Banking News Spring Clean Your Personal Finances This Easter Bank Holiday 3206
Spring clean your personal finances this Easter bank holiday
09 April 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
As the pound remains weak against the Euro this Easter holiday, many Brits will be shunning holidays abroad, and what better way to use the long weekend than to spring clean finances?
Recent research from Fairinvestment.co.uk discovered that the recession is changing the way that people spend and save their cash, and as the economic crisis looks set to continue, now is as good a time as any to dust away the cobwebs.
Commenting, chartered financial planner at Fairinvestment.co.uk, Sharon Bratley said: “There are so many benefits to a financial spring clean, and starting now could really save people some money by the end of the year.”
A recent Fairinvestment.co.uk study into the saving and spending habits of Brits found that 31 per cent of Brits have changed the way that they save since the beginning of the credit crunch, 14 per cent of which have either had to stop saving altogether or reduce the amount they save, while just five per cent have shopped around for a better savings account rate.
Commenting, Mrs Bratley said: “The fact that just five per cent of Brits have shopped around for a better savings account rate is surprising. Despite interest rates being cut to record lows, there are some savings accounts still paying decent returns for those take the time to look around.”
Other savings tips include setting up a monthly direct debit for what you can afford, Mrs Bratley added: “Direct debits make saving easy as you don’t have to think about it. However, it is important to decide on a realistic amount to save, so speaking to an independent financial adviser (IFA) could help with that.”
Meanwhile, mortgage rates have been falling slowly but surely, and as the survey found that 16 per cent of respondents are on a tracker mortgage deal, mortgage overpayments could easily reduce the loan amount.
Commenting, Mrs Bratley said: “Some people have been lucky enough to see their tracker mortgage rate fall by the full base rate cut of 4.5 per cent since last September. If they kept their mortgage repayments at the level they were at before their rate was cut, they could now be making significant overpayments.”
The survey found that the recession has caused 20 per cent of Brits to either stop or cut back their pension contributions, suggesting that a pension review could be beneficial for those who are struggling.
Mrs Bratley said: “A pension review with an independent financial adviser (IFA) could help people who are struggling to juggle all their finances at the moment.
“Pension contributions are important, but obviously if someone has just lost their job they should be focusing on things like mortgage repayments.”
* Research conducted for Fairinvestment.co.uk by OnePoll with 2,000 respondents