Top financial tips for 2014

Get ahead of your finances with editor-in-chief, Clare Francis’ top money tips for 2014...

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Tip 1: Cut the cost of your debt

Move existing credit or store card debts onto a 0% balance transfer card or a low rate loan. There are some great deals available.

Tip 2: Pay more than the minimum

Pay as much as you can afford off your credit card each month. If you only make the minimum  repayment it could take you years to clear your debt and you may end up paying more in interest than the value of the original purchases.

Tip 3: Don't accept your renewal quote

When your car or home insurance is up for renewal don't just go with the quote from your existing insurer. Always compare prices. Motorists save an average of £400 by using MoneySupermarket, while home insurance customers knock an average of £125 off their premium.

Tip 4: Take advantage of low mortgage rates

Mortgage rates are at record lows and there, so if your own deal is coming to an end, don't just revert back onto your lender's standard variable rate, see what deals are available. 40% on SVR.

Tip 5: Beat the energy hikes

Gas and electricity prices have been rising yet millions of households are paying hundreds of pounds a year more than they need because they've never changed their energy tariff. Switch now and start saving.

Tip 6: Save a little each month

If you don't have much in savings get into the habit of putting money away each month to build up a slush fund in case of emergencies.

Tips 7: Use your ISA allowance

With savings rates so low it's more important than ever to take advantage of your ISA allowance. You can put up to £5,760 in a cash ISA before April 5 and interest is tax free.

Tip 8: Check your TV, phone and broadband deal

Did you know, the area where one of the biggest savings could be made is your home services – phone, broadband and TV?  If you’re paying for all three separately, you could save around £465 a year by bundling them together from the same provider.

Tip 9: Look for a better bank account

Get a better interest rate or lower overdraft fees by switching. It's simple and some banks will even pay you for your new custom.

Tip 10: Buy an annual travel insurance policy

Not only are you likely to pay less if you travel abroad a couple of times each year, you’ll also have protection for 12 months, with no last minute panics about getting cover.

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