Globaleye Reviews the Top 8 Tips to Shape Up Your Accounts

Give your Finances a Summer Makeover





At Her Finance, we're all about empowering women with the knowledge and know-how to make the most of your finances and this week our colleagues at Globaleye have been sharing a few of their top tips.

Unless you fall into the category of being a hardcore financial geek, the chances are you don't review your accounts more than once or twice a year.

But by simply giving your finances a regular 'Spring clean' it could help you save money and avoid financial pitfalls.

Here are our top tips to help you give your finances a summer 'health check' - and as ever, if there's anything you get stuck on, we're here to help.

1. Check up on your expenses

Big pitfall alert: Summer spending has a tendency to get out of control. But on closer inspection, has your annual spend exceeded respectable amounts?

Pop your data into a money management software such as Mint and within just a few minutes, you'll start to get a picture of where your money is going and how you can cut back.

Once you've got an idea of your 'spend', you'll be able to work out a new budget.

Tip: Why not try sticking to a cash allowance. Once it's gone, it's gone.

2. Look through your accounts - with a fine toothed comb

Ever get that feeling that your salary 'just went'. You wouldn't be the first.

By conducting a thorough review of your accounts can turn up a few surprises and shocks.

The direct debit for the gym membership you no longer use. Another for an online magazine or data storage that you don't need. Charges for international money transfers that you had no idea about. We have even had clients who are still paying for car insurance for a car they no longer drive in the UK.

Surely this little exercise is worth a moment of your time.

3. Review your mortgage

When did you last look a refinancing your mortgage?

The most expensive thing you are ever likely to own is your house. But for some reason, carrying out a mortgage comparison seems pretty low on the 'to do' list for many of our clients.

This simple task, which can be carried out by your financial advisor, could save you thousands over the lifetime of a loan.

4. Dare I ask - Self Assessment?

If you have a property in the UK and that property is in both your name and the name of your spouse, it is likely you should be completing annual HMRC Overseas Self-Assessment Forms.

Should this be a grey area, contact HMRC in the UK or speak to your financial advisor here. Falling behind with your Self-Assessment can accrue hefty penalties, which may be waiting to haunt you on your return to the UK.

5. Plan ahead for absolutely EVERYTHING

It's only summer, but you need to start planning for Christmas - especially if you travel. And last Christmas, why didn't you plan for summer?

Planning ahead for everything can save you a small fortune. Flights, hotels and accommodation are all generally cheaper the earlier you book (and don't forget to tick the 'Insurance' option to protect yourself from unexpected circumstances).

If you have children, Christmas is a big one to plan ahead for, by setting finances aside well in advance. Gifts, activities, outings and Christmas 'magic' all come at a price, but by saving in advance your balance sheet will suffer a smaller shock closer to the time.

6. Get rid of loans

Don't even think about saving until you've gotten rid of loans, credit cards and debt (not including your mortgage).

The high-interest rates that come with loans trump saving - by a long shot. As soon as you are debt free, that's the time to start stashing your cash.

7. Save. Save. Save.

Are you even saving anything?

You're not alone. But take a few seconds to consider the future of yourself and your spouse, your retirement, your children and their education and university fees.

When we tell our clients they should have been saving for their child's education from the moment they were in the womb, we generally receive silence in response.

The future very often seems too far away to worry about... until it arrives.

8. Last but by no means least - Insurance

If you or your spouse lost your job tomorrow, would you be financially able to cope?

Life Insurance ensures you and your family are financially protected in the event of unexpected circumstances. Critical Illness Cover ensures payments are made in the event of illness or disability. Income Protection Insurance covers your bills in the event of job loss.

An Emergency Fund kept in an instant access account acts as a great buffer zone, should the worst happen. But Emergency Funds generally don't last longer than three to six months, and you wouldn't want to jeopardise your savings.


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