Date Published: 11/03/2020 11:46
Spring is on its way, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who takes the opportunity to give the house a good clean! But Spring is also a great time to shake up your finances.
Here are Jill's five top tips for how you can give your finances a spring clean this year.
It’s all too easy to set a budget to track your spending and then never look at it again. So now’s a great time to revisit your spreadsheet. Have certain expenses, such as your utility bills or Council Tax, increased? Do you plan to make greater pension contributions? Have other commitments decreased? Maybe you’ve paid off a car loan or cancelled a gym membership? Make sure your budget works for you and keep it up to date.
Accounts can soon mount up so take a look at those in your name. Try and consolidate as many as possible. Maybe you tried a new bank but didn’t particularly like their service so changed back but never actually closed the account. This is the time to clean up any unused bank, building society or credit card accounts.
Reducing the number of accounts you hold will have the bonus of reducing the amount of paper you receive. Many banks are now only offering online statements but you will have accumulated masses of paperwork over the years. Go through all your files and see what you can get rid of. Strive for the ‘paperless study’ and scan any key documents. As a general rule, you should keep tax-related paperwork for seven years or if you’re a business owner, for even longer. But if you find you’ve got personal tax documents that go back over a decade, it’s time to shred!
If part of your new approach is to get rid of any debts, the traditional ‘snowball’ method can be helpful. Pay off your debts starting with the smallest balance first and build up to the largest balance last. Each time you pay off a debt, you roll that debt’s minimum payments into your monthly snowball payment. By the time you reach the debt with the highest balance, you’ll have amassed a large sum of money to throw at it each month.
If you haven’t looked at your estate plan for a few years, take the time now to consider whether everything is in place. It allows you to take stock and plan for the future, for yourself and your loved ones.
Are you looking for help with tidying up your finances? Get in touch with our wealth management team today on 01246 435996.
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