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Money saving can be a gargantuan task for families to take on, particularly with many people’s incomes having been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are ways for Britons to tighten their belts in 2021, and begin to live a more financially efficient life.
For many, the pandemic has highlighted the need to have enough money to support them during difficult times.
As such, WEALTH at work, a specialist provider of financial education and guidance in the workplace, has shared tips to help Britons in the new year.
Firstly, people should review their financial position, and clearly lay out a budget which outlines their needs.
Calculating one’s income and subsequently expenditure can help provide a bigger picture of a financial situation.
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People should also take into account any assets they have, including pensions, savings, property and ISAs.
Reviewing expenses such as bills, taxes, shopping and direct debits can highlight where money is going, and the areas where savings may potentially be made.
Following this, due to the pandemic, many households are facing a challenging situation when it comes to meeting their mortgage or rent – a significant cost.
There is still the opportunity for these individuals to apply for a mortgage payment holiday, which could provide up to six months support in total, if a person is eligible for two payments.
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Those who are still struggling with repayments should speak to their lender about any arrangements which may be able to be implemented.
Next, WEALTH at work advises people to make managing debt a priority, which involves looking at the most pressing and expensive debts and attempting to meet these first.
Payment holidays may still be available, but for those who are struggling, once again, speaking to a lender is key.
One good option, the organisation said, is to consolidate debts into a zero percent or low interest balance transfer card.
This is because more money goes towards paying off this debt, and enables people to clear this in a shorter time period.
Another important priority is thinking about shopping habits throughout the year, which can be a good source to save money.
Planning a weekly shop in advance, switching brands and using discount vouchers are all key ways for Britons to reduce their costs and thus save money throughout the year.
Many households will also be able to save money on their utilities and broadband deals by shopping around or using price comparison websites to help them gain a whole of market understanding.
Finally, WEALTH at work urges people to watch out for auto-renewals such as insurance policies, which can tick over each year.
To avoid price hikes, people should look at when their contract is due to end, and take action a few weeks before hand to shop around, switch or haggle on a deal where appropriate.
Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director at WEALTH at work, commented on the matter.
He provided insight into those who may wish to take action on their money at this time.
Mr Watts-Lay said: “The New Year is a great time to take control of your finances.
“Whether your finances have been seriously affected due to redundancy, or reduced household income, or you have just realised that you would like to have more savings to support you through difficult times, now is the time to take action.”
WEALTH at work has advised Britons not to “bury your head in the sand” and to act as soon as possible when it comes to finances.
Those who are confused as to where to start may be able to receive support from organisations such as Citizens Advice on their individual circumstances.
In addition, some employers will be able to offer their staff support through financial education and guidance.
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