Christians Against Poverty: – Bank Balance Boot Camp

CAP logoBy Julian Berkeley

WITH the end of winter nearly in sight (thank goodness), it’s time to get those lazy limbs moving again – but maybe it’s your finances, rather than your body, that needs the exercise.

Although your bank likes charging you fees, they also make plenty of provision for keeping your bank balance in shape.

Whether you’re internet-savvy with an online bank account, or you prefer to manage your finances in person, set up a tax-free ISA and arrange a standing order into it from your current account on payday.

It will accumulate greater interest and, as ISA accounts have no debit card, you won’t be tempted, or even able, to spend the money.

Financial health check-ups are almost as important as regular visits to the GP or dentist.

You might not even have to move from the sofa: the Money Advice Service provides a Health Check, which shows you which areas to think about. Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert.com website is also chock-full of excellent advice.
Equally, you could book an appointment with a ‘personal trainer’ at the bank and get yourself financially fit.

  • As a basic fitness regime, however, remember that it’s about Endurance, Strength and Flexibility.
    Start with a bit of cardio: check the interest rates on savings and loans, to see if you can do better elsewhere, which is almost certainly going to be “yes”.
  • Then maybe move on to some weights: use the Money Advice Service’s calculator to come up with a strategic action plan for the year.
  • Finish off with some stretches: Think about what you want to do with all that extra cash that you’ll save with your new budget!

Managing debts is a stressful and often debilitating ordeal for many.

CAP offers free support, regardless of age, gender, faith or background.

We also run free CAP Money courses, to help you get more in shape.

Check out capuk.org or call 0800 328 0006 for more information.