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Feeling skint? Time to spring clean your finances

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Out with the old (the bad spending habits, the failing to keep track of what’s going in and out of your account, the spending of too much money on nothing) and in with the new – actual financial responsibility!

Sounds easier than it actually is? Well, probably. Luckily, Barclays have put together a quick guide to help you get a handle on your money. Control over your finances is just an article away...

Consider using a budget tracker to track your expenses. For example, Barclays Budget Calculator - a free to use service that works out your monthly disposable income

Understand what your money 'personality' is. Are you a saver or a splurger? Take Barclays online quiz which can help you get to grips with your spending, and advise on how you can change your habits

If you’ve got a job, make sure you fully understand what is going in and out of your account. This can help you understand if you are paying too little or too much tax and prevent and nasty shocks in the future. A guide to understanding your pay slip can be found here.

 If you are looking to start saving, be aware of the different type of savings accounts on offer – ISAs, instant access savings accounts and bonds, for example.

The below money savings tips can also help you limit your spending as part of your everyday routine:

  • Travel: When investing in your travel, make sure you purchase a travel card if eligible, which can save up to a third in costs. When buying one off travel tickets, try to purchase them in advance, consider season tickets and also consider walking or cycling where possible. Also, don’t forget to use your 16-25 railcard!
  • Food: When going about your daily shop, look to buy own-brand products from supermarkets and think twice about 'multi-buy discounts’ which don’t always offer value to money. Alternatively, consider shopping at your local farmers market instead - you can often get cheaper prices for produce. Also, consider moving your shopping online which can often help you cut down on impulse buys and stick to a set budget.
  • Shopping: Use price comparison sites which are now available across insurance, gadgets and even food purchases. Also, instead of bulk buying books for your next holiday, make the most out of your local library where you can often order the novels you want to read in advance.
  • Utility bills: Consider changing your payment methods to pay as you go rather than a monthly contract, and ask yourself if you really need that expensive TV subscription when you can just use iPlayer instead.
 

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