January is the perfect time to declutter your finances, break bad spending habits, detox your debt and save money. Small changes can make big savings, so Switcher.ie has put together a 7-point plan to make a financial fresh start this January.
Here’s how to tackle your financial hangover and change the way you manage your money in 2023:
1. Get real: Start with a hard look at your income and outgoings. List all your bills, subscriptions, debts, insurance and other regular expenses. Be honest with yourself and highlight areas you can change, then make a plan to tackle it.
2. Check your credit score: The higher your credit rating, the better your chances of getting a mortgage, car finance or loan with low-interest rates. Your credit report will help you spot any problems and identify ways to boost your credit rating.
3. Tackle your debts: It’s easy to overspend at Christmas, so it’s crucial you have a plan to pay back what you owe. Expensive interest charges can add to your balance, so check if you can save by taking out a balance transfer credit card which gives you extra time to repay debt.
4. Cut energy costs: Energy bills take a sizeable bite from any household budget, so it’s worth looking at ways to cut down energy use at home and how you can cut your costs by switching your supplier. You can save up to €383 by simply switching to a different gas & electricity tariff.
5. Compare cover: Most householders pay for home and car cover, but insurers take advantage of our financial forgetfulness and repay loyalty by auto-renewing with hiked premiums. Use comparison sites to search and switch to a better value insurer.
6. Lose interest: If you’re on a standard variable rate mortgage, chances are you’re paying more than you need to. Talk to your mortgage provider or a broker about changing to a fixed-rate deal to take the guesswork out of your mortgage payments.
7. Streamline subscriptions: If you’re forking out for TV streaming and other digital entertainment, look at time spent using them versus money spent and weigh up whether they’re worth the price. Some services offer family plans which could save money if there’s more than one person in your household.
Eoin Clarke, Commercial Director, Switcher.ie comments
“Many people feel the squeeze in January after splashing out in the run-up to Christmas. With spiralling inflation and exploding energy costs, it’s more important than ever to face financial reality, break free of bad spending habits and make positive changes.
It’s important for people to know that small changes can mean big savings, which are really simple to make. A good place to start is to clear any debts and check you’re not spending more than you need to on your mortgage, digital subscriptions and insurance. Finally, if you’re out of contract, consider switching to a cheaper broadband and energy provider – it’s easier than you think.”