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  Posted by: Dental Design      4th December 2017

Jeremy Hedrick is Vice President of Network Development Careington international and Munroe Sutton

Let’s face facts: the cost of living has risen. For most of us, balancing our books now has to be a priority, and finding ways to save is highly important. This is one of the many reasons why many of us have tried to simplify our finances.

To prevent us from being forced to keep track of when to pay bills for our gas and electricity and saving for what could potentially be a large outlay, the majority of people have moved away from quarterly billing to monthly direct debit. Though this can occasionally mean overpaying in the short term, as the monthly sum is based on averages, any overpayment will be refunded. Once the details are saved, we don’t have to worry about saving for utilities each month. When our salaries are paid, the money simply comes out automatically in manageable chunks.

Many of us need a car to get to and from work, and for family life. While having transport readily available helps us navigate our busy days, the price of a car, even a used model, is very high, and thus many of us spread the cost. Main car dealerships offer a variety of packages – from hire purchase to personal contract purchase – depending on the needs and means of the customer. By paying a monthly sum, we then have use of a decent car and can get to where we need to go without breaking the bank.

Food shopping takes a lot of time and can be very costly, especially if you are raising a family and have several mouths to feed. While going out to shop for food may mean you can hunt for bargains, there are also the petrol – or public transport – costs of travelling to an out of town supermarket. This is one of the reasons why the number of people using internet shopping has increased dramatically. All the major supermarkets now offer a delivery service, and many of them provide the option to simply set up a monthly or weekly shop, paid for automatically – this way, you can set your food budget and stick to it, rather than being tempted by the offers you might find among the aisles at your local shop.

Let’s not forget the festive season, either. Christmas shopping starts early for many, not the least because it is expensive. There are many schemes around to help people save for Christmas. Some focus on gifts, and others on food and trimmings. For many of these, very small monthly payments are made throughout the year, and then all the food needed for a fantastic family Christmas is delivered to your door. This means people don’t have to worry about the expensive Christmas food shop, instead knowing they are already prepared.

Even health and beauty has become an area where paying monthly is increasingly more popular. The rise of beauty boxes – with a range of products delivered to your door each month – has been huge, with more and more variety becoming available. With no time to shop, a personalised box delivery is an ideal way to receive favourite products at reduced prices.

With this in mind, since direct debits and standing orders are used in so many other areas of our lives to simplify our finances and make life more affordable, why don’t we apply this to dentistry? A visit to the dentist can prove costly if treatment is needed, particularly if that treatment is complex, and the expense can hit hard for those who are already on a tight budget. Indeed, budget can be a huge barrier to some, preventing them from getting the care they need. Equally, someone may wish they could afford an aesthetic dental treatment, such as tooth whitening, to improve the appearance of their smile, but see it as likewise unattainable.

The Munroe Sutton Healthy Discounts Plan can help patients with this. Since this is not dental insurance, this is a very simple, affordable plan which gives members a 20% discount on dental treatments at participating practices. This includes check-ups and necessary work such as root canal treatment, as well as aesthetic dental work such as braces and tooth whitening. A small monthly or yearly payment is made, and dental treatment simply becomes more affordable.

As we now simplify our finances in so many areas of our lives, it makes sense to offer the same option with dentistry. Making essentials more affordable through monthly payments is sensible, and relieves the financial pressures many feel. Applying that same logic to dentistry will help keep people smiling beautiful smiles for longer.

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Mintel, “29% of UK Online Grocery Shoppers are Shopping for Groceries More Online now Than a Year Ago” [Accessed 12/10/17]

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