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Time for a financial Spring clean

Chris Rooks is a qualified mortgage adviser and founder of Future Balance based in Royal Wootton Bassett. He’s also a qualified financial coach.

As the Winter months recede from memory, now’s a great time to sort things out around the home before the warmer months arrive.

While you might have already planned to spring clean the house, get out in the garden for the first time this year or finally sort out the garage, it’s also a good time to give your finances a bit of a spring clean too.

It’s fair to say that the start of 2022 has been a bit bumpy for many of us financially at least.

With soaring energy prices, news of an impending National Insurance hike and interest rates starting to rise it’s put the squeeze on many household budgets.

Here are 5 things you can do to detox your finances and make some savings:

Do a Direct Debit declutter

Checking the regular outgoings on your bank statement is a great place to find potential savings.

Firstly check if you’re still paying for anything you no longer need, an insurance policy for an old mobile phone or a gym membership that’s not been used in months are some of the most common.

Cancelling these can make for a great money saver straight away, and you won’t miss them when they’re gone either!

Renew your insurance

If you’ve had your home or car insurance with the same provider for several years, there’s a good chance you’re paying more than you need to.

Shop around using comparison sites to see how much you could save. Some insurers don’t charge to switch mid-year, so you might be able to move without a penalty before your policy ends - otherwise, make a note and switch at the end of your term.

Even if you don’t want to leave your current insurer, check how much you’d pay elsewhere and call them to see if they can offer a better price.

Check your subscriptions

Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ have been a life-saver for many of us while we’ve been stuck at home, but if you want to make some savings it might be time to cut back.

If you don’t want to ditch them altogether, you might be able to share them with friends or family instead.

With their top subscription, Netflix lets you watch programmes on four different screens at the same time within the same household, so if you have more than one you could share and split the cost.

Check your interest rates

Whether you have savings tucked away or a balance left on your credit card, it’s worth checking the interest rate on your accounts.

If you’re paying interest on your credit card, investigate whether a 0% balance transfer could make your borrowing cheaper and help you pay off what you owe a bit quicker too.

If you’ve got a savings account, check if there are any more competitive rates available elsewhere - if interest rates do go up this year more generally this should start to filter through to savings rates as well - although it might take a little while!

Get a better mortgage deal

For many of us our mortgage is one of, if not our biggest financial outgoings every month, so if there’s a way to make it cheaper it’s worth investigating.

If you’ve had your mortgage for a little while and never taken out a new mortgage deal you could be sat on your lenders Standard Variable Rate (SVR). SVRs are often some of the more expensive mortgage rates, and often go up alongside the Bank of England base rate.

If you need any help with your mortgage, or just want to discuss your options please get in touch.

You can contact Chris Rooks at Future Balance via email on chrisr@futurebalance.co.uk or by calling 0330 122 9760.

Future Balance Bath

Future Balance

Future Balance offer a range of services to help improve your financial wellbeing and peace of mind.

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