A new year is a chance for a fresh start. So, as we enter 2017, it’s time to consider how you can get your finances in order for the year ahead. Here are 8 savvy ways you could start saving today…
1. Review your mortgage
A home is likely the most expensive purchase you will ever make. But the chance to save doesn’t stop when you’ve signed on the dotted line. You could save hundreds of pounds each year by regularly scouting the market for a better mortgage rate.
2. Switch your energy provider
One of the simplest ways to save yourself money is to switch energy supplier to find a more favourable rate. Research alternative tariffs with your existing provider and look into other suppliers’ rates to find a better deal. Did you know you can group together with others to save money? We’ve partnered with iChoosr for collective energy switching to help our customers work together to get the best rate.
3. Change your current account
Non-profit Bacs runs a Current Account Switch Service so you can switch bank accounts with ease. This hassle-free service transfers all payments from an existing account and closes the old account for you. This makes it far simpler for you to shop around to find the bank account with the best interest rate or rewards.
4. Consider annual travel insurance instead of single trip
If you travel regularly with the family or with work or you’re going on a long-haul flight, then annual-trip travel insurance could work out cheaper overall. Annual policies also tend to provide more inclusive cover for medical expenses, baggage, and cancellation, meaning you’ll also be better protected.
5. Protect your car insurance excess with excess waiver insurance...
Excess waiver insurance can help bridge the gap between your insurance policy and your excess. This can be particularly useful when it comes to any little knocks or scrapes that wouldn’t be covered by your existing policy.
6. …and protect yourself when you hire a car
When you hire a car, you’re often covered by a basic level of insurance for things such as accidents and theft. However, if the car is damaged or even stolen, then you may have a large excess to pay. Rental car companies sometimes offer top-up insurance which could reduce your excess, however, this can be expensive, so it’s worth shopping around for this type of policy to get the best rate.
7. Wave goodbye to Granny Pensioner Bonds and get a better rate elsewhere
Pensioner bonds were fixed-rate savings bonds from a 2015 government-backed scheme that aimed to help get pensioners better interest on their savings. As the one-year bond is up, those who haven’t moved their money will see a swift drop from the original 2.8% down to 1.45%. If you have this type of bond then it could be wise to move your money elsewhere, for example, an ISA or current account with a higher interest rate.
8. Plan your pension like a pro
Make sure you have a clear understanding of your pension and plan for the future. It helps to get a pension projection, which you can do using this government tool, you can also track pension pots from previous employers using the Pension Tracking Service. Now that auto-enrolment is coming into force, you’ll definitely have something in your pot, but this may not be enough. There are various other options to top-up your pension, including upping your contributions, investing in an annuity and tax incentives. Don’t assume that you have to keep your pension in one place, either. Moving it to a provider with a better rate could earn you more in the long-term.