Five tips to help combat the stress of finances

By Emma Huntington, Managing Director of Zurich FutureYou

  1. Keep on track by getting organised

With so many bills to pay each month, it can be stressful keeping up with how much is coming in and out of your account. You can keep up-to-date by creating a spreadsheet. Having a document that lists everything in one place will also help you to spot where you can make cutbacks. If you’re unsure about how to get started then there are many tools available online to help.

 

  1. Save your money and cash in your loyalty points

Most retailers have loyalty schemes to reward customers and keep them coming back to stores. You can collect points when you buy in-store, which you can then use as a discount when you purchase again. Most businesses offer the scheme, from supermarkets to high street coffee shops, and making use of these can make a real difference to what’s left in your back pocket.

 

  1. Keep on-the-ball with your direct debits

Do you monitor your account and direct debit outgoings? If not, you’re not alone. Millions wrongly let money drip from their bank accounts for things they don’t really want, such as an unused gym membership. Make sure you’re keeping track and cancelling subscriptions or membership you no longer want or use.

 

  1. Make the most of free activities

Going out with family and friends can often drain your bank balance, but there’s lots of free activities to do all over the country, from museums to park runs to going to a gallery. Try and encourage your friends to also save by offering to host a dinner party that you can alternate between the groups. To make it more of a challenge you could set a budget for the dinner too.

 

  1. Make the most of tax efficient savings

Saving for the long term, can appear daunting, , but if you don’t get on top of it now, you could be missing out on free money as the government essentially gives you money every time you pay in. For example, if you’re 30 and start saving the equivalent of just £10 a week more into your pension now, by the time you’re 65 you’ll have £48,400 more stashed away (equivalent to £20,400 after inflation) – and that’s before you factor in any added employer contribution you unlock. In addition, each year we also all have over £15,000 worth of tax free savings capacity in ISAs which can often offer attractive returns

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