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Spring clean your finances

Mon 19 Feb 2024

Not only is Spring the time of year where we look forward to warmer days and lighter evenings, but a time where traditionally we have a good clean and clear out.  And just like your home, your finances could also benefit from a good tidy up every once in a while.

Here are some tips to help you get started on spring cleaning your finances. 


1. Review your current financial situation

Take a look at where you are now with your finances. How much money do you have saved? Do you have any current debts? What are your monthly outgoings? Understanding your current financial situation can help you focus on putting plans in place to spring clean your finances.

Take the opportunity to review your paperwork, clearing out documents you no longer need and ensure you have access to important documents when you need them. If your documents are online make sure you know how to access them. 

2. Review your budget

A budget is a plan that helps you keep track of your finances each month, including what you’re spending your money on, allocating funds for emergencies and seeing how much you could save. Check if your budget still reflects your current circumstances or does it need adjusting?

If you don’t have a budget, then now is a good time to make one. Take a look at our budget tool to help you get started.

3. Assess your financial resilience

Reviewing your insurance and protection arrangements is an important aspect to ensure you're adequately protected in the event of the unexpected. Whether it’s life insurance and critical illness to cover income protection or health cover to ensure both you and your family are protected. If you do have cover in place, then make sure the cover still meets your requirements.

We currently don’t provide Life Insurance or Critical Illness cover, but you can find out more about our discretionary Healthcare Scheme set up for members of the Police family to help with the cost of private medical treatment in the event of an illness.

4. Managing debt

If you have multiple debts, then aim to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. For credit card debt, you may be able to transfer to a different card provider that offers a better interest rate or better still a 0% rate, (although often this is for a limited time only and you may get charged a percentage on transfers).

If you’re finding managing multiple debts difficult then a debt consolidation loan could help by consolidating your existing unsecured debt into one monthly payment, which could help you manage and keep track of your finances. 

No1 CopperPot Credit Union provide a debt consolidation loan to members of the Police. You need to be a member of the Credit Union to apply for one of their loans. All No1 CopperPot Credit Union personal loans are subject to affordability and lending criteria and are not regulated. 

If you’re struggling with debt then you can speak to PayPlan, one of the UK’s leading free debt advice providers, who offer free and confidential advice to anyone in serious financial difficulties.

If you refinance any existing debts, you may pay a higher rate of interest or make repayments over a longer term. This means you may pay more interest overall.

5. Check on your savings

If you have a savings account, then check the level of interest your savings are earning and see if you could get a higher rate of interest for the same level of access, to give your savings a boost.

If you don’t need access to your savings in the short or medium term, you could use a savings account that locks them away for a defined period, for usually a better interest rate than an instant access account.

Do you have enough savings to cover you for an unexpected loss of income? Having around 3-6 months’ worth of household and living expenses saved could help ease financial worries if you unexpectedly lost your income. It’s not easy to prioritise saving, but even a small, regular amount saved is beneficial.

If you don’t have one already, then starting a savings plan could be a good way to build this up. Find out more about the range of savings plans from No1 CopperPot Credit Union, where you can save from just £5 a month.

6. Review household bills

We’ve all seen household bills increase, so review your providers to see if you could get better deals on things like your broadband, or energy tariffs. Your car and home insurance is another area where you could shop around to get the best cover available. Find out more about our home and car insurance that’s exclusively available to the Police family.

See if you’re still paying for any contracts like gym memberships, mobile phone contracts or streaming services that you no longer use and cancel any direct debits.

7. Check your credit report

Your credit report is a snapshot of the information that’s on your credit file. And this information is used by companies you already have a credit agreement with, and lenders you apply to, to make decisions about how good a risk you are.

There are several different credit reference agencies, but the main ones are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Take a look at your credit report and check for any inaccuracies and amend them. A clean credit report is crucial for favourable financial opportunities.

8. Review your beneficiaries on all accounts to make sure they are up to date

A beneficiary is the person or entity that you legally designate to receive the benefits from your financial products. Another important aspect of financial planning is making sure your beneficiaries are up to date on all of your accounts. This includes things like your pension and insurance policies. If you haven’t reviewed your beneficiaries in a while, now is the time to do it.

9. Planning for retirement

If you’re currently a serving Police Officer then you’ll probably know when you can take your police pension, but what about any private pensions you may have? Check your pension documents to see what age you can access any private pensions and whether your forecasted pension will be enough for you to comfortably live on when you retire. If not, then you could look at increasing your pension contributions. You can check your state pension forecast here.

By following our simple tips, you can get your finances in order this spring. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your financial spring cleaning today. 


Please note: This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice.

Type of article: Articles
Category: Saving my money

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