Our cars function well with a little day-to-day maintenance and a thorough annual service. In just the same way, you can keep your financial wellbeing on top form with regular, bitesize activities alongside a comprehensive annual review.
Use these suggestions to create your own schedule for maintaining your financial wellbeing:
- Open, read and deal with post and emails from financial providers, utility companies, local council and insurance companies.
- Check your bank and credit card statements and immediately report any suspicious transactions to your bank or card issuer.
- Spend money mindfully. Ask yourself: Do I need it? Can I afford it? Have I compared the price? Will I use it?
- Plan your weekly grocery shop. Make a list based on a weekly meal plan before you go and to avoid last-minute, impulse buys.
- Check your budget planner for bills due over the next month and set aside money to cover them. Could you set up a direct debit for any regular payments?
- Make additional payments to your mortgage if you can do that without incurring a penalty, or set money aside for an emergency fund or to build up savings.
- Make credit card, loan and mortgage payments when they’re due and talk to the provider straightaway if you have a problem. Remember, CABA can help you with debt advice, including negotiating with your creditors.
- Check your budget planner for contracts ending and policies that need to be renewed in the next month. Set aside time to compare prices, negotiate with existing suppliers or switch to a better deal in plenty of time.
These don’t all have to be done at the same time!
- Write a budget plan of monthly income and expenditure. Review and update it with the latest figures each year.
- At least once a year, keep a record of everything you spend for a week. Update your budget planner with this information and consider whether there’s any unnecessary everyday spending that you can reduce.
- Review standing orders and direct debits and cancel any that you don’t need.
- Review your plans for future income, retirement, and for looking after your loved ones. Consult an independent financial advisor if you need advice.