Spring is upon us and just like cleaning out your kitchen cupboards and re-organising the garage, giving your finances a good scrub down should be part of your annual routine.
Ideally, of course, you’d take a look at how you’re doing financially more than once a year, but even if it’s only every 12 months, with a bit of work and focus, you could potentially give your bank balance a huge boost.
Take control, and ditch unnecessary spending
The first thing to do is to list your weekly income and expenditure. It often surprises many that they could save hundreds of pounds a year by cutting out ‘luxury’ spending, which might include a coffee on the way to work, or a rarely-used gym membership.
Give yourself a budget for regular purchases, such as food and clothes, make sure you shop around, use points cards, and be strict with yourself!
Slashing insurance bills
For most of us, insurance is something we simply can’t do without. But many people don’t realise that by comparing policies and switching insurers they could save considerable sums.
Home insurance, for example, is vital for most homeowners and renters, and it wouldn’t be unusual for cover on a regular three-bedroom house, in an ordinary suburban area, to cost around £600 a year. However, by comparing deals with different insurers, or by going through an insurance broker, it wouldn’t be hard to shave 30%, or even more, off this figure.
Savings can often be made in the same way on other types of vital cover, such as car, travel and life insurance.
Switch and save on utilities
The ‘switch and save’ principle also applies to utility bills, such as for gas, electricity, broadband and water.
There are plenty of online comparison sites where you can input your current payments and costs and see if it’s worth switching.
Again, in the time it takes to clean out your fridge, you may find you could save hundreds of pounds a year.
Muck out the mortgage
Mortgage payments are often the largest unavoidable expense of all.
But banks and other finance companies are currently offering historically low rates on home loans. So by comparing your current rate with what’s on offer, you may find you’re able to slash hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, from your annual mortgage payments.
You could then use the freed up cash to overpay each month, and end up achieving the dream of being mortgage free sooner than expected.
Double your savings rate
Savings rates are very low at the moment, but the percentage difference in what’s on offer can be huge. Some savings accounts might only be offering 0.5% or less, but others currently pay closer to 1%; that’s a difference of 100%!
Also, if you know you don’t need easy access to your cash, consider locking it away in a savings bond for two, three or even more years to get rates nearer to 2% or more.
As an online insurer, Policy Expert help our customers to compare insurance products and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 15 March 2017