Your private economy is one of the important things to regularly review and manage to ensure you are making your money work for you. There are many methods, large and small, that can be adopted in order to gain savings from the way your money is being handled.
At the large end, the considerations are common, but many fail to give them the required attention – busy lives and jobs often creating more pressing priorities. At the top end of a private economy are considerations around mortgages, loans and savings.
For those with a mortgage, it is recommended that an annual review should take place to check that payments are at their lowest possible level. This may be a cursory glance, as mortgages are often fixed for many years, but without checking, review dates and the opportunity to change may be missed.
The same process is also true of loans, credit cards and savings. A general rule is that savings should always be used to pay off loans – keeping a loan active will cost more in the long term than the savings will provide in terms of interest. As with a mortgage, rates on loans, credit cards and savings can change – particularly those with inviting introductory rates which are altered after 12 or 24 months. A review may well identify that more attractive rates are available from different financial institutions – moving savings can increase the available rate by a number of percentage points.
At the smaller end of the private economy, checking that bills such as telephones, energy and water are as low as possible is always worth considering. There are many tariffs for all of these regular services available in the market, and switching can provide significant savings.
Day to day money management can also free up unexpected volumes of cash if it is done sensibly. Consider what food is being disposed of at the end of the week – should the next shopping trip be smaller? Does it help to take a list, rather than shopping by gut feel? Many people will use their freezers to minimise the amount of food waste and reduce their bills at the checkout.
Managing energy and water bills can also provide daily savings – a bath is much more expensive than a short shower, lighting in empty rooms is eating into your cash, and even leaving that phone on charge overnight is costing you cash.