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Your financial to-do list

Your financial to-do list

Category: Money

Updated: 22/04/2015
First Published: 22/04/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Some things can affect your finances more than others, and failing to be up-to-date with the likes of insurance renewals, savings accounts and broadband packages can easily cost you money. So why not get a handle on things? Forget cleaning the house, it's time to spring clean your finances! Here's your financial to-do list that will ensure you're not spending more than you need to – and you could even boost your cash reserves in the process.

  • Check your savings rate. If you haven't looked at how your savings are performing in a while, it's time to check. If you're saving in a fixed rate bond then nothing should have changed, but if you're on a variable rate, you may be earning less than when you first opened the account. Beware of bonuses, too – some easy access accounts come with introductory bonuses that typically last for just 12 months, after which the rate could drop considerably. So, compare the options to see if you can get a better rate, and better returns, elsewhere.
  • Use your ISA allowance. We're well into the new tax year now, which means it's high time you considered your options. It really does pay to be an early bird, so why wait? The sooner you make your deposit the sooner you can build up interest, so check out the ISA best buys to find a top-paying home for your money. You could even look into stocks & shares ISAs if you've got a higher risk appetite – it isn't a must, but finding out more about them should definitely be on your list.
  • Transfer credit card balances to a 0% interest deal. Why pay interest if you don't have to? If you've got a hefty balance on a credit card, consider switching it to a balance transfer deal. Doing so will mean you can pay off your debt without interest adding to your worries, and with 0% balance transfer cards available with introductory periods of up to 36 months, you'll have plenty of time to clear the balance.
  • Compare gas and electricity tariffs. Now the sun's shining, thoughts of your winter energy bills have probably been put to the back of your mind, but that can be a big mistake. It's a great time of year to consider your options, and if you compare tariffs and switch to a low-rate deal – and ideally fix for the next year or so – you could save hundreds of pounds and be confident that your bills will be lower for several winters to come.
  • Get a better broadband package. Finding the right broadband package can be tricky. You could end up paying too much for services you don't need or you may not have the TV channels, connection speed or data allowance you want, so if you're not happy with your current broadband deal, make sure to compare alternatives. Many providers offer great incentives to tempt you to switch, so why not take advantage?
  • Check the renewal date of your insurance policies. Don't run the risk of being automatically renewed with your current provider – if you're coming up to your renewal date, make sure to compare quotes! Whether it's car insurance, home insurance, income protection or anything else, you could find a better deal simply by seeing what else is out there.
  • Switch current accounts. This isn't a must-do, but it's worth considering nonetheless. There's a definite battle going on in the world of current accounts at present – providers are vying for your business and are offering various incentives to encourage you to switch, ranging from a simple cash payment to high interest rates for in-credit balances, cashback on everyday purchases and even monthly rewards for banking with them, so it's a great time to consider your options.
  • Consider remortgaging. Are you on your lender's standard variable rate, or maybe you're coming to the end of a fixed rate mortgage deal? Either way, now could be the time to make a change. Mortgage rates are at record lows, which means it'll be far cheaper to remortgage than to stay where you are, so check out the top remortgage deals to see if you could lower your monthly repayments.

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.