£20 pound note pegged on a line for spring cleaning finances featureQ: How can I spring clean my finances?

A: Today’s money question will be answered by guest money expert Hannah Hill, from the Halifax, and volunteer with the Money for Life programme that provides financial knowledge training for anyone who wants to learn more about managing their money. Hannah says:

– If you don’t have online banking, set it up now. You’ll be able to easily review your finances whenever you want and make sure they are in order. Some banks even offer text alerts to let you know if you’re about to go over your budget.

– If you are able to, set up monthly standing orders to pay off your credit card. Time them to come out of your account on payday so it won’t feel like such a huge expense and you’ll know that it’s coming.

– While many people have an overdraft facility as a useful backup, if you need to go into the ‘red’ you should first check the overdraft charges so you’re aware what you’re getting into.

– Think about bundling your TV, phone and broadband together as many packages out there are much cheaper than buying all three separately. Having one provider look after all three services will also make it much easier to manage your accounts.

– Check that you’re on the right tariff for your energy and gas bills. It’s worth shopping around as energy prices are always on the rise so it’s important to know that you are getting the best deal, which could potentially save you hundreds of pounds a year.

– If you’re able to save a bit of money each month, shop around for a savings account which will make your money go even further. Lots of banks offer ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts), which are tax-free savings accounts, and they’re super simple to open and a good option to consider. If you already have an ISA, don’t forget to transfer it to a product that offers you a better deal. The best time to shop around for deals is around the beginning of the tax year in April.

– Don’t let your unopened bank statements pile up. It’s important to review your finances regularly, so open your bank statements and make sure everything is in order, including checking any charges are in line with the terms of your account.

Hannah Hill, Guest Money Expert

 

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