You ready for Step 1 of the Financial Tidy Up? I am! Why? Because, like I said before, you can't save and invest if you don't have anything to save and invest.
Before I start it's worth mentioning that none of this is rocket science. Neither is it the only way to do things. But, I think it helped me to at least have a basic understanding of things and pointed me in the right direction.
So let's jump in...
I'll give you a hint about what we're going to be looking at in this post, in case you didn't already get the hint from the image.
It involves those letters that frequently come through in the post. You know, the ones you "file away" (in the bin) to look at another time (never). The same letters that these companies like to make more "interesting" but printing them on beautiful shades of red. That's right: bills.
We won't just be talking about bills though. We'll be looking at your bank statements as well.
You still there? I hope so! Honestly, it's not as scary or difficult as it first seems - I promise! Simply looking at what you spend and on what will be a HUGE step in the right direction.
Here's what you need to do:
- Get your bank/building society statements for the last three months - for ALL of your accounts.
- Get a copy of your Credit Report
Get your bank/building society statements for the last three months - for ALL of your accounts.
If you you don't have them to hand, or it's too late to fish them out of the bin, you can log in to your account online to print it off, ring your bank/building society and ask them for copies (they might charge you for this but it'll be worth it), or pop in to your local branch to request them.
Get a copy of your Credit Report
Don't know what that is? Well, Experian (one of the UK's main credit scoring agencies) states that "A credit report provides a snapshot of your credit accounts, repayment record and how well you are coping with your finances."
The two main credit reference agencies in the UK are Expeiran and Equifax. I use Experian and find there service pretty damn good and at £14.99 a month, I can't complain about the cost either. I haven;t used Equifax so can't comment on them but please do check them both out. They usually do a trial period where you can use the service for free for a while to see how you get on so you won't be losing anything.
Make sure you print off your credit report - we'll need it later!
You can check out Experian at: http://www.experian.co.uk
You can check out Equifax at: http://www.equifax.co.uk
Once you have the copies of your Bank Statements (for ALL of your accounts) and Credit Report, keep them in a file.
I'll check back in soon so we can move on to Step 2.
Any questions please don't hesitate to contact me .