30 Minute Money Makeover

Many of us overspend over the festive period, so January is the perfect time to do a money detox and take control of your finances. 

Maybe it’s one of your New Year’s Resolutions to save money or pay back debt. Maybe you just need to get a bit more organised. Whatever your aim, there’s a few quick things you can do to get started: 

Check Direct Debits 
It’s insane the number of people who are paying for unused gym memberships or TV subscriptions. Check your Direct Debits, make sure they’re all up to date and if there’s something in there you don’t use or could do without…cancel it!!!

Check the interest rate on credit cards 
If you’ve got a credit card, make sure you know the interest rate and the end dates of any promotional offers. If you’re paying interest, see if you can switch to a 0% interest or cheaper rate card. If not, call your current provider and see if they’re willing to lower the rate. I’ve had mine lowered in the past just by asking – they didn’t want to lose a loyal customer who always paid on time! 

If you’re trying to pay back credit card debt, work out a budget and see how much you can afford to pay every month. Remember, if you only pay the minimum it will take a LOT longer to repay! 

Shop around for cheaper insurance 
Check your house, car and contents insurance. If they’re coming up for renewal, shop around and see if you can get a cheaper price. Never auto-renew without checking elsewhere or you could be charged a lot more! 

Check if you can earn bonus cashback through Quidco or TopCashback. Sometimes they pay out just for getting a quote through a comparison site! 

I just saved £44.83 by switching car insurance companies. Plus I earned £26 cashback by purchasing it through Quidco! 

Even if you’re not due for renewal, it can be possible to save by switching. Just make sure any potential cancellation or admin fees are less than the amount you’ll save! 

Switch bank accounts 
If your bank has poor interest rates, bad customer service or charges you a high monthly fee, why are you with them? It might be worth switching, and there’s always banks that will pay you to do so. Personally I find the information on Money Saving Expert invaluable when looking at bank accounts – it’s all explained clearly and you can easily compare different accounts. The last time I switched, I earned £100, plus got access to a 6% interest savings account!

Check the interest rates on savings 
If you’ve got savings, make sure you’re getting the best possible rate. Interest rates are pretty poor at the minute, but certain accounts are better than others. Again, I find MSE invaluable for this kind of stuff. 

Personally I opened a regular saver that was offered by my bank and am now earning 6% interest instead of the pathetic 0.05% I had before…so it’s definitely worth looking into! 

If you’re a first time buyer saving for a house – check out the Help To Buy ISA. The government will give you a massive 25% bonus on your savings – the maximum bonus is £3000. 

Of course there’s loads more ways to save and make money, and a full money makeover will take a LOT longer than 30 minutes! But, you’ve got to start somewhere, and some of these tips could save you hundreds. 

Happy New Year and good luck with your money detox!


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