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Spring clean your finances

25th March 2022

Getting on top of your money can feel like a tough task at times, particularly when the cost of living is on the rise.

Whether it’s soaring energy prices, or your weekly shopping bill going up, we’re all having to dig a little deeper for the essentials.

But there are some simple steps that can help. This short guide is packed with tips and advice to spring clean your finances so you can make the most of life knowing you’re more confident with your money.

Keep tabs on your account

Money in, money out – your bank account works as hard as you do every month. And with Direct Debits and contactless payments for everything from your bus fare to a lunchtime sandwich, it can be difficult to keep track of your spending.

Monitoring your account every day helps you stay in control and see if you are in danger of running short before payday.

TSB’s Mobile Banking App is a simple and secure way to check your balance, as well as any upcoming bills, so you can plan ahead.

Check your budget

As well as monitoring day to day spending, it is also important to look at the bigger picture.

If you have a firm grip on your income and outgoings, then it is easier to plan ahead, and see where you may be able to make savings.

Write down a full monthly budget, and don’t forget to allow for irregular expenses, such as birthdays and Christmas, or an annual car service and MoT.

You can then work out how much you can afford to spend, how much you need to put aside for bills, and if possible, put away in a savings account. Maybe you’re saving for a rainy day, or a longer-term goal such as a house deposit, or a summer holiday.

You can find a free online budgeting tool at MoneyHelper to get you started.

It’s good to talk

Technology has transformed the way we manage our money, but sometimes we still need the human touch. TSB branches and pop-up branches have Money Confidence Experts to help you navigate the rising cost of living. If you’d like to discuss your situation with one of our Money Confidence Experts and find out more about how we can work together to help make the most of your money, find your nearest TSB branch using our Branch Locator.

If you manage your finances jointly with a partner, then it’s also important to talk to them about money, whether it’s to agree a plan, or share any concerns you may have.

Can you reduce your spending?

Once you’ve made your budget, have a look through to see if there is any non-essential spending you could cut back on, such as a TV subscription you rarely watch. Perhaps you are paying for landline minutes for a phone you don’t use, or memberships that you have forgotten about.

And add up what you spend across a month on items such as coffees, cinema trips or eating out. It’s good to be able to spend money on the things you enjoy, but also important to make sure it doesn’t leave you short at the end of the month.

Could you get an income boost?

Wages are not rising as fast as prices at the moment, but you can still take steps to maximise how much money you have coming in.

Cashback and loyalty schemes can give you a little more spending power, but don’t let them tempt you into buying more in the first place.

And check you are claiming any benefits you are eligible for - there are official calculators here:

Be a bill-buster

Rising energy bills are one of the key factors pushing up the cost of living, so see if you can cut how much gas and electricity you use. The Energy Saving Trust has a comprehensive guide here:

Check if you can save by switching tariffs or suppliers. TSB’s Marketplace is a great place to start, with a range of partners to help you get the most out of your money and build money confidence including ApTap, which lets you compare your utility bills with the most competitive deals available.

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