Avoid These 5 Financial Traps In 2024
Managing your money can be a challenge at the best of times. But with the cost of living crisis plus inflation adding an extra squeeze on our pockets, there has never been a better time to get smart with your finances.
The good news is that with some simple tips, you can avoid some costly financial mistakes this year. Not to mention, extra hassle and stress you just don’t need.
Our CEO here at Fair For You along with the rest of the team are here to point you in direction.
Listen up, because these are the top 5 financial traps we want you to avoid in 2024 and beyond.
Hidden Payments On Your Bank Account
Ideally, you should check your bank balance daily so that you always know what’s going on with your account. That way you can spot any unusual payments, plus decide if any subscriptions are actually costing you money you could put to better use.
Have a look and ask yourself - Are there any payments going out regularly for things which you don't actually use, such as a streaming service or another subscription?
If so, put a stop to the payments today by cancelling your subscription. Even if a subscription is only worth £20 per month - remember that’s still £240 per year that could be kept in your bank instead!
Read more: How To Stop Spending Money
Paying Too Much For Utility Bills
When was the last time you compared your gas, electric, phone and internet providers to see if you could get a better deal?
If there was a long pause there, it’s time to use a free comparison tool today to see how much you could save by switching.
Remember, most of these bills often increase year after year meaning it’s easy not to notice. Even a small saving on each bill can add up to a lot over the course of the year.
Not Claiming All The Benefits You’re Entitled To
Did you know that around £15bn of benefits remain unclaimed every year in the UK?
If your circumstances have recently changed, then you may be entitled to new benefits. Likewise, if you’ve never explored what benefits you may be able to claim, then how do you know you are getting what you are owed?
Use the government’s benefit calculator today to ensure you’re claiming all the right benefits. You never know, you could be in for a windfall - especially if any benefits can be backdated!
Falling Victim To Online Scammers
These days, most of us are on social media and the internet a lot. But that doesn’t give you automatic protection from all the scammers and fraudsters who unfortunately are after your money.
As noted at the start, some of the tips in this article come directly from our CEO Simon Dukes, who has direct experience working for Cifas, which is the UK's Fraud Prevention Service.
Simon advises: "One of the best ways to look after your finances in 2024 is protecting yourself against the many online scammers who are always trying out new ways to get their hands on your money. This can be as simple as just strengthening your email password or turning on two-step verification.
“Even if you think you know how to stay safe online, it's worth checking out the Government's Cyber Aware campaign to find more tips on protecting your money. A golden rule we always talked about at Cifas was 'if it seems too good to be true, it probably is', so at this time of the year be very wary of supposedly special offers - especially from companies you'd not previously heard of."
What type of scams should you look out for?
Fake items for sale
Lottery or prize scams
Tech support scams
Be wary of any communication by email, text or phone which seems suspicious. Do not click links or enter personal information unless you trust the website or sender.
Taking Out Loans Without Careful Research
Lots of us need to turn to loans every now and again to cover a one-off expense or unexpected bill.
Whether you will be taking out your first loan or an additional loan - it’s really important not to rush into your decision. Instead, use a tool such as FindingFinance.org.uk, which lists responsible lenders like us. This website is there to help those who struggle to access credit from mainstream lenders. The aim is to ensure people do not feel forced to take on extortionate payday loans or turn to loan sharks.
Remember, if you're borrowing money for less than a 12 months period for whatever reason, you need to look beyond the APR. It's not a particularly helpful figure, because all it tells you is how much you would owe if you didn't make any repayments for a year, which for short-term loans probably isn't relevant.
In reality, several things affect how much you'll need to pay back, and a lender should be able to clearly explain to you in simple terms how much you will actually repay, and what penalties or fees they might charge.
Fair for You's loan calculator makes it very clear to customers what they'll pay back, and as a responsible lender, we guarantee no hidden extra fees and penalties.
Fair For You - Follow Us For Even More Money Tips!
We know that money can be a difficult topic to talk about, especially if you’re struggling to make ends meet.
Hopefully, you’ve found the above tips useful. If so, you can sign up to receive more tips like this direct to your inbox by signing up for the Fair For You newsletter below. You can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with our latest news and financial tips.
If you’re new to Fair For You, you can also take a look at our product categories to see the types of items you could purchase through us. We offer flexible repayments to suit you, making us different from other lenders because you’re on your side!