In the words of everyone's favourite TV show, "Winter is coming". We're stuck in that awkward Autumn moment where the nights are getting shorter, and we still need to pay off our Summer holidays before Christmas rears its head. What better time to actually do something proactive, and do some money management.
To make sure you don't end up paying over the odds for your credit cards or loans, we've pulled together some top tips to get on top of your finances.
Keep an eye on your finances
It's never been so easy to check your balance on the go thanks to mobile banking, so put it to good use and keep an eye on your spending. Most banks will also allow you to sign up for text alerts whenever you've made a purchase or your balance has dropped below a certain level. Although don't just to sit back and watch your balance dwindle, it's time to start planning for your expenses. A handy app like Spending Tracker can do all this for you. Get it now!
Check how lenders rate you
The rates you're offered for financial products are based on your credit score. This is a three digit number that banks use to check how creditworthy you are. You often have to pay to get access to this information, but a great new service ClearScore lets you see your credit score and report for free! Check your credit report carefully and report any mistakes - don't let someone else's mistake cost you money.
And don't be an OPP (over-paying Polly)! Depending on your credit score, you could actually be in line for a better deal on your credit cards. On ClearScore's website there is a useful Credit Card Savings Calculator to check if you could be saving money. You could save as much as £19,000 over your lifetime - the same as the average take home salary. This works out to nearly £400 a year, over half the amount everyone spent each on Christmas last year!
Improve your financial wellbeing
So banks and lenders can give you the best deals and save you money, you should take some simple steps to improve your credit score. Perfect for giving you some extra cash for a bumper Christmas. You'll be surprised how simply registering yourself on the electoral roll or updating your address with the bank will improve your financial situation. And don't let being forgetful ruin how banks judge you: set up direct debits so you never miss a payment and tarnish your new improved score.
With these top tips, you'll be fighting fit to tackle your finances this Autumn and get the best deals.