Ready to give yourself a financial workout?

Ready to give yourself a financial workout?

September is the new January, with people flocking back to the gym, hoping to get back in shape after over indulging on their holidays.

But while the gym bunnies fight over the fitness machines, why not put your finances through their paces from the comfort of your own home?

Here are some quick burst, high intensity workouts for your wallet. Just remember, the more you put in, the more you get out.

Your five-minute workout

Let's get the ball rolling with something easy to get you warmed up.

When you're hitting the gym you need to set yourself an achievable goal and the same goes for sorting out your financial fitness.

Perhaps you want to save up for a deposit, or that dream holiday. Maybe you just want to have a bit more in the bank at the end of the month, or start paying into a pension.

Just remember, set yourself a realistic target and if in doubt, start small and build up.

Your ten-minute workout

Now you've got a goal, you need to work out how you're going to reach it.

Start by drawing up a budget. Find out how much you have at the beginning of the month and deduct the essentials like rent, mortgage payments and bills.

Once you have this, you can identify areas savings can be made. And remember, every pound you save is another pound towards your goal.

Your 30-minute workout

Let's kick it up a notch.

Like going to the gym, sorting out your finances requires some effort and dedication. So it's time to stop putting it off and finally get round to switching energy provider and maybe your insurance too.

Get yourself onto a comparison site and find out how much you could be saving on your gas, electricity, car and home policies.

It really doesn't take long and can see you gaining some extra pounds (in a good way).

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

Most outrageous bill mistakes
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Most outrageous bill mistakes
Carol Sandford, 72, called 118 118 from her mobile phone unaware of the charges involved. Calls to the number cost £1.88 per call and there is also a £2.57 per minute charge from landlines. TalkTalk raises this to £5.68 for the first minute and £3.28 per minute after that. TalkTalk told Carol the charge £81.12 charge was correct but luckily 118 118 were kinder, offering to repay the charge in full. Read the full story here.
One Londoner was more than a little confused when his debit card was declined while he was trying to buy just six bottles of American craft beers. But he quickly realised that instead of the £22.30 he owed, he had been charged £223,000! It's thought he punched in the PIN number before the machine was ready and it added the numbers to the total. Luckily the 28-year-old saw the funny side and laughed the incident off. Read more on the story here.

Early Lewis from Detroit was amazed to find his water bill was almost 100 times as much as he was expecting. The bill claimed that Lewis had used 3,740 gallons of water in just one hour. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the Water and Sewage Department admitted it was a mistake and subsequently charged Lewis the $36 he should have been charged initially. Read more on this story here

George MacIntosh, 73, was charged a staggering £200 for premium-rate gambling texts he didn't intend to sign up for. Unfortunately this wasn't a scam but a legal service from a company called Zamano. It seems the retired vicar had accidentally signed up after responding to an initial text from the company. Read the full story here.
Philip Groves was amazed to receive a £1,411 bill from Vodafone last year for his 10-year-old daughter Trinity's phone. It turns out Trinity had watched 28 hours of instructional loom band videos on YouTube, assuming her phone was using wifi. But the wifi had cut out, leaving her phone using the data allowance at it's highest rate. Vodafone refused to cancel the bill and threatened legal action. Read more here
Daniel Pontin was in for quite a shock after opening a gas bill charging him £31,000 for a year's worth of gas in a one-bedroom home. Pontin claimed his meter was broken when he moved in and was initially charged £35 a month for six months before he stopped receiving bills. When the huge £31,000 estimated bill arrived Npower told Pontin to ignore it while they investigated. Read the full story here

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