Clocks go forwards: How to spring clean your finances
Published 26 March 2017 by Emily Bancroft
Find out how you could save some cash.
This morning (Sunday 26 March), the clocks went forwards one hour. In one way, this might seem like bad news as it means we lost out on one hour. But in another way, it marks a reason to be happy as it means that spring is here.
That means we’ll start seeing the days getting longer than the nights and it will now be lighter in the evenings – no more commutes in the dark! With this in mind, it’s the perfect time to spring clean your finances. Here are a few ways you can save money by clearing out the financial cobwebs.
Refresh your budget
First off, it’s worth taking a look at your household budget. Don’t have one? Find out how to put one together with our definitive guide to budgeting.
This should help you see the money that’s going out of your account and what you’re spending it on. And from this, you can identify areas where you can cut back.
For example, if you’re spending a lot on lunches for work, can you make these at home instead of buying in the canteen every day? And if you buy a lot of clothes for yourself, try putting a limit on this.
When you’re looking at your budget, it’s worth checking all of the Direct Debits you pay. If you’ve not been through these in a while, it’s likely there will be some you can cancel.
So if you’re still paying for Netflix but you’ve not watched it for months, stop paying for it. Or if you’ve forgotten to cancel a mobile phone bill and you don’t even have the phone anymore, cancel this.
You should cancel the bill by getting in touch with the company you pay it to and let them know you don’t want the service anymore. And as long as it’s not something you’ve signed up to a fixed term for – like a 12-month gym subscription – you should be able to cancel it.
Want to stop paying a Direct Debit as a thinkmoney customer? Find out how to do this with our blog on cancelling Direct Debits.
Check your new tax code
The start of April means one thing for your wages – you’ll probably move to a new tax code. And there’s no better time to check what your tax code will be from 6 April. It shows you how much income tax you’ll pay every month, so you can work out your take home pay.
Find out your tax code for 2017/18 with our handy guide.
Clear out your home
Spring is also a good time to clear out the clutter from your house to make space and get rid of things you don’t need. And while you’re at it, why not make some extra cash?
Go through everything you’re looking to sell out and work out what’s actually worth selling. If you think it could make a few quid, you could sell it on eBay.
Even if you’re getting rid of clothes and they’re not from an expensive or designer label, you can bundle a few together and sell them as a batch. Have a look at some other sellers on eBay to get an idea of how much various items sell for before you start.