A guide to spring cleaning your finances
As the nights get longer and the days become less gloomy and cold, you may find yourself with a new lease of life, ready to spring-clean different aspects of your life. Well, why not apply this to your finances? Here is our guide explaining some of the best ways in which you can improve your finances this spring.
Keep an eye on free trials
According to the Money Advice Service, adults in the UK spend on average £56 a month on subscription services – but how many of those are free trials that you simply forgot to cancel? Many companies will ask for your credit card details upfront when you sign for a trial and then this money is deducted as soon as the trial ends. This is why it is important to make a note of when the trial period is going to end, so you can cancel it in time and not pay a fee if you decide you would not like to carry on with the trial.
Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
If you are intending to spring clean your finances, one of the most important things you need to do is thoroughly evaluate your current outgoings and the necessity of them. For example, is that yearly art or gym pass worth it if you only use them once or twice a year? However before you make the decision to cancel, check that you will not have to pay a penalty for cancelling the subscription earlier. You should also see if it’s possible to get a refund if you leave the subscription early – this is often common when it comes to magazine subscriptions.
Direct debit isn’t always best
Whilst paying by direct debit can be a cheaper option with companies it isn’t always the case. For example, it may be better to pay upfront for things such as on a new mobile or use a 0% credit card.
Audit your bank statements
It may be a bit daunting for some to read over their bank statements, but it is really the only way that you can keep an eye on your ingoings and outgoings. It also helps you to see if there is a regular payment coming out of your account that isn’t necessarily something your using. If you do see anything suspicious or that you don’t recognise on your account you can contact your bank.
Don’t set up auto-renewals
One of the best things you can do to spring clean your finances is look through any policies or subscriptions that you have and check that they are not set up to the auto-renewal option, as it is not always the most cost-effective option. Auto-renewals are particularly common in the anti-virus software and car insurance industries, so it is worth keeping an eye on your statements for policies pertaining to these sectors in particular. Cancelling auto-renewals means that you will usually receive a more competitive renewal quote at the end of the policy.
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