Spring clean your finances

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MoneyPlus Features Team

April 16, 2024

4 mins read

As the warmer spring weather starts to creep in, it brings with it a feeling of optimism. Many people use spring as an opportunity to clear out the dust and clutter from the winter months and head into summer with a fresh outlook. 

With the typically frugal weeks following the festive period now behind us, spring can also be a great time to think about sprucing up your finances and planning for the future.

So, we’ve pulled together some top tips to help kick-start your financial spring clean, and hopefully leave you feeling better off for the year ahead.

Inspect your budget

When reorganising, it’s usually best to start by taking a closer look at what you’re dealing with before making any drastic changes. Reviewing your monthly finances can help you find out which areas need the most attention. Taking a careful look at your regular outgoings can show if you’re overspending in certain areas or help you to see where savings could be made. With a clearer picture of your finances, you can take another look at your budget and think about setting spending limits to help you work towards your goals.

Declutter your regular payments

The best thing about a good clear-out is that you often find something you’d forgotten about. And it’s usually no different when tackling a financial clean-up. 

With the convenience of delivery services, streaming platforms, and bonus content always just a click away, we’re often tempted by multiple subscriptions or memberships. And it’s easy for a free trial to turn into a regular outgoing for a service you no longer use. 

Keeping on top of your subscriptions and memberships could leave you with some extra cash to use elsewhere each month. 

When reviewing your outgoings for unused subscriptions, don’t forget to check beyond your bank statements. Double check emails for receipts for regular payments that have been set up through third-party services, such as PayPal. Auto-renewal payments can also be a nasty surprise if it’s not been included in your budget for the month – so it’s best to keep a note of when your memberships renew, or you can opt to cancel this function if that’s what’s right for you. 

Tidy up any debts

Interest rates are still high, and many have seen the cost of borrowing increase. This, coupled with the high cost of living, means it can take longer for people to pay off their debts.

If you’ve reviewed your finances, you’ll now know how much you’ll be able to put towards paying off any debts with the highest interest rates. Prioritising the most expensive debt may reduce the total amount of interest due, and help you to pay off the debt faster.

If you have a number of high-interest debts, such as store or credit cards, you could think about bringing these together with a lower interest rate loan. However, this isn’t the right choice for everyone. If you need some help, you can get free impartial debt advice from StepChange Debt Charity or Citizens Advice online or over the phone.

Organise your savings

On the other hand, high interest rates also mean better deals for savers, so it’s a good time to shop around and think about switching to take advantage of the best savings rates. Don’t forget, some rates are fixed for a certain period. And it’s a good idea to make a note of when the fixed rate is due to end, so you can review the rates and think about what’s right for your circumstances. 

Many banks also offer the option to automate your savings through online banking or their app, so you can save without thinking about it each month. Choosing an account with a ‘round-up’ feature could also help you save small amounts regularly.

Optimise your pension

In the 2024 Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced another reduction in National Insurance (NI) contributions. In fact, NI has been reduced by 4% in total since the end of 2023. This means someone earning an ‘average’ salary of £35,400 is on track to be £900 better off this year. 

If you’re in a position to invest even a portion of this extra money, it could really help you to build up a pension pot over time. And don’t forget, the payments you make into a pension plan could benefit from at least 20% tax relief (or you might get tax benefits in a different way). You might even benefit from extra employer contributions too (if they offer to match your payments). 

If you’re happy to stick with your current pension payments, there are still some other things you can do to make the most of your pension. 

If you’ve changed jobs in the past decade, you could have some forgotten pension pots which were automatically set up for you by past employers. If you have pensions with several providers, bringing them together could make them easier to manage. 

Bringing pensions together won't be right for everyone. You could lose money by giving up any guarantees or benefits you might get from other pension plans.

A pension is an investment. Its value can go down as well as up and it could be worth less than was paid in.


The information here is based on our understanding in April 2024 and shouldn’t be taken as financial advice.

Standard Life accepts no responsibility for information in external websites. These are provided for general information.

Your own personal circumstances, including where you live in the UK will have an impact on the tax you pay. Laws and tax rules may change in the future.