With the start of British Summer Time just around the corner, thoughts often turn to brushing away the winter cobwebs. This shouldn’t end with spring cleaning your home – it’s also the perfect time to review your finances. Here are a few simple things you can do today!
1. Prepare for a money makeover
Start by getting hold of three months’ worth of bank and credit card statements, household bills and insurance policies. Having a clear understanding of your incomings and outgoings every month, alongside current financial commitments, will help show where savings can be made and if any policies need to be updated. Also think about your goals for one year, five years and 10 years – do you want to have paid off a debt or your mortgage, or simply have everything in order? Use our budget planner to get started!
2. Cancel unused gym memberships
It’s easy to get drawn into attractive deals offered by gyms in January, only for them to go unused a few months later. If you’re not using it – cancel it and save yourself the money. If you still want to get fit, there are plenty of ways you could do so without breaking the bank – for example outdoor running, cycling, hiking, or even getting off the bus a stop earlier and walking the rest of your journey - try our 10 ways to get fit for free. Here's all you need to know about your rights and cancelling gym membership.
3. Shop around for the best deals
One tip to help save money is to make sure you’re not paying too much for your insurance and utilities. Relying on auto-renewal can mean you miss out on the best deals and end up paying too much for cover, or for bills like gas or electric. Take the time to shop around – there are plenty of comparison sites that will be able to offer you fast quotes and great deals, which could help save you hundreds in the long run. Use Yours Switching Energy to save on gas and electricity providers and Yours Switching Phone and Broadband to cut broadband, digital TV and home phone costs.
4. Start a rainy day fund
Even the most organised among us can come a cropper after encountering unexpected costs, such as car repairs, vet bills or boiler problems. Setting a small amount of your incomings aside every month can really add up in the long run and means you’re covered against any emergencies. Not only that, you will be derailed as little as possible from your long-term financial goals.
5. Make a will and consider a funeral plan
It’s a common misconception that wills are only for the elderly. Research by NS&I showed 33 million people in the UK do not have a will, and more than 18 million haven't even considered writing one. If this is you, take the time to think how and to who your estate would be divided once you die. Similarly, taking out a funeral plan means your family will be protected against the pressure of organising and paying for your funeral, as well as rising inflation. Just 22% of adults have researched funeral options and only 4% have a funeral plan in place, but these products are simple to organise and will give you the peace of mind that your family are not left with the emotional and financial burden.
Yours partner, Key Retirement, provides a professional will-writing service to give you peace of mind. To find out more download your free guide.
6. Organise life insurance
It pays to have protection and one way to show your love for your partner is to continue to look after them when you are unable to. In the event of a serious illness, incident or death, life insurance will make sure the bills are covered, and you’ll continue to be in a good place financially. Here's all your need to know about life insurance.
7. Read the small print
Dull as it may be, it’s important you’ve read the small print of all of your financial products, so you’re aware of any terms and conditions and have clarified any concerns or questions with your providers. That way you’ll be able to prevent any costly confusion later down the line.
Thanks to Paul Wilson at our funeral-planning service partner Avalon Funeral Plans.
To request your FREE copy of the Yours Guide To Pre-Paid Funeral Plans call 0800 088 2321 or write to: Yours Funeral Planning, FREEPOST – NAT 5718, Wilmslow, SK9 2BR or visit Yours Funeral Planning.