How to better use your time to improve your finances
How busy are you? Do you struggle to fit in the essentials, or do you lead a low-key life with plenty of time to spare? The answer to this could help you put some value to your time.
If you only have a few hours each week, you could be spending it in ways that better help your finances.
For example, it takes less than 20 minutes to switch and fix your energy supplier – and that could save you hundreds of pounds a year. This is a great use of your time, and puts a high value to it. Let's say your switch is worth the average of £300 and is completed in 15 minutes – that's an hourly rate of £1,200!
But scouring the web for 30 minutes to find a £1 off coupon for the supermarket possibly isn't worth the effort. Your hourly rate for this would be £2 an hour.
Compare this to what you earn when working. Would you be better off taking a few extra shifts? Or perhaps prioritising some of your financial admin could be far more effective than cutting out some little luxuries?
Paying someone else
A new survey has found the tasks people will pay someone else to do, rather than take it on themselves.
Top of the list was managing investments (22%), which isn't surprising considering the amount of cash normally involved and the advantage of getting experts to help. Other big financial decisions were also commonly outsourced, including arranging mortgages (16.5%) and finding insurance cover (9.3%).
However, a few everyday tasks were also found to be frequently paid for in the Leeds Building Society research. Doing DIY (29.2%), getting takeaway delivered (17.8%), booking a holiday (15.7%), doing the gardening (8.1%), cleaning the home (6.8%) and washing clothes (3.8%) also featured on the list.
If you've got the cash, then these tasks will free up your time for other activities. But it's worth thinking about how else you could use money that goes to simple tasks. Do we pay for takeaway delivery or booking a holiday not because we don't have the time, but because we can't be bothered?
Should you pay for financial advice?
There are times when paying for financial advice could help. The job of a financial adviser is to find out about you and your finances through a series of questions. Then in turn they'll be able to recommend the most suitable and affordable products.
This could be advice on your pension or investments or helping you plan your finances.
There are also financial advisers who can help broker products such as a mortgage, or specialist insurance when you've got pre-existing conditions.
However, you can also take control of a lot of your finances yourself. Low risk products like savings accounts and cash ISAs can be sorted using comparison sites. Likewise, you might be able to easily source a mortgage or insurance yourself by going direct.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.