11. Question Everything – 12 Tips Of Christmas

The 12 Tips Of Christmas – All 12 Tips Of Christmas Posts

Save Some Money – Referral links to receive money off

Question Everything

Merry Christmas and welcome to the eleventh post of my 12 Tips Of Christmas series. 

These are a series of posts that will be going out on the lead up to Christmas and the New Year to help guide you towards a better money mindset with an aim to give you a base knowledge of personal finance.

We receive a lot of letters, emails, texts and official documents confirming payments, direct debits and financial commitments to companies or government bodies.

The constant bombardment of such documentation can be a little overwhelming, and without an organised system to file these in the appropriate place, we can lose track of it all quite quickly.

Because of this little details can get missed and we could be paying more than we otherwise should be.

We’ve set up a great budget, a solid debt plan, started saving and are on the right path to financial stability. We don’t want mistakes from outside sources messing this up for us.

So question everything you don’t understand or recognise in your bill statements, renewal letters and formal documentation.

Why is my car/ home insurance bill higher this year when I’ve not made any claims and have one extra year of no claims? What is the exact reason for this if there is one? Call the insurance company and ask them. Will switching to a new provider bring the cost down?

Ask them if adding a second name driver will decrease the premiums. Does reducing the mileage help (but within how far you actually drive)? Does this insurance auto-renewal? If it does, stop this so it doesn’t renew without you being able to look for a better deal next year.

Likewise your bills. Why is my electricity bill a little more this month compared to last month when you know you didn’t use as much? Is this money that’s been credited to the account that you’ll get back as a refund at a later date?

Have you cancelled any direct debits, but they’re still being taken out your account one month later? Why is this? You instructed you no longer require this service so what about the contract means money is still being taken?

There might also be questions you have about your payslip. It can be quite confusing if you’ve never really looked into the different sections and numbers. Many of us (me included) would have just looked at the little section in the bottom right hand side of the page to see the money I’m actually getting, and am interested in.

But again, question anything you don’t understand with your HR and/ or Payroll team. Even if there isn’t anything you think is particularly wrong with the payslip in question. Just ask them out of curiosity and to learn more about it.

Make sure you’re looking at your pay slip each month just to make sure it’s all correct. Why are you paying a little more tax this month? You’ve had your pension taken out, but it isn’t appearing in your pension account just yet, why is that? Is it something simple like there being a number of working days that means the process takes a while between pay slip to account? Or is it because there is some missed admin details behind the scenes which need to be brought to the attention of your payroll team and the pension provider?

And finally, are you entitled to any money you aren’t aware of? Child benefits, single occupancy council tax discounts or work from home tax relief for example? Are you earning under a certain amount? Could you be entitled to some financial support?

Questioning all the little potential inaccuracies or areas you don’t understand could save you a nice chunk of money or prevent you missing out on money you could be entitled to.

Don’t let anything slip by without asking “why?”. No one but you can make amendments to a bill or account with your name on it, so it’s up to you to take the initiative to do so.

It’s ok to ask questions. As long as you’re polite to the advisor on the phone you’ll always get an answer at some point which will help clear your mind.

Maybe start small with your payslip. Start the New Year by learning something new and take a look at January’s pay slip. Even if there isn’t anything wrong, if there isn’t something you understand, drop the payroll team a friendly email and ask them about it; I’m sure they’d be happy to help.

Let’s start this year off positively by making sure we’re not overpaying on anything or missing out on payments owed to us.

Happy New Year.

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