8 steps to spring clean your finances

spring cleanThese simple steps could make all the difference to your money this year
  1. Set yourself a financial goal maybe buying your first home, a new car, going on holiday or just saving for the future then make this your focus for your finances this year. Having a goal can help you stay on plan as you try to change your money habits.
  2. Put together a budget. It sounds boring, but it is the perfect place to start. It gives you the tool to look through your current spending and the opportunity to really question the activity on your bank account. try the Money Advice Service budget planner.
  3. Check the regular payments you are making. Are all the direct debits going out really necessary? Do you know what they are all for? Do you still use those subscriptions? Are you wasting money?
  4. Shop around. Don’t just renew insurance policies, utility bills such as gas, electric, phone, internet, mobile phones, TV packages or anything else you make regular payments – shop around for better deals. Even if you rent, you can still change gas & electricity providers (check with your landlord first). It does take time, but there are easy savings to be made and there are lots of comparison websites that help make this process quick and easy.
  5. Be brutally honest with yourself about your spending habits. Are you a late-night online shopper? Do you impulse buy? It’s these toxic spending habits that can stop you paying off debts or paying in to savings.
  6. Overdraft quicksand. Regularly going into your overdraft can easily suck you in to paying expensive bank charges every month. Overdraft is a warning sign that you aren’t living within your income. Overdraft is a debt and is often an expensive way to borrow. Perhaps you should consider a loan to clear your overdraft at an affordable interest rate. Ask you bank – most banks offer a cheaper agreed overdraft limit or even a small free overdraft. Our Engage Account with no overdraft facility could be a good way to budget and break the cycle of slipping into expensive borrowing habits.
  7. Check your bank statements carefully looking for payments you don’t know about, mistakes can happen! Bank charges you didn’t know about? Do you ever check your receipts in the shop to check you’ve been charged the correct amount? Errors can occur when you are shopping too.
  8. Remember to pay yourself. You’ve worked hard for your money, so saving regularly for the future with a savings account or into a pension fund is going to give you security in the future. 

Take control of your money today and spring clean your finances!