April marks the start of a new financial year and is the perfect time to have a sit down and really think about money. It doesn’t matter if you need to tighten your belts of if you can afford to loosen them a little – this is one area in life you really can’t afford to guess at. Grab yourself a cuppa, a quiet hour or two and some bank statements and let’s go!
Step 1 – Outgoings – Cut The Crap.
First look at your statements for anything you don’t use anymore. Do you have old subscriptions to magazines, gyms or DVD rental? These things are so easy to miss. Locate and cancel those direct debits and card payments! You may need to speak to your providers directly for this bit – a quick email explaining you no longer wish to use their services should do.
Step 2 – Outgoings – Negotiating Prices.
Are you getting the best deal for all of your monthly outgoings? Search several comparison sites to see that you’re getting the best rates for regular bills such as energy, TV subscriptions, landline, mobile phone and broadband. If you’re able to get these prices cheaper with another supplier, consider switching or calling your existing supplier to haggle a better deal. If you can’t do either right now (for example, you can’t upgrade your phone for another 6 months) set the date in your diary, set reminders if you can and do it at the first available opportunity.
Step 3 – Income – Need Extra Help?
Managing your income is a toughy – it’s one of those things that seems hard to do much about. If you’re struggling, help may be available. Take a few minutes to visit the online benefits adviser here to see if you’re entitled to some help. You can use the “What if?” feature to compare different circumstances at once.
By taking these three simple steps you will have a great start to the new financial year.