bank interest rates or car breakdown cover in most cases being loyal will mean getting a worse deal year after year.
I'm sure there's a deep theological point to make there, but until I work out what it is I want to make the more obvious point to encourage us to be good stewards of the money God has entrusted us with. That means getting the best deals we can with the resources God has given us. Jesus said these words:
“‘Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:10-11)
I'm not suggesting anyone is being dishonest by paying over the odds for services, but I do want to suggest that part of being trustworthy is to steward the resources God has given us as wisely as we possibly can. I want to be judged trustworthy by God in these small things in order that he would trust me with true riches.
I'm not going to give you any sort of advice about which comparison websites to use, or how once you've used them to decide who to go with, other than to recommend Martin Lewis's Money Saving Expert website which is packed full of helpful advice on stewarding our finances well. (Martin is also a big fan of Christians Against Poverty - I'm told that every time he mentions them on TV or radio phone calls to the CAP debt advice phone line go up significantly).
And for those in our community who would struggle to use the Internet to do something like this please find someone else in our community who can help you. Part of community is us helping one another in exactly this sort of way. I love it!
Hopefully that helps somebody :)