Financial New Year Resolutions

Nov 03

Whether it’s getting fit, finding love or moving house – we’ve all made a new year’s resolution before. Studies show that while lots of adults set themselves a goal in January, plenty don’t manage to see the them through. If you want to set yourself a challenge, and your finances are looking a little bleak, we have some tips that will see you through the year.

Save on your household bills

Household bills are a necessary evil and can be the next biggest expense after your rent or mortgage payment. Your electric, gas and internet bills can quickly add up so it’s important to get the best deal out there. These days there are plenty of price comparison sites where you can accurately work out how much you should be spending on your bills. Shop around and read the small prints as some deals look cheap, and you could get a nasty price hike halfway through.

As well as switching providers, there are other ways to keep the costs down. Smart meters are being rolled out across the country and if you don’t have one, it’s certainly worth getting in touch with your energy provider. These meters track how much energy you actually use – rather than energy companies guessing. Plus you can check them while using certain appliances to whittle down which cost the most to run. If your energy bills are still inexplicably high, you might qualify for a grant to insulate your loft.

If you are still spending too much on your monthly direct debits, it could be time to have a cull. Make a comprehensive list of payments you make each month and assess how often you use each service. With things like Sky TV, Netflix, Prime or monthly subscription boxes, you could be spending a small fortune.

Improve your credit score

Another way to improve your financial prospects is to improve your credit score. Every adult in the UK will have a credit footprint which is rated out of certain numbers based on the company. There are certain places such as Noddle or Clearscore where you can find out how you rank for free. If your credit score is more in the red than the green, there are ways to improve it with responsible lending. Taking out a credit card to make purchases on and then paying it back before it’s due is a fast and easy way to build your credit score.

A lot of people come to check their file and find that the information is not accurate. By adding your current address, making sure you’re on the electoral roll and ensuring there are no fraudulent loans that have been taken out in your name. These are all issues that can be easily rectified and will make your credit score look a lot healthier. If you have ever taken out a payday loan in the UK, it is worth taking a look at your credit score and seeing if it has had any impact. Occasionally, if a loan is granted but later deemed unaffordable, you can get these records removed from your credit file.