The importance of spring cleaning your finances
As we approach Easter, the time has come to ensure your financial situation is on the mend.
Easter is here, and we've put together a checklist of seven things you can do with your long weekend to get your finances into shape. There may even be a few eggcellent puns in there!
The Easter weather forecast isn’t looking great, and to help you avoid spending a fortune on things to keep you entertained indoors, make your way through our checklist to keep your bank balance healthy, even if your diet isn't!
1. Bunny hop your budget
We can’t stress enough how important it is to put together an income and expenditure budget. Many people that come to us for advice have no idea what’s coming in and what’s going out of their bank account.
Use a budgeting tool or budget sheet so you know how much everything costs and what you have left over. Remember to include absolutely everything to make sure your on-going budget is realistic and sustainable, and read our budgeting tips for more help and guidance.
You can also make use of lovemoney.com's free MoneyTrack tool.
2. Break out of your shell
Once you’ve written it down, go over everything to see what changes you can make. Are you spending too much on a subscription that you never use or are you a member of a gym that you never go to?
Check all your direct debits to make sure you don’t miss anything you might have forgotten about. Of course consider switching providers on things like utilities or insurance if you think it might save you some money.
3. Find egg-stra in your income
If you can’t reduce your spending any further can you increase the amount that’s coming in instead? They both have the same outcome and might mean that you can afford an extra chocolate treat for the family.
We’ve got plenty of ideas to get you started and what better time than a long weekend to venture into the loft or garage, to see what you can sell?
4. Check your credit file - it’s no yolk
If you’re applying for credit it’s imperative that you know what’s on your credit file. Having said that, it’s useful to know what’s on there even if you’re not intending to apply for anything in the near future. Why? It’s important to help prevent fraud, and also so you know if there’s any wrong information on there, to rectify.
Get to know your credit report and read our tips on how to build a great credit file.
You can get a free trial with Credit Expert through lovemoney.com.
5. Mis-sold PPI? Claiming could put a spring in your step
If you’ve got or ever had a loan or finance agreement you should check your policies to see if you paid for payment protection insurance (PPI) unnecessarily.
We’ve given enough reasons to do this yourself rather than paying for a company to do it for you, so spend an hour of your weekend wisely and you could be in for a payout or reduced debt.
6. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket
It’s a good idea to check any old forgotten accounts to see if there’s any money left in them. There’s a great website that will search for old accounts and do the hard work for you.
Once you’ve done this - and if you were lucky enough to find anything - pool it together in a savings account. Now that you’ve done your budget you’ll know if you have any surplus money each month so you can start putting some cash to one side to save for those unexpected surprises.
7. Choc out our resources
We all know that the internet is a great place for information and there are near-limitless resources available to help you manage your money better. It’s likely that the weather’s going to take a turn for the worse by the weekend so stay inside where it’s warm and have a read through our money saving blogposts to give you some inspiration.
We hope you’ve given you some food for thought, but we’d love to hear your ideas for keeping your finances fresh and making sure you’re on top of things. Get in touch or leave us a comment below if you can think of anything we’ve missed, or any more clichéd Easter jokes we could have used for the headings!