Quick and easy ways to boost your bank balance this January

Feeling the post-Christmas pinch?

You’re certainly not alone.

The festive period is always a costly one, with money spent on presents, food and various celebrations.

So when January rolls around, many of us are left with a significant dent in our bank accounts.

Perhaps you’re planning to be smarter with money in 2022, or you want to cut back on excess spending? The good news is there are a number of ways to get on top of your finances right now.

We’ve asked experts to share some quick and easy ways to give your bank balance a boost.

Do some finance admin

If you’re planning to get your finances in order this year, a good place to start is by going through your bank balance. 

By doing so, you might even make some quick savings, explains Kevin Pratt – a finance expert from Forbes Advisor.

He says: ‘A good tactic for the start of the year is to go through your bank statement and look for any direct debits or standing orders that are paying for something you no longer use, such as a magazine subscription or club membership.’

Consider a switch

Kevin adds that banks are on the hunt for new customers in the new year – and some even offer financial incentives. 

‘Switch your current account to HSBC’s Advance, for example, and you’ll get a £150 windfall,’ Kevin says.

‘In return, you will need to pay in at least £1,500 within the first 60 days and switch over a minimum of two direct debits or standing orders.’

Be smart with credit

If you have credit card debt languishing from Christmas, Kevin suggests moving it to a 0% balance transfer card. 

He continues: ‘The new card will need to be issued by a different banking provider to your current one, while a fee of between 1% and 3% is usually payable (the longer the interest-free term, the higher the charge). 

‘You’ll also need a good credit score to be accepted, but you can find out the likelihood (in percentage terms) of being shown the green light with an eligibility checker, without a formal search on your credit score.’

Shop around this new year

We tend to assume that being a loyal customer will get us the best deal – but this isn’t always the case. 

Kevin says: ‘If your car or home insurance is up for renewal in the coming weeks, make sure you shop around to see if there’s a cheaper deal on offer for the quality of cover you want.’

Avoid the January sales

With the new year upon us, many shops and online retailers are advertising big sales to get rid of 2020’s stock.

And these incredible savings can be very tempting.

However Nick Drewe, a money specialist from WeThrift, says it’s important to resist them to save cash.

‘If you are serious about budgeting and building up your bank balance this year, it might be an idea to avoid the January sales all together – so you don’t spend money on things you don’t actually need,’ Nick explains.

‘While this might be easier said than done, disabling notifications or unsubscribing emails that you regularly receive from your favourite stores will help reduce the temptation. You can even delete shopping apps from your phone.’

Cut back on daily expenses

Every little helps when it comes to saving – even small cutbacks and swaps can make a difference.

Nick adds: ‘If you are looking to save towards a big purchase this year, or want to be better with your finances generally, a great way to easily save money is by cutting down on daily expenses that you might not actually need.

‘Do you usually grab a coffee on the way to work to kick start your day? To save a few pennies why not try making the hot beverage at home and bringing it with you?

‘Drinks from places like Starbucks can cost as much as £4 each time you purchase a coffee, so making the drink before you set off can make a huge difference to your financial situation.’

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