A new year, a new decade. Many of us are now reflecting on how to lead a better lifestyle, and that includes financially.
We’re all guilty of neglecting one of the most critical factors in our lives; whether we like to admit it or not, money is essential, and having a bit more of it is always welcome.
There are possibly more ways than you think to save money and fundamentally boost your annual disposable income.
Take hold of your expenses, and don’t let complacency stop you from gaining possibly hundreds of pounds a year.
Read on to find out how you can do this by following five simple steps.
Make a Spreadsheet
It sounds basic, but there’s nothing like writing down all your incomings and outgoings to understand your cash flow. In an age of direct debits and standing orders, small bills and payments can be forgotten about.
Go through at least three months of bank statements and check through your lists of direct debits and standing orders. This can be done through your internet banking or by asking your bank for a list of active payments.
The added advantage of checking through your bank statements regularly is to check for fraud, duplicate payments, and even bank charges, which can all potentially be claimed back from your bank.
As you go through all your regular payments, you should start a list of where you spend your disposable income.
Get Free Advice
Many financial advisers offer free advice in the hope that you’ll sign up for some of their recommendations so that they can benefit from the commission. Your banking adviser should offer this service, though offers are only limited to their own products.
Additionally, if you’re having a bad time financially, some organizations and charities will help you for free, such as The Citizens Advice Bureau.
Get Annual Advice
Ensure you have a regular review from a financial professional – such as an accountant, insurance broker, mortgage adviser, financial adviser, banking adviser, etc.
Financial situations often change; products change, markets change, and more often than not, costs increase. Annual reviews will ensure you’re getting the lowest premiums for the cover you need on essentials like your mortgage, life and health cover, car insurance, and home insurance.
Seek tax advice from a reputable firm. https://fariscpa.com/ mention the importance of a professional to avoid undue taxes and penalties.
Don’t be complacent and allow companies to gradually increase prices year after year.
As mentioned above, use free financial advisers to source good deals to save you time and effort. Insurance brokers are good to source all types of insurances, and multi-deals and bundles can save you even more money.
If you don’t want to seek advice from professionals, there are plenty of comparison websites or advice sites for you to check product costs and switch.
Essential Vs. Non-Essential
Work out what’s essential to everyday living and also what makes sense to protect or insure.
Main essential living costs aside, the next set of expenses need to be weighed up thoughtfully. Advisers can help you here. For example, if you’re employed and have six months of full-time sick pay cover in your contract, it’s unlikely you’ll need sickness insurance that kicks in from day one.
If you buy an expensive gadget and you’re sold an insurance policy, check that this is essential. There are options for personal possessions cover in all home insurance policies, and some premium accounts still offer inclusive insurance. Just check to ensure you have the cover you need.
Ultimately, weigh up the costs of the expense versus the costs if you don’t have the right cover in place.
Savings are out there for the taking. There are plenty of ‘new customer’ deals and competitive businesses in the market that want your custom and are willing to offer discounts, deals, or freebies.