The New Year is a perfect time to take a look at your finances. You can detox your wallet in a number of ways, starting with the basics like a good Spring clean, to looking at your credit file and finances.
Here are our top #10 things that you can do to detox your wallet this January!
1. Sort your receipts out
If you’ve got a wallet full of receipts take them out, and look through them. First of all, there’s likely to be some personal and financial information in there. If you need it, keep it safe somewhere. Make any expense claims that are outstanding and store, or destroy the receipts if you don’t need hard copies.
2. Keep your payments up to date
Is everything up to date? Credit cards, loan payments, and so on. Double-check and pay anything that’s due. It’s worth setting up direct debits to pay automatically so that in the event that you forget, your payments are made on time, every time.
3. Review your subscriptions
Do you have a subscription to every streaming service going? Whatever your subscriptions are for, take a look at what you use the least, and cancel them. You can always subscribe again if you really need to, but odds are you won’t even notice some things are gone.
4. Try creating a meal plan to buy your groceries
This is an area where you can actually save a small fortune! If you put in place a meal plan you can easily write your shopping list and buy what you actually need. How much stuff winds up in your trolley that you don’t actually need. Or you throw it away because it doesn’t get eaten.
5. Reduce your risk of fraud
Clearing out your receipts is a good start, but take a look at what else you could take out that has personal information on it. Think about the apps that you use too. Can you delete what you don’t use to reduce your exposure to hackers? And are you using different passwords that you change on a regular basis? Hackers (or malign actors) don’t just hack big business, they collect personal details and clone credit cards. Access your credit file to check that you recognise everything on there.
6. Check your utilities (including broadband)
Another area where you can potentially save money. Take a look at your costs and contracts. Are you currently tied into a contract? If not you’re free to sign up for a new deal, or move to a different supplier at a lower cost. In the case of heating oil, join a local supply group if you have one, to keep an eye on prices. Oil is cheapest in the Summer, so fill up then!
7. Improve your credit file
There are three main credit referencing agencies; Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. All three provide free access to your credit file and will guide you through the areas where you can make improvements.
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8. Pay down your credit cards
Clear your cards if you can. But pay more than the minimum to clear balances, and that will reduce the amount of interest- which can be significant- that you pay. It’s best to keep your credit utilisation (the amount of your credit that you use) to 25% or less.
9. Plan to pay down longer term debt
You could consider using savings here. If you pay more interest on your debt than you can make on your savings, which is likely at the moment, the value of your savings is effectively decreasing. If you can pay the debt you can pay that amount every month into your savings, including what you would have paid in interest payments. But whether you use your savings or not, overpaying will reduce the time you pay, and reduce the amount you pay because you won’t pay as much interest.
10. Look at your mortgage
If you are nearing the end of a fixed-term, or not in one, there are some good deals available thanks to all-time low interest rates. This is an area where you could save £hundreds a month, and even release additional capital for an extension, investment or other purposes.
The Money Advice Service is also a great resource for advice on personal finances. You are now departing from the regulatory site of Liddle Perrett. Neither Liddle Perrett or PRIMIS Mortgage Network is responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the linked site