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Five Money Mistakes That Will Cost You Thousands — And How To Fix Them Today

From not checking your bank balance to paying excessive credit card interest to not taking advantage of what you are entitled to, there are a whole host of money mistakes you could be making

Managing your money has never been more important
Managing your money has never been more important

The cost of living crisis is squeezing all of our wallets and making us look for ways to stretch our cash further.

But some very simple mistakes can cost you thousands of pounds without you even realizing it.

For example, when was the last time you looked through your bank statement with the fine-tooth comb?

Do you know how much interest you pay on a credit card?

These are all things that can be easily fixed — and potentially leave you much better off as a result.

Here are five money mistakes you could be making right now… and what to do about them.

Our team of cost of living experts are here to help YOU through a very difficult year.

They bring you the latest money news and also offer expert advice.

Whether it’s skyrocketing utility bills, the cost of weekly groceries, or increased taxes, our team is always by your side.

Every Thursday at 13:00 they participate in a Facebook Live event to answer your questions and offer their advice. Visit facebook.com/dailymirror/live to watch. You can read more about our team of experts here.

If you have a question – or want to share your story – please email webnews@mirror.co.uk.

Mistake one: Don’t go through your bank statements

You should aim to check your bank statements every three to six months to make sure you’re not making unnecessary payments or overspending.

For example, you may find that you don’t really watch Netflix anymore or haven’t ordered anything from Amazon Prime for a long time.

Worried about the cost of living crisis? Let us know: mirror.money.saving@mirror.co.uk

Maybe you’ve spotted a trend and realize you’re overspending on takeaway coffee or fast food.

Going through your finances also lets you see exactly how much money you’re putting in and spending, which means you can budget and put some into savings or emergency funds.

How the energy bill crisis is affecting you

Mistake two: Not getting the best rates

If you have savings, make sure your money isn’t wasting away in a low-interest account that won’t do you any good.

Saving rates are on the rise again, with Chase’s top easy-to-access account paying 1.5%. The next top players are Cynergy Bank and Zopa, each offering 1.2%.

If you haven’t saved much, both Virgin Money and Nationwide offer better rates, but only up to a certain amount.

The Virgin Money M Plus account pays 2.02% up to £1,000 while the Nationwide FlexDirect account pays 2% up to £1,500.

If you can afford to lock away your money, the current best annual fixes are from Charter Savings Bank and Kent Reliance, each paying 2.05%. Both accounts require you to deposit £1,000.

With a two-year fix, SmartSave Bank is the top player, paying 2.37% and with a minimum deposit of £10,000, or a five-year fix at PCF Bank gives you 2.41% with a minimum deposit of £1,000.

Mistake three: Not converting debt to 0% interest

If you have credit card debt, you’ll likely take longer to pay off the expensive interest rates.

See if you can transfer the debt you owe to a 0% interest balance card.

This is where you move the money owed from one card to a new card with a 0% interest-free period.

At the moment, the longest 0% transfer card is Virgin Money, which offers 34 months interest-free with a 2.7% fee.

You may not necessarily need the longest card to pay off your debt, so it may pay off for you to opt for a shorter deal with fewer or no fees.

Only those with good credit will get the best rates, and you may not always get the advertised rates.

First, use an eligibility calculator to check what you’re likely to be accepted for without hurting your credit score.

And most importantly, don’t make any new spending on these cards, as you’ll likely be charged interest until you pay them back.

Mistake Four: Not making the most of first-time buyer programs

Getting your foot up the real estate ladder is no easy task, but there are programs specifically designed to help first-time buyers.

For example, there are Lifetime ISA (LISA) accounts that give savers a free 25 percent cash boost from the government.

You can only save up to £4,000 each year in a LISA, meaning the maximum bonus you can collect is £1,000.

There is also the Help to Buy Equity loan program where savers can buy a property with a 5% down payment and the government will loan you up to 20% of the property price.

The maximum you can borrow in London is 40%.

After five years, you’ll have to start paying interest at 1.75% on the loan, so keep those additional costs in mind on your repayments.

More first-time buyer programs can be found here.

Mistake five: Not checking the entitlement to benefits

According to debt relief organization Turn2Us, up to seven million households are missing out on benefits worth £15 billion a year.

Many people automatically assume they’re not entitled to anything, but Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert says it’s worth checking if your household income is under £30,000.

In some cases, people with a household income of £50,000 could also be eligible – for example if you are a single parent with a high rent.

It only takes ten minutes to check your claim online. Some of the most popular performance calculators include Turn2us, Policy in Practice, and titledto.

To find out your eligibility, you must answer questions about your employment, income, and living conditions.

You must answer as accurately as possible to get a correct number.

Once you have determined whether you are likely to make a claim, you must physically apply for the benefits.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/five-money-mistakes-costing-you-26775309 Five Money Mistakes That Will Cost You Thousands — And How To Fix Them Today

Fry Electronics Team

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