5 Ways you can Spring Clean your finances


5 Ways you can Spring Clean your finances

Doing a spring-clean of your bank accounts doesn’t have to mean not spending money – it means having enough money to spend on things you need or that you really want. With these tips, we hope you’ll find it easier to build up a bit of extra cash for the right moment.

1. Ask yourself these questions

The best thing to do to make your accounts smell like sunshine and daisies is to run through these questions before you buy something:

  1. Do I need it?
  2. Can I afford it?
  3. Can I get it cheaper somewhere else?

If you’re just looking to cut back some of your spending, then try these three questions instead:

  1. Will I use it?
  2. Is it worth the price? (For example, how many hours would I have to work to pay for it?)
  3. Can I get it cheaper somewhere else?

These are a great starting point before you make your purchase.

2. Shop around to save cash

Online shopping means that you can quickly and easily look around at other retail sites and compare prices – you might be able to save yourself a few pounds with just a few minutes of research.

Look for discount codes online – many online retailers will offer you a % off your first purchase when you create an account with them.

Finally, MoneySavingExpert has some brilliant tips to help you find and compare different retailers online and hopefully bag a bargain.

If you are shopping online, though, we also recommend that you check out our Safe Shopping tips to make sure your money stays secure.

3. Use your bank statements

Your bank statements not only give you all the essential info about the ins and outs of your account, but they can also be a great tool to help you save.

Look at your last month’s statement and work out how much you had coming in, and how much you spent. Start to categorise your spending into things like food, clothes, bills and so forth – this will give you a useful idea of how much you spend on each area of your life on a month-to-month basis.

Now start to think about if there’s one of those categories that you could save some cash on. For example, is your current electricity provider giving you the best price you can get? They may offer a reduced rate if you pay by direct debit, or, if you’re not in a fixed-term contract with them, you could shop around to see if you can get a better deal with another supplier.

By getting a firm grip on your cash – income and expenditure – you can start to drill into different areas where you can save yourself a bit of cash. Even a small amount saved on something like clothing could add up to a lot over the course of a few months.

4. Spend your money on things that make you happy

If you’ve finished your financial spring clean then you’re going to want to dig a little bit deeper, and start smelling the flowers if you’ve followed all of the above tips.

Let’s say you’ve got a category of expenditure that covers things that aren’t essential but are for fun or entertainment – it could be going to the cinema, getting a takeaway, or buying a new book. A small reward for a successful step on the road to saving.

5. Use budgeting tools to save

Budgeting tools can be ideal for putting aside some extra pounds, and your U Account comes with a couple of them that we know our customers find super-useful.

Firstly, Extra Accounts make it easier for you to set aside money to cover specific outgoings – rent, for example. They’re like a series of pots in which you sort your money, plus they come with their own unique account numbers and sort codes to help you get organised. Pay your bills directly from these Extra Accounts and you know what is left in your main U Account is yours to spend!

Our 365 Budgeting feature is another easy way to build up some extra cash. Once activated, this feature takes a penny from your account on day one and puts it in a new account. On day two, it takes 2p, on day three, 3p, and so on from there. It might not sound like much, but over the course of a full year, you’ll store away over £600. It’s ideal if you need to save up for something in the future, or just want some emergency funds if you ever need them.

Finally, we also have an Overdraft Buffer feature, which takes £1 from your main account every day and sets it aside, giving you up to £31 a month ready for those situations where you need it most. It’s a small amount per day, but £30 can be a huge deal when it comes to paying your bills.