We all made resolutions this year to get fitter, stronger and leaner and some of us might have fallen at the first hurdle (as we shake our fists at the cheesy pizza we gorged on at the weekend) but you can still become financially fit – with no heavy breathing or sweatiness involved.
It’s best to limber up for this sort of task and much like when you try to avoid pulling a hamstring at football on a Sunday morning, you must be prepped and ready when sorting out your finances.
First take a look at all your existing debts and outgoing monthly payments; are there any that can be swiftly reduced – like you wish your waistline could? First things first, consolidate those existing debts into one simple monthly repayment by speaking to your bank about taking out a loan with them. This loan will pay off the debts and then you can pay off the total amount you owed. Simple.
Knowing that you are financially fit can help when you need to arrange costly life payments, such as a mortgage, which takes into account your financial situation and how well you deal with money. Take a look at the Money Advice Service to see what you could borrow now and potentially what you could afford once those finances are in shape.
- Leg day
Now that you’re prepared it’s time to put in the legwork towards being financially fit. Use comparison websites – 60% of Brits do, according to this research – to compare energy supplier prices, car insurance costs and broadband charges. If what you’re paying is significantly higher, switch supplier; however when it comes to insurance and broadband you might be tied into a contract, in this case it’s time to get sweaty and start haggling to lower that price.
Do your research and have plenty of quotes from other companies to throw at the person on the end of the phone.
Mobile phone bills are another huge cost and if you are paying over £15 a month then money saving expert Martin Lewis believes you are wasting money. If you can afford to buy a handset do so and then opt for a SIM only contract, or if you simply must have the latest phone a 52% APR loan could be cheaper than a contract including the handset.
- Strength training
Now it’s time to work that core and increase your strength at financing. The easiest way to do this is to move any savings you have into a higher interest savings account where they’ll just keep on growing with interest. Take a look at a savings comparison table, input your desired monthly saving amount and see which bank or building society offers the best deal.
Prepping for the month is also a good idea, as budgeting can make your finances stronger because there should be no over indulging with your cash.
Run wild and free with all that spare money and fit finances you now have. Just remember to pace yourself throughout the month with your spending.
Like the well-known 2-in-1 shampoo brand suggests, rinse and then repeat – especially if you’re a bit sweaty from your efforts.