Some dos and don’ts to help your finances this year

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If you’re keen to get your finances into shape this year – here are a few dos and don’ts you might want to consider.

Don’t:

Leave your savings sitting in a low interest account and forget about them.

Do:

Check out all the savings accounts on offer and compare interest rates. The rate of interest on your current savings account may have changed since you opened the account– so it’s worth keeping an eye on it. Be prepared to shift money around where possible to make sure your savings are working for you and you’re getting the best deal. Look online to find up-to-date ‘best interest rate tables’ for the highest paying accounts available. For example, you could try the Which! Savings Accounts review.

Don’t:

Automatically renew your insurance policy with the same provider just because it’s the easiest thing to do.

Do:

Compare prices from a range of providers to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your insurance needs.  There are many different providers out there in a competitive market – so it makes sense to shop around. You could use an online comparison tool to quickly get quotes from a range of providers to see where you could save money. However, always remember to compare policies on a like-for-like basis, as the cheapest policy might not offer you sufficient cover for your requirements.

Don’t:

Let your debts fester. Tackling debt head-on is the best policy, doing nothing will only exacerbate your financial issues.

Do:

Think about transferring your credit card debt on to a 0% balance transfer credit card. You will probably have to pay a transfer fee, but it should mean you don’t have any interest to pay on your debt for at least a year. Make sure you pay off the debt by the time your interest-free period ends – or you could find the interest rate jumps up considerably.

If you’re struggling with debt, there are debt management services and free advice available to you, so don’t suffer it alone. Speak to your nearest Citizen’s Advice Bureau who will be able to give you confidential advice on resolving debt issues. Also, the National Debtline and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service offer free, confidential and independent advice on how to address your debt problems. You can speak to their advisors over the phone or get help online.

Don’t:

Buy expensive lunches every day at work. Ok, I can be guilty of this myself, but once you add up the costs – it can soon make you lose you appetite! If you spend £5 every working day – that’s £25 a week, around £100 a month and roughly £1200 a year.

Do:

Make your own sandwiches or bring leftovers in from home. This will obviously require some preparation the night before and may also require some additional purchases for your weekly shop. However, a little planning could save you quite a substantial amount each week. If you’re not keen on the idea of bringing your own lunch – perhaps budget a little more stringently. Tins of soup from the supermarket, bread and fruit are all very thrifty lunch options.

Don’t:

Forget about your ISA

Do:

Take advantage of your cash ISA and put as much as you can into it before the end of the tax year. It’s a tax-free way to save after all!

Policy Expert

Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information on what‘s covered under your home insurance policy, speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.