13 Financial Horrors to Avoid This Halloween
They can suck you dry and haunt you for years. No, it’s not the supernatural, but 13 very real financial horrors that could end up costing you cash.
You don’t need a clove of garlic or silver bullet to avoid them though. Just following some simple tips will help make sure you’re not stuck in financial purgatory.
1. Failing to keep track of your spending
Budgeting is important, but research shows that 19 million of us don’t have an approach to budgeting they feel works. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you.
2. Not saving for a rainy day
A hefty 21 million of us don’t have a modest £500 in savings to cover unexpected bills like replacing the fridge or mending the car. Of course, it can be difficult to find spare money amidst the costs of everyday living, but you may be surprised where you can cut back.
3. Falling for scams
Did you know eight scam calls happen every second? This is a scary stat, but knowledge is your greatest weapon against this foe.
4. Not putting money in your pension
Putting money into your pension pot can help give you the lifestyle you want in retirement. The maximum basic State Pension is far below what most people say they hope to retire on.
5. Not seeking help with debt
If debt is haunting you, it can seem easier to hide from it. But this is never a good idea. Just talking about it can help, and there are places to get free, confidential advice.
6. Paying for things you don’t use
Do you use your gym membership? How about that magazine or film streaming subscription? It’s easy to forget about the money coming out of your account each month, but it quickly adds up. If you don’t use it, cancel it.
7. Not shopping around
Loyalty is normally a great character trait, but not so much with companies. Sticking with the same supermarket or insurance provider could end up costing you in the long run. Be prepared to shop around and always keep an eye out for auto-renewal on your insurance policies.
8. Sticking with your bank
Does your bank pay zero interest on savings? Are you paying a monthly fee for extras you don’t need? If so you might be better off switching – and you might even get a cash bonus for doing it.
9. Not switching and fixing energy
If you’ve never switched your energy supplier, you’re probably on a standard tariff, which is usually the most expensive one out there. It’s easy to compare what you’re paying with how much gas and electricity would cost you at a different company. Fixing can save some households around £200.
10. Not paying your credit card off in full
Using a credit card for your spending can have many benefits, from added legal protection to cashback. However, credit card debt can quickly mount up if you don’t pay your card off in full each month. Avoid just paying off the minimum repayments, and pay by Direct Debit to minimise credit card troubles.
11. Wasting money on extended warranties
When you buy white goods or similar products, they’ll all come with a manufacturer’s warranty. If your TV or fridge is faulty you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 that says products should last a reasonable time. So there’s rarely any need for an expensive extended warranty when you buy.
12. Failing to consider the full costs
When you’re making big purchases, don’t forget to account for additional costs such as moving fees and maintenance. It’s not just property where the extras all add up – buying a car or holiday are just a couple of other examples where there’s often more to pay.
13. Skipping the terms and conditions
Not reading or understanding the full terms and conditions of financial products could be costing you. They can be boring and dense, but reading them will help ensure you’re getting what you need – and what you can afford. That means checking your insurance covers you, and looking for dates that special deals end, for example.
If you would like to talk about any of the issues in this article or need more general help with your finances, please get in touch with us.