Summer is definitely here, and the only thing you really want to get to grips with may be a cold drink in the shade.
But although it may be time to relax and enjoy the sunshine you can’t afford to take your eye off your finances. Days out, a holiday for the family – it is all too easy to spend a more than you mean to – and find you have a financial sunburn that is still smarting when Christmas rolls round.
Here’s our seasonal guide to staying in control.
Start with a budget
You can’t get a grip on your finances if you don’t know where the money is going. Spend some time making a detailed financial plan of your income and outgoings, so you can see just how much you could save in the short, medium and long term.
It does not have to be hard work. There are apps that let you track your spending from your phone. Remember, if you are feeling unmotivated, think about what you could do with the money next summer.
Watch those cards
Meal in a seaside restaurant, new outfit – it is easy to spend with a credit card, and much harder to pay it off. Using a debit card – which only lets you spend the money in your current account – instead may make it easier not to get carried away. If you do have credit card debt, you should make paying it off your top priority.
In fact, you should make paying off all debts a priority. Interest means debt goes on growing, and the only way to avoid big interest payments is to make sure you’re paying off balances in full every month.
Summer might not have you thinking about saving – but it is still worth setting aside some money every month for a rainy day, or simply as a nest egg for the future.
Then put your surplus cash to work to building a real nest egg. At Continuum, we can help you find the best way to potentially grow your money – perhaps in an ISA – or with an investment that puts your money to work for you.
Check your bills
Summer can have some bargains when it comes to the regular bills. Use a comparison site to see if there a good deals for energy, TV and broadband – its never been so easy to switch. Take the same approach to your insurance too. Automatic renewals can all too often be an excuse for suppliers to up your costs.
Look at your life cover as well. We can help ensure you have the cover you need at a price that is fair.
What about your mortgage?
This summer, the slow property market may mean that there are some attractive mortgage deals around. Rates are at record lows, so now’s the time to lock into a fixed mortgage. Get some expert help from the Continuum mortgage team – we can access deals that are only available via mortgage advisers.
Finally, remember that if you have any financial questions, the simplest way to answer them is to call on the experts here at Continuum. Our professional team will be happy to help you find the financial answers you need this summer – and throughout the rest of the year.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable investment strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.