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5 easy ways to kick start your finances

Start the year with these 5 simple ways to get your finances fighting fit for the future.

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Give yourself a mini bonus

If you cancel direct debits for services you don't use any more, you'll have extra cash in your account each month, like a mini bonus.

Start by looking at a recent bank statement to check where your money goes each month. This will help you see if you pay for things you don't need.

For example, if you pay for services like Amazon Prime and Netflix, consider whether you need both.

Switch and save

Switching to a new account can be the easiest way to save or make money quickly. Check to see if you could get a better deal on your:

  • Gas and electricity: If you're on a variable rate tariff, you could save hundreds by switching to a fixed tariff.

  • SavingsCompare savings interest rates and move your money if you can earn more elsewhere.

  • Current account: Check if you can earn a reward by moving your current account to another bank. Some are currently offering cash payments and cashback for switchers

  • Credit card: If you're paying interest on your credit card, switch to a 0% balance transfer card to get a fixed interest free period.

  • Broadband, landline and TV: Look at the channels you watch, and your broadband and landline usage.

Try haggling if you don't want to switch gas, electricity, broadband or TV providers, and you may get a better deal anyway.

Write a budget

Work out where your money goes each month, using a spreadsheet or an online budget calculator.

  • If you have more going out than coming in each month, you could switch a few services to cheaper alternatives to help get your finances back in order.

  • If you have leftover cash each month, think about putting it in a savings account for when you need it.

Here's how to write a budget

Ditch the gym

With COVID-19 making it less tempting to join a gym right now, there are plenty of free exercise classes you can do from home.

A quick search of sites like YouTube reveal a treasure trove of free-to-access online videos and classes. All you need is your laptop and you’re good to go. 

If you want to exercise in front of a bigger screen, you could connect your computer to your TV with an HDMI cable. You can find these online or in a consumer electronics shop for under a tenner.

Set yourself a money goal

Give yourself a money target to aim for each month, and prepare yourself for when you really need the cash. A money goal can also be a financial target, such as:

  • Staying out of your overdraft

  • Paying off your credit card

  • Starting to save for a house deposit

  • Having cash to cover unexpected expenses, like car repairs

Tell a friend or family member what you're doing and get them to ask you how it's going.

Here's how to choose the right savings account for you

Help stretch your budget a little further by making the most of your savings.

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