Now that the clocks have sprung forward and spring is finally in the air, what better time to freshen up your finances and clean up your debts? If your savings accounts have been gathering dust over the winter, or you're sure that your energy supplie is no longer offering the best deal, you're not alone! So why not join those who are preparing to blow off the cobwebs and give their finances a much-needed airing?
Spring is an ideal time to start reviewing your finances, and according to research carried out by Lloyds Bank, 37% of those questioned are using the onset of warmer weather as an excuse to sort out their money.
Lowering bills and clearing debt were among the top priorities of respondents, with 29% saying that they wanted to reduce their fuel bills and another 23% stating that they wanted to pay off their existing debt.
If this sounds like you, then you may want to take a look at our gas and electricity comparison tool, which will help you to see which suppliers offer the best bargains on the market. According tofigures from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), families switching their energy supplier typically saved around £312 in just one month, so the gains can definitely be worth it!
Clearing debt is also a great way to freshen up your finances. If credit card debt is a particular bane for you, then you may want to think about a 0% interest balance transfer card. These cards can help you to pay off existing debt without accruing additional interest, provided you clear the balance during the introductory 0% offer. Check out our best buys to see if there is something on the market for you.
Clearing debt and lowering your household bills will hopefully mean that you are left with more disposable income. Indeed, a fifth (21%) of those questioned in Lloyds Bank's research said that they expected to have more spare cash in six months' time, so it makes sense to find it a good home!
If your savings have been languishing in an account that has been earning little interest, then it is time to scour the market for a better deal. Fixed rate savings accounts have the potential to earn competitive returns provided you are comfortable locking your money away. You can see the best deals in our best buy charts.
However, if you are more comfortable with a bit of risk, a stocks & shares ISA could be an option for you. Research from Moneyfacts shows that these ISAs have posted growth in 10 out of the 16 years they have been in existence, which could mean that you receive great returns. But you must also bear in mind that the value of your savings could also fall, so only invest if you are happy to take the risk.
Another great savings route is high interest current accounts. Of those asked, 10% said that they were planning on opening one of these accounts to secure a better interest rate. If you like to keep your current account topped up and have little need for an overdraft, then this may be a good option for you. Check out the top six high interest current accounts to get an overview.
Whatever you do to spring clean your finances, make sure you shop around and compare all the deals. This way, you can reduce your outgoings and build up a savings store, ready to last you through next winter.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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