Published On: Tue, Jun 6th, 2017

A financial housekeeping checklist that will save you money

photo Alina Ku-Ku via Shutterstock

Financial housekeeping is the passport to the life you want, whether that’s having kids, travelling the world or being self-employed. All our financial habits can be improved – and money saved as a result – with a bit of effort and a smart financial checklist.

  1. Track your income and expenditure. Use an app, write it down or employ an accountant. However you do it, make sure that you know what you’re paying and being paid, and when. You’ll avoid wasting money if you know where you are.
  2. Start saving early for retirement. Not having enough to live on in old age is an increasingly serious problem and a bad position to be in. Try to set aside 10-20% of monthly earnings to make sure you’re covered.
  3. Are you spending more than you earn each month? It’s amazing how many of us are not living within our means – an Aviva survey found that half of Britons admit to spending more than they get paid each month. If you’re spending too much then you’re probably paying interest on the extra either via a credit card or different types of personal loans so now is the time to cut back.
  4. Manage and pay your bills online. Look for savings from not using paper billing, by combining services and by shopping around for the best deals on interest rates and fees.
  5. Compare your options. Set aside time to regularly check whether the financial products and debt you have is giving you the best deal. From bad credit loans, to car insurance you can reduce your costs and free up income by using online comparison sites and switching your accounts regularly.
  6. Overpay on your mortgage. If you can afford to do this you can save yourself tons of cash in interest. For example, if you borrow $100,000 at 6% over 25 years you’ll be paying $643 a month. If you pay an extra $100 a month instead you’ll clear the mortgage six years early and save $25,000 in interest.
  7. Make sure you’re using the services you pay for. If you’ve got cable TV but you’re only using it for the same channels you could get for nothing via Freeview that’s an expense that you could do without. Do you really need ultra high speed internet if you’re not gaming or heavily streaming? Could you start jogging instead of having a gym membership? It’s possible to save hundreds every month with a quick review of your spending habits.
  8. Pay your credit card off in full each month. If you can do this you’ll benefit from any points accrued, for example, to collect air miles or shopping vouchers, but you won’t pay any interest.
  9. Put your savings where they will grow. Low interest rates aren’t great for savers right now but there are some decent options around. Online savings accounts tend to offer better deals.
  10. Don’t overpay for insurance. Shop around for the best deals and ask for discounts for good performance e.g. no claims. Make sure any insurance you have isn’t auto-renewing every year to a new, higher figure that you haven’t agreed.  

Author Bio:
Amanda Gillam has been writing for many years about the fast-paced changes seen in many areas of life in the UK, including education, careers, the job market and personal finance. She contributes to a range of news sites and blogs including the Money Saving Matters Blog.

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