Takes steps to improve your finances – before the New Year

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The UK has finally come out the other side of a double-dip recession, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s finances will be looking rosy. Many families will be left with debt after a difficult economic year, so if this sounds familiar – it’s time to take action.

 

Consolidate credit card debt

One of the best ways to take control of your finances is to consolidate credit card debt. This might sound like a grisly end of year job, but it will help you get back on track sooner rather than later. To set this task in motion, simply transfer outstanding balances onto a card with a lower interest rate and pay money back in installments. You’ll only have one bill to contend with and won’t have final notice letters landing on your doorstep – if you manage things correctly.

Set up direct debits

Popping to the post office to pay bills, or finding the nearest bank can be rather inconvenient, so why not set up the relevant direct debits? This will ensure your landlord, utility providers and other companies get paid on time and will stop endless trips up and down the high street. With Internet banking you can even sort everything out online, so it’s definitely worth finding out more.

Make the most of finance apps

If you have a smartphone of iPad, you’ll know that there are plenty of applications available to download – including a wide range of finance apps. These can be used on the go and will give you a deeper insight into your money matters. While the UK Salary Calculator (compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) will tell you exactly what you’ll earn post tax, Expensify (designed for iPhone and Android devices) will allow you to turn your receipts digital and email them to your boss.

Curb your Christmas spending

You don’t want to start the New Year with a lot of debt, so try to curb your Christmas spending. Of course, buying gifts for loved ones is all part of the festive period, but you don’t have to overdo it. Look for cheap deals and discounts online, make the use of shopping vouchers or simply buy one item for each person (rather than ten). If you do decide to swap cash for plastic, compare credit cards before spending and use the one with the lowest interest rate.

Organising your finances might be easier than you think, so start making some simple changes today!