Now is the time when our credit card bills will be hitting the mat with a hefty thud and now is the time to fully ensure that you keep to your New Years Resolutions and make 2010 be the best year ever for your personal finances. The good news is that 10 simple debt management tips could save you £1,000 this year, and just think what you could use that money for, anything from paying off your debt to treating yourself to a hot holiday abroad.
Which? have put together a list of 10 tips which are designed to aid you with your 2010money makeover:
1. Check your credit cards. The average APR of a credit card is now at almost 17%, but be on the look out for any 0% deals where you can transfer your balance and Which? believes could save as much as £500 a year on a £3,000 balance.
2. Switch your current accounts. Although switching your current accounts may not save you money in the short term, it could transform your banking experiences and make it more of a pleasure to deal with your finances.
3. Change your energy suppliers. Recent research from Which? Switch reveals that UK households who have switched their energy supplier could save an average £263 a year. This is all extra money that you could be using to pay off your debt and we can help our clients to switch their suppliers and do a comparison check to ensure that you are getting a great deal.
4. Get a free water meter. It is worth looking into getting a free water meter as most homes in England and Wales are entitled to a free water meter. Getting the water meter installed could help you do your bit for the environment by saving water and also reduce your bills.
5. Open a new savings account. If you are saving money on a daily basis, or whenever you can afford to do so, it always makes sense to ensure that your money is working as hard as possible for you. Which? recommend that you check the interest rates on your current your savings accounts and advise that you switch is you are earning any less than 3% interest or if your cash Isa is less than 2.5%.
6. Find the cheapest petrol. One of the perils of being a car owner is ending up paying more than necessary for petrol. It is essential so make it as cheap as possible and use the Internet to search for the best petrol prices in your postcode.
7. Minimise your insurance premiums. Always make sure you are getting the best price for your insurances and be careful that your current car or home insurers don’t increase their costs when it is due for renewal.
8. Have a house swapping holiday. For a holiday with a difference consider a house swap. For example, a week’s trip to New York could save you around £900 compared to the price of a three star hotel.
9. Compare phone, TV and broadband prices. The same way as you would do with your utility suppliers, don’t pay over the odds for your home phone services when there are options such as money-saving bundles or making free phone calls from your home computer via the Internet.
10. Insulate your home. Consider insulating your loft with blanket rolls as these could provide you with significant savings on your heating bills.
Martyn Hocking, Editor at Which?, says: “If you make just one New Year’s resolution this year, make it that you’ll face your finances head on.” One Advice are also on hand to help you with your finances and if your debt repayments are becoming a struggle we can offer free debt advice and a range of financial solutions to help you to manage your money better.