Did you know that 32% of UK workers have less than £500 in their savings account? The truth is that many of us are confused when it comes to managing our personal finances. When we came across this quiz from Sunny Loans we realised that we too have a lot to learn about interest rates, credit scores and planning for the future.
Luckily, the quiz is free and takes just a few minutes to complete and offers detailed insights into what really matters when it comes to money. In fact, the Sunny Loans website is jam-packed with hints and tips on how to be thrifty with advice on home decor, overdrafts, recipes and car financing to name just a few.
Think you know the difference between base rate and fixed rate mortgages and what APR really means? Take the quiz and find out. After seeing our results we realised that it was time to get our finances in order for 2019 and we’re starting with a rainy day savings fund.
Here are some ways that you can get started today….
The first thing you can do to minimise your spending is to avoid the endless stream of marketing emails that flood your inbox on the daily. How many random coupon emails do you get every day? It’s time to have a clear out and unsubscribe from as many as you can to avoid temptation every time you look at your phone. When you do want to make a purchase, simply search online for a valid discount code before you buy.
Apply for tax credits
Tax credits are government payouts that give extra money to people who need it most. Depending on your household income and circumstances you may be eligible for working tax credits or child tax credits. Remember, you’ll need your P60 to apply. It’s also worth keeping this safe as you will need proof of your income if you apply for a loan or a mortgage or want to claim a tax rebate in the future.
Keep food fresher for longer
Stop throwing money in the bin every time your dispose of wasted food. Instead, freeze leftovers so that you’ve got an instant meal for later in the week or a lazy evening when you’re late home from work. Storing food properly in the fridge will also give it a longer shelf-life leading to less wastage which really mounts up over the year. For example, cucumbers turn soft because the fridge is too cold – wrap them in a tea towel to keep them crisp. Also, did you know that the fridge door rack gets warm whenever the door is opened? This means you should avoid storing milk in the door if you want it to last longer.
Transfer your debt
If you’re paying a lot of interest on debt, you’ll save money by transferring it all onto a credit card with a 0% balance-transfer deal. These credit cards won’t charge any interest on transferred debts for a certain time limit (e.g. 12 months) giving you the opportunity to repay money without additional fees. Just be sure to pay the balance before the promotional period ends otherwise you may be stung by a dramatic increase in interest charges.
Use price comparison websites
Price comparison websites let you compare hundreds of financial products and ensure you choose the best deal to suit your needs. You can search for car insurance, credit cards or broadband deals see exactly how much you could save every month. Just remember to set that money aside in your savings account straight away so that it doesn’t get swallowed up by everyday expenditure.
Save on travel
Joining a car-sharing scheme could dramatically decrease your fuel costs, and sharing a daily commute could save you over £1,000 a year. Eventually you might even give up your car altogether, saving you cash on insurance and road tax. If you don’t have a car then consider renting out your empty driveway or garage to people who need a space close to home or work. There are websites that will help you do this and you normally pay a one-off registration fee to have your space advertised. Then the cost of renting a space is up to you.