Simple finance review can help save money and improve your budget

A simple review of what you spend could be all that is needed to save you money and help you budget for the coming months, according to Cheam’s award winning financial specialist Monica Bradley, Managing Director of Monica Bradley Associates (MBA).

A recent survey by the Financial Conduct Authority revealed that nearly half of all UK adults have limited knowledge about financial matters, with almost a quarter saying they lack confidence in their ability to manage money. But by taking control of our finances, we can make significant savings on some of our biggest budget spends.

Review your mortgage every two years
When you borrow money, you pay back the original loan plus an extra amount, the interest. This amount varies depending on whether you borrow money over a longer or shorter time. But even if you think you have a competitive interest rate, never assume you’re automatically getting the best deal out there. Shopping around could save you a lot of money. If you’re on a fixed rate mortgage, make a note of when that is due to end, so you don’t end up paying more than you need. The date of your mortgage rate change should be etched in your mind as clearly as your birthday.

Seek expert help
It is important to know your rate and how it compares to other interest rates out there. Ask around and do your research. Look at getting your mortgage switched at least three months before your existing deal expires. If you can afford it, you can also save money by overpaying each month to reduce the term of your mortgage.

Give yourself a fresh financial check
With the average UK household taking until April 2018 to pay off Christmas debts, it is important to be as familiar as you can be with what you are paying out for each month, so your finances do not spiral out of control. Look at your bank statements and make sure you are not splashing out on things that you do not need or are not using, like gym membership or magazine subscriptions you may have forgotten about. Think about switching suppliers for things like electricity and gas. You can make great savings this way.

Protect yourself
According to the Association of British Insurers, every year around one million workers find they are unable to work due to ill health. Life can be unpredictable, so it is important to consider other insurances.
· Critical Illness Cover
This long-term policy may pay out if you discover you are suffering from certain medical conditions, like a stroke or cancer. It is usually given as a one-off lump sum. It can be exceptionally helpful if you do not have enough savings or any employee benefit packages to tide you over for longer periods if you are ill. But the policy is usually quite specific in what it will cover you for, so it is important to talk to someone to make sure you are choosing the right one.
· Life Insurance can provide financial support to your family if you die, meaning those depending on you will not need to worry about how they will pay the mortgage if they have been relying on your income.
· Income protection can provide regular payments if you find you are unable to work because of injury or illness. It can pay out until you are well enough to start working again. Losing a regular salary can be devastating if there are no other means to pay bills or a mortgage and can add a tremendous amount of stress to what will already be a very difficult time.

We want to make sure we can all keep our homes under any circumstances, be it illness, job loss or even death. Unexpected things can happen and it’s not something we should shy away from discussing. It is important to be aware and know that you can be protected financially. Policies like these can bring great peace of mind.

About MBA
Monica Bradley Associates was founded by local business woman, Monica Bradley. Monica has won 11 highly coveted industry awards, including Top Broker in a Network and has been one of the network’s top consultants for the last ten years. The company works with over 90 lenders and offers over 11,000 mortgage products, as well as providing critical illness cover, life insurance and income protection.

For further information on Monica Bradley Associates:
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Twitter: @MBACheam

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