Working from home? Ten ways to improve your finances
With many offices shutting due to Coronavirus and employees working remotely, lots of us will have extra time on our hands – even a short commute can add two to three hours over the course of a week. So now is an ideal time to do some spring cleaning for your finances:
1, Check direct debits and standing orders. Cancel anything you no longer pay for. Then look to see if there are any you don’t need or want, but make sure you’re out of contract before cancelling.
2, Find better deals, if you’re out of contract, on your phone, TV, broadband, etc.
3, Understand utility usage and diarise reminders to look at comparison sites ahead of any contract expiring.
4, List all annual policies (such as house, car and pet insurance), what they cost and add these to your calendar a few weeks ahead of the renewal date, so you can explore comparisons.
5, Know your wealth. List your assets, their value, whether they are owned by you, your partner or jointly, then tot them up. Do the same for all your debts (factoring in interest rates). Then work out a repayment strategy.
6, What benefits do you get from work (refer to your staff handbook if you’re not sure). This way, you know what you can claim should you need to.
7, What have you got yourself, such as life insurance, income protection, investments etc. Understand the features and benefits.
8, Complete an expenditure analysis. Find out (exactly) where your money goes which should reveal the minimum amount you could survive on. Remember: wine is not an essential!
9, Create a budget. Expenditure analysis is looking in the rear view mirror at what has happened. With a budget you’re looking ahead through the windscreen.
10, Review your will. Does it need updating? Consider drawing up a power of attorney. If you are permanently incapacitated who would you want to steer your ship?
With you finances sorted, you’ll be better placed to make plans when we are out the other side of Coronavirus.