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These are challenging times. The world is creeping slowly out of a financial crisis, while domestically, the debate about what is going to happen with the UK exits the EU at the end of March is still generating no end of questions but not so many answers. 

Whichever side of that particular debate you might stand on, there is one thing about which we can all agree. This is a time when we need to look to our own finances to make sure our families are secure. The following measures will give your family finances a little tune up to help you stay in the black and even have a little extra left at the end of each month.

Use your tax free allowance

We all want to put something aside for a rainy day, and the first thing you should look at in order to do so is an ISA. There are different types available, from cash ISAs, which are similar in nature to savings accounts, to stock and share ISAs. You can even open ISAs for your kids. Take a look at a site like Wealthify to learn more about each type of ISA and find the one that is right for you and will generate the best returns in the long term. 

Pay less for your power

At this time of year in particular, energy costs are a huge drain on family finances. So why not pay less for your gas, electricity or heating oil? Switching suppliers has never been easier and there are dozens of websites that can help you do so, including Uswitch, Simply Switch and even general comparison sites like MoneySupermarket. Of course, while switching is not massively complicated, it is still a bit of a bind, whatever the websites might say. If you can’t face doing so, at least do the research and tell your current supplier you are tempted to leave them because you’ve found a better deal. Chances are they will come up with something to tempt you to stay. You can do the same with your phone, broadband and insurance, too. 

Sort out your debt

If you are paying out on credit cards, store cards, loan repayment and the like, there will be all sorts of debt there that is charging you different rates of interest. It is worth taking an afternoon to sit down with a financial advisor and see what you can do to reduce the costs. Often, consolidating your debts into one repayment means you end up paying less interest, thereby reducing the overall cost. 

Book early

The school term is already well underway, and before you know it the Easter holidays will be upon us. Think now about what activities you will line up for the kids, and book the tickets well in advance. For one thing, you’re likely to make some significant savings and for another, that will be one expense that you will know is out of the way and already paid for. 

 

Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock

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