Staying on top of your money isn’t easy and many people often avoid it altogether, but managing your spending and saving doesn’t have to be a scary task. Whether you’re saving for a holiday or looking to balance the books, here are some quick and easy finance hacks to help your money go further.
Follow these financial hacks to help get your finances in order.
1. Get the lowdown on your credit rating
Your credit score is one of your most important financial assets. Your rating is calculated with details from four key sources: electoral roll information; court records; search, address and linked data (i.e. other lenders which have searched your file) and finally your bank account or building society data.1 If you’ve got a low credit rating and don’t know about it, you could stumble into trouble when asking to borrow money from lenders in the future.
Available for a small cost or even free online, all you need to do is enter a few details about your financial history in an authorised credit score checker and you can get your own rating without any hassle.
Check out the MoneySuperMarket guide on some of the top credit score agencies to use. Accessing your credit report allows you to find out about any improvements you may need to make to give you a healthier rating.
2. Keep your money on the move
If you’ve had your bank accounts with the same provider for a couple of years, habit dictates you’ll be happy to leave your cash with them. However, in most cases, staying with the same bank year after year won’t give you the benefits and perks offered to new signups.
Shopping around to see what interest rates and incentives different banks offer new customers can give you a financial reward for simply moving your money from one provider to another. It could be anything from a higher interest rate on your savings account for the first year, a cash lump sum or gift vouchers for a high street retailer.2
According to the Current Account Switch Service, swapping your current account between banks and building societies can be simple and stress-free. Visit their site and you can find out more about how it works, including moving Direct Debits, and the potential rewards.
3. Create your own budget tracker
Creating a budget is good advice but knowing how to do one is a different kettle of fish. Rather than trying to work it all out in your head or basing it on how much your mobile banking app tells you is in your account, create a spreadsheet of your incomings and outgoings.
A good way to do this is monthly, starting with the amount of money left in your account from the previous month. Add your wage and any other forms of income onto this to show your finances pre-costs, then deduct your regular outgoings (rent, travel, phone bill, groceries, council tax etc). This way you’ll be able to see just how much money you have left once your regular costs are paid, so you can then budget the rest. Plus, you’ll be able to track your spending habits and see where most of your money is going, and it might surprise you just how much you’re spending on your daily morning coffee!
4. Tax codes don’t have to be taxing
There are a whole host of tax codes which impact your monthly deductions and how much Personal Allowance (i.e. tax-free income) you get a year. Checking you’re on the right tax code is worthwhile and can be easily done online – if you’re on the wrong one, you could be paying too much or too little tax.
Check if you’re paying the right amount of Income Tax on the gov.uk website – one quick search could result in some savings for you.
5. Stay on top of your health, for less
A trip to the dentist, a new pair of glasses and a physio appointment all come at a cost. However, there is a way to alleviate these costs by taking out a health care cash plan.
For just a small monthly amount, you can claim money back towards your everyday health care costs. Our Good All Round cash plan starts from just £2.22 a week and covers NHS and private treatment for a wide range of costs, including dental, optical, prescriptions, physiotherapy and chiropody, so paying for treatment and check-ups isn’t as much of a worry.
To find out more about Sovereign Health Care and how you could save money on your everyday health care, click here.
1 MoneySavingExpert.com https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/credit-rating-credit-score/