Keeping a regular eye on your personal finances will help you make the most of your money. Reviewing things like your bank accounts, mortgage, pension and savings will also help make sure they are still right for you. It will also alert you early to potential financial problems.
Check your income and expenditure
It is a good idea to regularly check whether your income is:
- enough to leave you with money to spare
- only just enough to cover your spending
- not enough to cover your spending, so you have a shortfall
You can use the downloadable ‘Budget Sheet‘ on this website to check your outgoings against your income.
If you do have money to spare, look for savings/investments options that are suitable for your circumstances and will give you a better return. If you have a shortfall you will need to take action to reduce your outgoings and/or increase your income. If you are worried about debts you can get free advice.
Review your savings, borrowings and investments
Even if you feel you are in control of your finances, it is a good idea to look regularly at your savings, borrowings and investments to make sure you are getting the best deals available. Look at things like:
- how much it costs you to borrow money on your mortgage, loans, overdrafts, credit and store cards
- how well your savings and investments are doing (including things like savings schemes and pensions)
- the cost of insurance to protect your income, your property and investments
The FSA website offers comparative tables on a wide range of savings and investment products, and provides information on how to compare credit card deals. It also offers mortgage repayment calculators showing how different interest rates would affect your mortgage payments.
Use the Money Advice Service savings and investment comparative tables (opens new window)
Money Advice Service information on comparing credit card deals (opens new window)
Use the Money Advice Service mortgage repayment calculators (opens new window)
Renewing insurance – things to check out
When renewing house, health or other insurance take the time to read the small print to see what’s changed. Are you still getting value for money and the cover you need?
Money Advice Service tips on renewing insurance (opens new window)
Money Advice Service information on how to shop around for insurance (opens new window)
Sorting out your financial priorities
If you need help sorting out your financial priorities, a good starting point is the FSA’s online financial healthcheck. It will give you tips for a healthier financial lifestyle and identifies areas of your finances that may need further review.
Take the Money Advice Service financial healthcheck (opens new window).
The information provided above and on the rest of this site is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as advice. No warranty is given as to the currency or accuracy of the information contained in the above or any other information on this site. Contact numbers or contact details given are for independent companies, no assurances can be given either explicity or implied about the performance of these companies or their individual products and services. You should always seek independent financial advice before making any investment, insurance or borrowing decision.