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Overhaul Your Personal Finances This Autumn

by on November 21, 2012

in Debt Help

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Shorter days and colder weather give you more time to focus on indoor tasks this autumn. Attention turns from keeping the lawn looking attractive to improving the status of the family budget. Reducing expenses and saving money do not need to be painful tasks. There are several easy ways to save money that can add up to a big improvement in the long-term financial outlook. Begin incorporating these today and start noticing the positive difference by the time winter arrives.

Most credit cards come with high interest rates but why pay these when zero percent interest cards area available? Look for a credit card with a one or two-year interest-free period. Pay off the balance on the existing credit card to avoid a balance transfer fee, which is approximately three percent. Establish direct debits so you will never miss a payment and incur late fees and interest charges.

Speaking of direct debits, autumn is the perfect time to review them. Determine whether that magazine or online membership subscription is really worth it. Come to terms with an unused gym membership by eliminating it and instead exercise outdoors in the crisp autumn air. Though a direct debit of £10 a month may not seem like a lot, it adds up to more than £100 a year, money well-spent elsewhere. Use the cash for holiday gifts or save it for a future home improvement project.

If you are one of the lucky consumers who can actually save money, consider switching from a current account. These days, these accounts are only earning about 0.1 percent interest, if anything. Several other types of accounts feature higher interest rates and some of them allow tax-free earnings. If you have not yet begun saving, try to because the money will come in handy for unexpected fall or winter expenses like a malfunctioning heating system.

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Personal Funds Up For Grabs?

Did you know that UK has more than £15 billion in unclaimed assets? This includes life insurance policies, savings accounts, premium bonds, and pensions remaining with former employers. You may be the rightful owner of some of this money. Think back and clean out the files, looking for old paperwork that may result in a nice windfall just in time for the holidays. Keep files for current assets within reach so they do not fall into this abyss.

When it is too cold to venture outside, spend time reviewing the regular bills and shop around to see if better deals are available. Spouses in different tax brackets should put income from buy-to-lets and savings in the name of the lower wage earner to reduce tax liability. There are different ways to split ownership so refer to the HM Revenue & Customs website for additional details.

Save some additional cash by paying premiums for car insurance, road tax, and television licensing on an annual basis. This avoids interim increases, interest, and higher premiums. Preserve money for future generations by putting life insurance policies in trust.

The payout will then skip probate and go directly to heirs without being subject to inheritance tax.


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