Money savvy for 2015 – start off as you mean to go on and switch to save. Get your finances in order. 

The Telegraph has produced a report that can help you make some great savings this year, what order you should tackle them in and how much you could typically save. They made some general assumptions about the average person’s finances and used these figures to base their findings on. You could save hundreds of pounds by doing a bit of research and start on the path to straightening out your finances for 2015!

You may be used to shopping around for your car or home insurance, but have you thought about your other insurances like life insurance or critical illness cover? You may be paying well over the odds for that, and you may just find that you haven’t updated it since you got your mortgage, and your circumstances may have changed dramatically for instance you may have become self employed or you have children now, or both!

There are six distinct areas that they believe you can save on.

The first is your mortgage

Interest rates are at their lowest ever, you are probably paying too much for your current mortgage, especially if you haven’t looked at it for a few years. Shop around and see what is out there. If you have no protected loans and a good credit rating, you will have a lot to choose from. The Telegraph have mentioned a few.

Second comes your life insurance

Think about this carefully before you switch. Premiums do go up as you get older and if your health deteriorates. Also, make sure you have the new one in place before you cancel the old one. However it is still worth doing as most people forget they have them and pay out for years to a plan that is completely inadequate for them or one that is totally over the top for them. It’s worth speaking to a financial adviser about this as they can scour the market and find a plan that is appropriate for your needs and save you money in the process!

Thirdly your ISA’s

Interest rates change all the time and it is recommended that you check your ISAs regularly even if you are fixed for a long term and you can still switch them and get a much better interest rate. You can’t close one and then open another, you need to find one that will accept a transfer and then you have to transfer the whole balance to them. For more details click here

The fourth area to save on is your credit cards

If you have a credit card that you are trying to clear, look at switching to a balance transfer card. You will have to pay a transfer fee but in the long term you will save as the percentage rate is usually fixed at 0% for a year minimum. This will give you time to make a plan to pay the whole thing off while you are not paying any additional interest on the money left on it, effectively it’s a free loan.

The fifth area is your cash savings accounts

If you are lucky enough to have some cash savings, it’s well worth shopping around the banks and building societies as some of them offer a far higher interest rate than ISA accounts although it is still worth taking advantage of ISAs. If you have a lump sum and want to get at it straightaway, there are current accounts out there offering great interest rates.

The sixth area is your utilities

The report makes the assumption that you have not changed your energy supplier since you moved in, which could be years. You could save yourself hundreds of pounds by shopping around for better deals. Going online and paying direct debit can also save you pounds over the year. Also going through sites such as Quidco and TopCashBack can find you even cheaper deals. It may seem like a hassle to begin with as they will ask you for your meter readings and your useage over the last year to give them some guidelines, but it’s worth doing the research as some people could save up to £500.

See the full report from the Telegraph here:

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