• >
  • Guides>
  • 5 easy ways to kick start your finances

5 easy ways to kick start your finances

Dom James photo
Written by Dom James, Financial Content Writer

2 January 2019

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

Give yourself a mini bonus

If you cancel direct debits for services you don't use anymore, 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.

  • 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, then see if you can get a cheaper package elsewhere.

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

Gym membership hack

If you want to join the gym, avoid signing up for a long term contract, just in case you stop going after a few weeks.

You could sign up for a one month contract, or individual sessions instead. It'll cost more at first, but could save you hundreds if you stop going shortly after.

Make sure you shop around to find the cheapest gym membership for your area, or consider cheaper forms of exercise such as running clubs or exercise classes.

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 that little bit further by making the most of your savings.

Compare savings accounts

You may also like

  • Your ultimate checklist for getting control of your cash
  • What are the best ways to pay for your wedding?
  • 7 ways to cut the cost of living alone
  • Lending to friends? Make sure you get your money back
  • How to write a budget