Spring is upon us, and so far we have been blessed with sunnier longer days and a few early barbeques here and there. Spring is an excellent time of year to spring clean your finances, and according to Lloyds Bank, one in three Britons are reviewing their funds to make their money stretch that little bit further.
Whether you want to escape to the sun, build a new extension or even move house, there are a million and one ways to save a little bit of money, leaving you worry-free. Learning how to spring clean your finances is the first way to achieve these goals.
The most efficient way to get financially healthy is to compile a list of your finances and assess. This can be done to save money by checking all the nooks and crannies for the best deal. Making a list of providers and comparing the best deals will ensure you get the most value for your money. So here a few money tips to clean up your finances.
7 steps to spring clean your finances
1. Shrink your debts
Be brutal when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. Try and clear your debts, overdraft, credit or store cards as much as possible. Prioritise what is necessary to remove as quickly as possible. Alternatively, clean up your finances by consolidating them into a low-cost personal loan.
2. Move home
Consider downsizing your home to reduce your outgoings. Often, people think of moving to a smaller home when they face the threat of repossession. Moving can also be a good saving strategy and free up cash for investments. For instance, moving to a cheaper home could help you play catch-up with your pension. Alternatively, some individuals temporarily move into their parent’s house to save money.
3. Car insurance
Everyone knows shopping around for the best deal for car insurance is the norm. How you pay your premium can also make a difference as insurers charge APRs of up to 25% if you pay your premium in monthly instalments which add significantly to the overall cost. If possible, pay your full premium up front to prevent such expenses.
3. Shop around
Supermarket shopping is one of the easiest ways to shrink spending and save money every month. Your weekly shopping basket can be split across different supermarkets, depending on the best deals. If you regularly shop at one particular supermarket, join its loyalty scheme to benefit in the long term. When buying fresh food, try and find the furthest sell by date and even go a step further by visiting before closing to snatch up a good offer. Shopping around is an easy money tip to get your finances in order.
4. Reduce your energy bill
Cutting down on your energy bill naturally occurs during the spring. For instance, the heating is often turned off due to the change in season. However, your radiators are not the only thing contributing to this hefty bill. Intentionally cut your energy costs and watch your outgoings decrease.
5. New phone, a new tariff
If you are paying over the odds for your mobile phone contract, then it’s time to negotiate with your current provider or shop around for a better monthly package. If you are exceeding your call, text and web usage, it may be worth finding a provider who can offer unlimited usage. Many customers are now looking to companies such as Giffgaff who provide a sim card only package.
6. Earn interest
If you have a current account but not earning much interest, then you may consider switching current accounts to one of many new high-interest current accounts. The most popular current accounts are Club Lloyds, Nationwide FlexDirect, Santander 123 and TSB Classic Plus who will pay up to 5% in interest. No matter what account you choose, make sure you read the terms and conditions to make sure you are saving more money than losing.
Don’t stop at spring… keep your finances in order year-round
Stay financially healthy all year through evaluating your finances on a monthly or quarterly basis. We showed you how to get your finances in order with six steps. These finance tips are evergreen. They can be reviewed regularly. However, it shouldn’t end here.
There are many other ways to spring clean your finances to save money for a rainy day. For example, through a car boot sale, setting up an eBay account to sell old items and taking a look at your spending.
Learning how to get your finances under control takes time. As with any checklist, tackle each problem one at a time, and you will soon see a notable difference in your monthly spending!
Feature image credit: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock