As one year draws to a close and another one begins, it’s the ideal opportunity to give your finances a once-over. No matter how carefully you look after your money, there’s bound to be a few unhealthy habits that you’ve picked up along the way.
If you want to make the most of your finances in 2021, we’ve got a few tips to help give you a healthy head-start.
Look Around for Better Borrowing Deals
If you’ve had the same credit card for a while and your credit score is good, the chances are that you could qualify for a far better deal if you shopped around. It’s tempting to just stick with the same provider out of convenience, but you could end up spending hundreds more in interest, especially if you have a large purchase to make.
Credit card companies know there is a lot of competition in the market and they work hard to attract new customers. Once you’ve signed up, lenders know that you’ll probably just stick around, even after your introductory deal expires. This is why the best deals are reserved for new customers, leaving you to pick up a much heavier tab.
If you’ve got a large balance, or you expect to be using your card regularly, look around for 0% interest credit cards and do a balance transfer (guide for this here). Just remember to cut up your old card or else you could end up with double the debt.
Check Your Spending Habits
It’s easy to drift into spending small amounts of money which very quickly start to add up to be a considerable sum. For example, do you grab a takeout coffee on the way to work each morning?
Or perhaps you buy lunch every day because it’s quicker than taking on your own? It could even be small purchases such as buying a drink and a chocolate bar every time you put petrol in the car, but you could be amazed by how much these small spends add up over time.
Being conscious about how you spend money on small purchases can save you a lot in the long term. All of the little bits of expenditure add up, and if you’re continuously spending small sums without realising, you’ll be shedding money from your account with very little return.
If you really want that coffee on the way to work, go ahead. It’s about understanding what you’re spending and ensuring that you have full control.
Take a Look at Your Credit Score
Do you know what your current credit score is? Most people have a very rough idea of their credit score, and know whether it’s good or bad but few are aware of what’s actually on their report.
Your credit score and history is very important and could impact on the amount of money you spend. When you apply for a loan, credit card or mortgage, the rates you are offered depend on your credit rating. The better your credit rating, the less you’ll have to pay in interest.
It’s easy to get a copy of your credit report, and it’s something that everyone should do. It’s not unknown for incorrect entries to be on your records so you could be penalised through no fault of your own! Taking a look at your credit report ensures that there are no nasty surprises lingering and if there are any negative entries, it provides you with the opportunity to start fixing things for the future.
Looking for More New Year Saving Tips?
If all of this has got you in the mood for improving your finances in 2021, check out this array of the new year saving tips which will help to make sure you stay in the red and keep your bank balance looking healthy.