The evenings are getting lighter, daffodils are everywhere, and there’s blossom on the trees. It can only mean one thing – Spring is on the way. With the Spring equinox on 20th March, and the clocks going forward on Sunday 28th March, we thought now was a great time to share a few of our top tips on how to spring clean your finances.
1. Make the most of ISA season
You have until 5 April to top up your ISA before your new allowance starts on 6 April with the new tax year, although some providers have different cut-off dates before 5 April. The 2020/2021 ISA allowance is £20,000, so make sure you’ve squirrelled away as much of your savings as you can afford into your ISA to take advantage of the tax-free limits, as the allowance doesn’t carry over if unused.
Not opened an ISA yet? It might not be too late. Check out our reviews of ISA providers and see which one might be best for you.
2. Check your direct debits
Are you aware of every transaction going through your current account? We think it’s good practice to check your current account regularly, firstly in case there’s anything suspicious happening with your account, but it can also help you spot any unnecessary direct debits and prompt you to cancel them.
Maybe you’re still paying for insurance for something you don’t need or have any more, it could be an old magazine subscription you never read, or maybe you’ve signed up to something that you don’t use any more (gym membership, anyone?). Most banks allow you to log on either via your app or their online banking to see all the direct debits you have in place in one go, so you can check if everything’s in order. Who knows, you might end up better off every month.
3. Check your credit report
Your credit score can have a big impact on your finances, from getting approved for loans and credit cards, up to getting a mortgage approved. There’s several credit report providers who will allow you to check your credit score for free, and some also provide you with tips and guidance on how to improve your credit score. You may also uncover forgotten or unknown credit commitments that could be affecting your record.
Check out our credit report provider reviews to see which others think and which one might be right for you.
4. Check the interest rate on your savings accounts
Savings rates are incredibly low at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you should be earning 0.01% on your savings. Double check what interest rate you’re earning on your savings, and then check whether there’s any better deals out there at the moment. We think the Savings Guru is a pretty good place to start comparing savings rates and seeing who’s top of the best buy table at the moment, and then you can always double check how the provider stacks up with our savings provider reviews.
5. Make a note of all your insurance renewal dates
We see a lot of negative reviews for insurance providers where people have been caught out by those cheeky auto-renewals, or been offered large increases in their insurance premiums when it comes to renew. Take some time to check your renewal dates, and make a note of them in your calendar, with a reminder about a month before to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to shop around and compare prices.
We’re not of the opinion that cheapest is always best, so be sure to check the reviews for a potential new insurance provider and make sure you know what the company is like before parting with your money.