5 step check-list to spring-clean your finances

It’s often used as an excuse for a household spruce up, but springtime could also be a good time for you to revaluate your finances and remove some unnecessary expenses that could be costing you more than you think.

With their 5-step financial check-list, Ellis Bates share their advice on how best to spring-clean your finances and get your bank account looking as healthy as possible.

1.       Is your paperwork in order?

If you’re unaware of where all your paperwork is, then it is difficult to know your full financial position. An important process of this spring-clean is to first take some time to get everything together and organised into a system that works for you – whether that be a filing cabinet or digital folder on your computer.

No matter how you arrange your paperwork, it’s crucial that a regular update and oversight of all your information becomes habit and not a chore. Once you know what your financial situation is, you can make a clear judgement on whether or not you need to make changes to improve it.

2.       Do you really use that gym membership?

If you’ve signed up to a monthly subscription of any service including Spotify, Netflix or even a gym membership, you may not consciously think of them when evaluating your spending habits.

By regularly checking your bank statement thoroughly, you may uncover a number of smaller outgoings that you are paying for but not getting the full use of. Ask yourself whether they are a necessity and cancel any subscriptions or memberships that are not frequently used.

3.       Are you getting the best deals?

Don’t just take your current providers’ word for it. A crucial part of financial health is comparing everything from credit cards, to insurance and even your energy provider.

There are comparison websites which will show you if a like-for-like switch to a different company could save you a substantial amount of money in the long-run.

4.       Are you getting the most from your bank account/s?

Think about what you need your account for in particular and if you could benefit from a different type in order to make your money work harder for you. Whether it’s interest on your balance, cashback on your bills, or effective customer service that is the priority for you, it is your responsibility to get the most from your account and chosen bank.

If your account has the potential to go overdrawn at any point during the month, it’s worthwhile looking to make sure your bank account charges you as little as possible for using your overdraft.

5.       Could you be doing more to save?

If you’ve gone through steps 1-4 then you should be well on your way to a monthly saving, but don’t let that hard work go to waste. Consider planning ahead and making a conscious effort to save money toward your goals, as and when you can.

If you need help to take control of your financial future speak to a financial advisor who can provide you with an evaluation of your current situation and give you advice on how to spring-clean your finances in 2018.

Ellis Bates is a privately owned, independent financial planning company (IFA). As one of the longest established IFA firms operating in the UK, they provide independent and impartial advice to individuals, families and corporate clients.

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