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Don't put off essential financial admin

Your Money
Thursday 08 March 2018
Make sense of your finances with our seven-step plan. It’s all about getting organised, keeping data up to date and taking essential security steps.

Get stuck in, the results will be worth it. 

1. Organise your documents

Know where to find key documents when you need them.

Even if you already efficiently file your financial paperwork, it’s worth running through documents once a year to refresh your memory of what’s where.  

2. Shred your old paperwork

Reorganising also means digging out old and unnecessary documents. Statements for accounts you closed years ago… that sort of thing.

Now shred it. Thoroughly. Use an electric shredder or cut the paper into ribbon strips with scissors. This helps protect against identity theft.

3. Consider going paperless

If you still get bank and credit card statements through the post, it might be time consider going paperless.

Most banks and other financial institutions offer it and, increasingly, employers are choosing digital payslips too. It can be more secure and more convenient, while some service providers give discounts or other incentives. 

4. Ensure your contact details are up to date

Do this for all essential services (gas, electricity etc.) and bank accounts, as well your mobile phone and other subscriptions. This will ensure you’re receiving your dues and not being charged unnecessarily.

5. Review your outgoings

You don’t want to be spending too much, or worse, paying for things you don’t want or need.

Create a budget that tracks outgoings clearly. You can use online templates, mobile apps or make one yourself. Be honest and ruthless when you ask yourself: ‘Do I really want to pay for this?’

6. Switch bank accounts and providers

This can help ensure that you’re making the most of your money.

Banks often reward you for moving to them. This might be with preferential interest rates or a cash bonus. Additionally, see if you can make savings on your utilities; gas, electricity and telephones, plus subscription services such as Internet provider, television and so on.

7. Devise a payment plan or savings goal

The clear financial overview you now have means you know how much you need to repay each month. Or if you’re lucky, how much you can save without feeling the pinch.

Committing to a genuine repayment or savings plan can deliver real peace of mind and security for the future.

Page last updated: Monday 12 November 2018