The sun is shining, the days are getting longer and a lot of us have that fresh-start feeling. Spring is traditionally a great time to clean and declutter the house, some of us absolutely hate it and some of us absolutely love it!
However, there is another important area in your life that deserves special attention – your finances. Read on for 4 fresh tips to spring clean your finances and see how you can plant the seeds now, to grow your money for the future.
1) Get Your Hands Dirty
Preparation is key to a good clean out. If you are tackling the wasteland under your bed, you would first arm yourself with bin bags, hoover, dusters and rubber gloves. The same goes for your finances. Doing five minutes here and five minutes there is not going to cut through all that waste.
So, set aside at least a couple of hours to sit down and focus on all money-related aspects of your life. If this fills you with dread, promise yourself a little reward at the end of your hard work (a cake or a glass of wine is always a good incentive).
Next, open your laptop and get hold of your last three months’ worth of bank statements. This will give you a good snapshot of where you are making gains and losses. Then, if you don’t already have one, set up a spreadsheet detailing your outgoings and incomings.
2) Switch and Save
Once you have your two columns, already you may be seeing a bad spending pattern. Cancel the things you don’t need any more and then get yourself onto a comparison site like Money Supermarket and start switching to save. Look at:
- Electricity and Gas
- Insurance (car, pet, home, business)
- Phone (landline and mobile) and broadband
- TV package
- Credit cards: Could you do a balance transfer to a cheaper rate?
Can you get a better deal on these things? You could save hundreds in the time it takes to sort out a cupboard.
3) Go Big
It’s all very well switching and saving on smaller bills but look at the big things you own as well, like your house. You may be already locked into a mortgage deal and getting out of it will incur large penalties. However, if your deal is ending soon or even in a year’s time – now is the time to start shopping around. Contact a mortgage broker, who will give you free advice about the state of your mortgage and how you can find a better deal when yours ends.
Under the Pink Pig Financial Planning umbrella, we work closely with Daniel Prosser who can advise you in all these matters. Find out more here, or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can pop you in touch with Daniel.
4) Dust off old savings and make them GROW
Unlike the mould lurking in the corner of your bathroom, financial growth can only be a good thing. If you have savings, give yourself a pat on the back. But are you making the most of them? If they are earning 0.000000000.1% in interest – step out of your comfort zone and look into investing.
There are some great (and safe) ISAs and fixed term bonds out there which could double the interest you are making in your standard savings account. An ISA is a savings account where you can save or invest money without paying tax on the return you make on your investment and the Fidelity Investment ISA is a flexible way to start investing, with regular saving plans from just £50 a month, or with a £1,000 lump sum.
Don’t forget, the end of the tax year is fast approaching so make the most of your existing ISA or open a new one by 5th April and benefit from your savings. For the 2022-23 tax year, everyone has an ISA allowance of £20,000 – this is the maximum amount you’re allowed to pay into ISAs between 6 April 2022 and 5 April 2023 so make the most of ISA’s now.
I hope you find these few tips helpful and something to think about.
If you are looking for accountants that can help clean up your finances and keep them spick and span then fill in our Quick Questionnaire to book in a call.
Happy spring cleaning!