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It’s that time of year when you’re probably already starting to think about New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you’ve already had a clear out of toys in preparation to Christmas Day. It’s also worth thinking about having a financial declutter too. Complex finances are the reason a lot of people don’t save as much as they can, should or would like to. So here’s my 10 Simple Steps to have a financial declutter.
1. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
Are there clubs you’re still paying for but not going to? Have you been paying monthly for a gym but paying as you go would work out cheaper? Do you have time to read all the magazines you’re subscribed to? Even if you still think they’re worth keeping, a great idea is to ask a relative to pay for your subscription instead of buying you a Christmas present.
2. Declutter your mobile phone apps.
Some apps are there only to encourage you to spend so be ruthless and have a clear out. You could even remove your payment details from some sites to make it harder for yourself. Deleting the “one click” option on Amazon and leaving your items in the shopping basket for a while can give you time to reconsider the purchase and save you from buying things you don’t really need.
3. Commit to only carrying cash in the New Year.
Clear out your purse or wallet of all the old receipts to make space for your notes and decide what each segment of your purse is allocated for spending on. Making sure you have to physically give something away when buying things makes you more mindful of how much you’re spending so you’re likely to spend less.
4. Use your time off work wisely to shop around.
That strange period between Boxing Day and New Years when you’re not quite sure what day it is, is a great time to revisit your bills to see if switching provider could save you money. Many people wait until their renewal dates to do this job. In most cases comparing utility and insurance companies, even when there’s penalty for leaving early, can save you money.
5. Complete your tax return.
It’s been hanging around since April. I know! So this is a great time to get it done and avoid any late fees. You never know what might happen in January which means you’re left with little time to finish it off. Get it done and basque in that smug feeling of a job complete. For the new year try out an app like 1Tap which consolidates all your receipts throughout the year and therefore less clutter in your house/handbag/car glove compartment etc.
6. Complete a credit check.
You’ve probably done some online shopping during the festive period and perhaps bought from new shops you’ve not visited before. It’s really sensible to undertake a regular credit check to make sure there’s not been any suspicious activity but especially this time of year when it is easy to not notice new spends. There’s a number of ways you can do this for free including Noddle.
7. Declutter your bank accounts.
Have you got loads of bank accounts just because you like to have one for bills, one for saving, one for spending on supermarket shopping, another for petrol? There really is no need to do this! Squirrel is a personal finance app which is the solution to exactly this issue. With just one bank account in your name, you can download the Squirrel app to your phone and link it to your account. Set your own goals and savings targets and then each month when your salary goes in, these three things happen:
- Your savings money gets kept safe inside your savings goals, where you see them grow towards completion
- Bill money is kept safe, then paid out to your current account the day before your bills are due – so there’s no need to ever have to worry about accidentally spending bill money!
- Your spending money goes into your current account as normal – for fun and spending (you can even request to break this down into weekly amounts if you find it easier to budget for a week!)
I really hope these simple steps get your finances freshly decluttered and ready to take on the New Year!
*Disclosure – this is a collaborative post