Our top 10 tips for managing your family finances
This month we heard that household debts have risen to £1.5 trillion and UK adults owe on average £30,000 each!* These shocking statistics gave us the idea of creating a top 10 money management tips to help struggling families. We hope you find them useful!
1. Review spending and start budgeting – go through all your outgoings, including direct debits/standing orders and subscriptions, and cancel those you don’t really need. Our budget planner can help get you started.
2. Switch providers – set aside some time to use comparison sites to switch to better deals on utilities/insurance and contact existing suppliers to negotiate a better deal (satellite tv, broadband and mobile phone providers are keen to keep you!).
3. Plan your food shop – write out a list and stick to it. Get the family involved too, so you all come up with ideas for the weeks’ meals. Get the best deals by using a comparison site such as mysupermarket.co.uk to compare the cost of your shopping basket. Search for and use coupons, free delivery, money-off and extra loyalty points.
4. Redeem loyalty points and offers – don’t forget about those loyalty points you always seem to be collecting. When you are having an expensive month, using your loyalty points to pay for items can help! Also make sure you take advantage of comparison site offers, such as free cinema tickets when switching providers. Tesco Clubcard for example, offers a Merlin pass for £50 instead of £169 (great for keeping the kids entertained) and some providers offer gift cards if you buy a product from them - Bonus!
5. Look out for family deals – Amazon family for example offers monthly deals and savings on essential items such as nappies if you subscribe for a year. By making a small outlay upfront you could secure discounts that more than cover your initial cost. It is also worth finding out if your employer offers childcare vouchers which will help reduce your tax and national insurance bill. There is also a tax free childcare scheme being phased in early next year - keep your eyes peeled for more info on this!
6. Stop paying interest – if you have cards, accounts and loans you’re paying interest on, plan to pay these off and commit to not spending on them anymore. Switch credit cards to interest-free options if you can and consider consolidating debts into a low-interest loan to pay off in manageable monthly payments over a set period.
7. Mortgages – are you getting the best deal on your mortgage or trying to get on the housing ladder? We can help you with our mortgage modelling tool and put you in touch with a mortgage advisor.**
8. Consider transport costs – have you secured the best deal you can if using public transport? If you make monthly payments for your car, can you manage them and have you considered switching to a cheaper alternative? How much does the fuel, road tax and insurance cost each year? If you have to pay for parking, have you shopped around for the best deal – is it cheaper to pay an annual fee?
9. Bargain hunting - we all like to treat ourselves, so use sites such as Group On, Wowcher and Voucher Cloud to do so. You can secure great savings on everything from eating out, hampers, spas and hotel breaks to zoo/ Sea Life Centre visits, breakdown cover, photography packages and courses. Sign up to weekly email alerts from sites that provide updates on the latest deals.
10. Check your financial health – Our free financial health report enables you to assess how you’re doing in six important areas, including debt planning/budgeting, saving, buying a new home and protection. And if you need any extra help we can put you in touch with our Lemonade Heroes – kinda like a financial fitness mentor, whose sole purpose is to get your finances on track.
* According to the Money Charity
**Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.