Detoxing is not just about getting rid of things that make it harder to manage your money. You need to add in a few new healthy habits to boost your finances too…
A workable budget
With your new streamlined finances, it will be easier to set a budget. Remember less is more, so as you add things to your budget, think about whether you can purge or merge them. Download an app such as OnTrees from moneysupermarket.com – it’s quicker than setting up an Excel spreadsheet and you can check your budget anytime and anywhere.
A regular savings plan
The easiest way to do this is to add in a direct debit for £50 or £100 a month (more if you can afford it). Regular savings accounts have some of the best rates, with Nationwide and First Direct paying 5% if you have a current account. For best buys see moneyfacts.co.uk and search for current accounts as well as savings accounts.
Old credit agreements
These are not only another thing to manage; by having too many different credit agreements, you can also be at a greater risk of fraud. If you have a credit card or store card you never use, cancel it. Go to equifax.co.uk and pay £2 for your credit file or sign up for a free service such as noddle.co.uk to find out if there are any old mobile contracts, for instance, that are still open on your file – and cancel them all.
You really do not need to keep all those documents. These days, every time you buy an insurance policy, take out a phone contract or change utility companies, you are almost always sent an email. Opting to go paperless can even be cheaper. Plus, if you buy online, you will usually be sent a reminder when it comes close to the renewal date, so you are less likely to forget vital cover.
Download the various contracts, policy documents and so forth onto one folder on your computer and – hey presto! – no more paperwork. Bank and credit card statements are also easy to find online so shred the lot.