Simplifying your finances

We accumulate things as we go through life, from keepsakes, to furniture, to pensions. It’s worth taking stock every few years, to ensure you’re keeping your finances simple. After all, life’s complicated enough!

Whether you’re making decisions for yourself, or supporting a loved one, these top tips will help you keep things simple.

Consolidate and simplify your bank and savings accounts

You probably have a current account, bill paying account and easy access savings, but what else have you accumulated over the years?

Take these simple steps to see if you’d benefit from simplifying your accounts:

  1. Make a list of all your bank and savings accounts
  2. Write down the purpose of each account, for example, is it an emergency fund, your bill paying account, or something else.
  3. If you have more than one bank account with the same purpose, consider moving the funds into a single account, and closing the others.
  4. If you have lots of savings pots in different places, consider putting them all together. Savings Accounts often offer a better rate of return for larger amounts. But remember, only the first £85,000 you have with any Bank or Building Society is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For more information, visit the FSCS webpages.
  5. If you are unsure about how best to organise your savings or investments then it might help to get some professional advice. Financial Advisers can give independent advice to help you get sorted. To find an adviser near you click here.
Consolidating your accounts will make it easier for you or your loved ones to manage. And it’ll be easier to spot fraudulent activity too.

Automate income and bill payments into appropriate accounts

By automating your income and bill payments into appropriate accounts you’ll never have to worry about paying your bills on time again.

Keep all accounts in your own name

Even if your loved ones are helping you manage your money, adding someone else to your accounts not only makes things more complicated for tax purposes, it also means giving up your control of your money.

Be safe and secure online

It’s also really important to keep your online security details safe. Don’t share them with anyone else, no matter who they are. If you share your security details with someone else, your Bank or Building Society may not refund any money lost as a result of fraudulent activity on your account.

Power of Attorney

If you do want someone else to manage your accounts on your behalf, you must give them the authority to do so. You can do this by setting up a Power of Attorney, or a third-party mandate giving your bank permission to accept instructions from someone else for day-to-day banking. The British Bankers Association has a useful guide for people managing money on behalf of someone else.

Taking these steps now will help make it easier for you to manage your finances, and for your loved ones to step in and help if you need them to.