Moving into a new year is the perfect time to dust off those policies, review old pensions and set yourself up for a more comfortable retirement. Here are 10 financial spring-cleaning tips to help you organise and plan for the years ahead.
Step 1: Mortgage
With inflation increasing very quickly and a big household expense, it is time to fix your mortgage for as long as you can if you have one. With rates being as low as they are, you could save thousands if not tens of thousands in the coming years.
Step 2: Credit Cards
Cut them up, or if your credit cards have gotten out of hand, look to switch to a 0% rate, for a small transfer fee there are some lenders offering 35 months at 0% if you have a good credit rating.
Step 3: Review your bills
Checking your utility bills should be high on your financial spring-cleaning list. Make sure you are with the cheapest energy provider, if you are not, it is extremely easy to switch, this could save hundreds of pounds. Review your broadband package and mobile phone contract, do you really need the contract you are on. Also, do not forget your car insurance.
Step 4: Plan
Remember the five Ps, Prior, Preparation, Prevents, Poor, Performance. Do not let next Christmas pinch as hard, set aside a few pounds each week or month so your flexible friend stays unused.
Step 5: Have a clear-out
There is no point sitting on an unused item until it is worthless, sell or swap an item before it is too late. Whatever you do when it comes to selling an unused item or swapping for a useful item, you are better off.
Step 6: Create a financial cushion
The best way to do this is to save some money each week and mentally build a barrier around this money, if you have £1000 in the bank, pretend you have zero and do not dip into it.
Step 7: Tidy your financial paperwork
There is no reason to keep a cancelled policy document. Start to organise your financial affairs and keep them organised. At the same time, make sure your review the funds within your pensions, make sure your insurance policies are right for you. It is always a clever idea to seek financial advice in this area, so get in touch if you need a helping hand. Check your insurance policies to make sure you have not over-insured – this can save a lot of money each month.
Step 8: Simplify your finances
Setting up standing orders and direct debits reduces the chances of being stung with an overdue payment charge or the loss of a promotion rate on a credit card.
Step 9: Own the problem
Go through your bank statements, highlight the overspends. Put together an income and expenditure spreadsheet so you know exactly what is coming in and going out, too much going out than coming in, get brutal, cut that cloth.
Step 10: Retrain your spending habits
No financial spring-cleaning list would be complete without addressing the issues that got you into a tangle in the first place. Are you guilty of not looking at the price when shopping? Give yourself a tight budget for a week and stick to it, can you get through the week with £50 or £100. You will be amazed at how much you can save.
Now you have the basics you can plan your future with our lite cash flow software free. How much will you have in retirement?
If you found 10 financial spring-cleaning tips for a happy new year helpful, you’ll find more common sense money management tips on our Finance channel.Last modified: January 20, 2022