Quick Ways to Detox Your Finances This January
By now, we’re betting you’re sick of the sight of tinsel, the smell of turkey and you’re regretting those eight mince pies you scoffed during the Queen’s Speech.
The health industry knows you’re feeling over-indulged right now so push lots of regimes, pills and potions to detox yourself back into health.
But is it only your waistband that is feeling tight? What about your wallet? Now Christmas and New Year is done and dusted, it’s the perfect time to put yourself through a money detox. We’re not saying that you have to cut out spending and sit around in the dark to save a few quid, but with a bit of organisation at the beginning of January you can set yourself up for a more financially successful and less stressful year.
Create yourself a budget
This may seem like an obvious one, but sitting down for half an hour and figuring exactly what you’ve got coming in and what is going out, is going to set you on the right track to sorting out your finances.
You just need to gather all your paperwork (or whatever you can find online), including bank statements and bills and enter all the information into our Budget Planner tool that does all the hard work for you. The planner will then do all the calculations for you and give you a breakdown in of your finances, along with personalised tips to help you make the most of your money.
Get a handle on your debt
Right, it’s January 2018 – Now is the time to sort this out. No putting it off any longer.
You can get help some totally free advice from a debt specialist who will tell you how to speak to the people you owe money to and give you tips to help you pay back your debts in the right order.
Get your standing orders and Direct Debits in order
Did you set up a standing order or Direct Debit months/maybe years ago and have completely forgotten about it? It’s really common to find you’ve had £5 or more come out of your bank account every month for something you haven’t been using.
January is the perfect time to go into your bank account and get rid of all those unneeded subscriptions. You know, that free trial you forgot to cancel or the insurance for that tech product you no longer have. Delete them and save yourself some cash.
At the same time, set some up to cover your bills and make life easier. Pay your rent/mortgage, minimum payment to debts, utilities etc by Direct Debit and relax knowing you’ve got it all sorted.
Get switching and cut the cost of your bills by hundreds of pounds
‘Switching’ is the eighth wonder of the world, yet lots of people never do it because it seems like a faff – but you can cut hundreds of pounds off your bills when you stop being loyal to your current providers.
The sad fact is that companies typically give the best deals to newbies, and the longer you’re with a provider, the higher your prices are likely to be.
So switch – drop them, and not only get a cheaper deal, but a better one. Who doesn’t want faster broadband or more TV channels for less? It’s a no-brainer.
Think about ways to reduce your spending
Take a look at your bank statement, see what you’re spending money on and think about ways you can cut the costs.
Always get a coffee on the way to work? That £2 might not seem like much, but that could be £40 a month or around £2,000 a year! Cut back a bit, or think about making a coffee at home and taking it in a flask with you.
Find yourself having to buy a box or two of breakfast cereal a week for the family? Give the own-brand versions a shot. You never know, the kids might not even be able to tell the difference.
Find out what your credit score is
If you’ve never found out your credit score, or if you haven’t done it for a good few months, now’s the perfect time to find out your what state it is in – it’s also free.
Your credit score is information that lenders use when deciding if they want you as a customer. The higher your score, the better your chances are you can get the products you want.
By biting the bullet and seeing what your score is, it lets you know where you can improve it, if there are any mistakes on there you can get cleared up or if you’re ticking along nicely.
Start building an emergency fund
Life can throw some pretty nasty surprises at you, and you can be fine financially one minute, and the next be in some serious trouble if you were to lose your job, or your boiler breaks for example.
So this January, protect yourself in 2018 by building yourself an emergency buffer – an amount of money that you could rely on if you needed it – whether that’s £1,000 or £10,000 (everyone is different).
The trick is to do it sensibly, by putting in money you can afford, regularly (that’s the important bit).
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.