Keeping a close eye on your finances

My previous posts have gone into some detail about the various ways you can improve your financial outlook by utilizing various methods such as remortgaging your home, debt consolidation, entering into an IVA to clear your debts in a defined time period with one manageable monthly payment, etc. But what else should you look out for when considering your finances and how to keep them under close control.

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A big problem these days lies in people not getting what they’ve paid for, being given a sub-standard service or being blatantly ripped off. Unfortunately, not all industries are monitored and regulated as closely as our industry which answers to the financial conduct authority – consequences can be severe if their guidelines are not closely adhered to, and rightly so!

So how do you ensure you’re not being financially exploited or falling victim to an elaborate scheme without even knowing? We’ve all heard of the PPI scandal where millions of people have mis-sold insurance policies they never asked for or indeed even knew they even had.

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To prevent yourself falling foul to a similar scam check all agreements and contracts to ensure you’re only paying for what you’ve asked for and what you need. It’s no secret that furniture salesman receives greater commission from selling useless stain protection insurance than from the actual 3 piece suite itself!

Another worrying new scam I’ve recently become aware of involves mobile phone users unwittingly subscribing to text message competitions to win prizes ranging from an iPad to Tesco shopping vouchers. Many of the victims will click on a link in an advertisement on social media enticing them to enter their details to have the chance to win a prize. What the link doesn’t make clear is that they will receive a short code text message with further promotions every week costing them up to £5 each. Needless to say, there isn’t a great deal of information on their poorly designed websites regarding who the lucky winners are.

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Victims failing to check their phone bill each month can lose several hundred pounds to these scams before they even realize they’ve been charged with receiving innocent looking text messages. Unfortunately, the mobile phone service providers don’t appear to have any sympathy for the victims and allow the shortcode message scammers to continue to fleece their own customers……. Beware!

Some extras may be worth shelling out for such as obtaining gap insurance cover when buying a new car. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for, ask yourself do you need any extras or add ones and always check for cheaper comparable alternatives elsewhere.

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