Thursday 14 July 2016
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on carrying out a financial health check.
I have been struggling financially over the last year or two and finally seem to have got things straight. What should I do to make sure I maintain my financial situation?
It is a great idea to carry out a regular financial health check to make sure that you are in the best possible financial position. Our top ten tips can help with this:
- The first step is to identify your regular income and expenditure and conduct a line by line review of your budget to see if you can either increase your income or reduce your expenditure
- You may be losing money by sticking with your existing bank or energy supplier; shop around, it‘s simple to change.
- Don’t automatically renew your car, holiday, or house insurance without comparing prices.
- Check that you are not missing out on money that you should be getting in benefits or tax credits, tax rebates or allowances.
- Plan to build up a savings fund by setting aside a regular amount to put towards emergencies, and things such as birthdays, holidays or Christmas.
- Shop around for the best savings rates and check regularly that it is still the best deal available.
- Check out tax efficient ways to save money like Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
- If you really need to consider taking out a loan, make sure you shop around and get the best deal. Look out for low interest rates.
- Be wary of consolidating your debts. Get advice and don’t put your home unnecessarily at risk. Defaulting on a loan secured against your home could mean that you lose your home.
- Be wary of low interest credit card transfers. Check the terms and conditions carefully.
All too often people come to us when they’ve already reached crisis point or can no longer cope with their problems. By carrying out a regular financial health check and taking some preventative measures many problems could be averted before they become crises.
For more information and advice go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk or telephone Citizens Advice Exeter on 03444 111 444.
Look out for our column next week when we focus on support for Council Tax.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk