Most of us think nothing about having an annual fitness check at the gym or at the doctor’s. It’s just a way to see how we are and whether there are any areas that need to be worked on and improved. But far fewer of us step back and do the same thing for our finances, and doing this would be a very good idea indeed. It might sound like a daunting prospect but, by splitting into specific areas, it will suddenly seem that little bit more manageable.

Spending

There are lots of things we know that we have to spend money on each month, but we do have some control over how much we spend on them. For example, things like gas and electricity to heat and light our homes and insurance to protect it are always going to be needed. But are you spending too much on them? The easiest way to find out is by visiting a general comparison site and running through the figures for all these sorts of things. It would be very surprising indeed if you couldn’t make at least a few savings across the board.

Saving

Save Money” (CC BY 2.0) by investmentzen

Yes, we all know that interest rates aren’t great at the moment but you should still be trying to get the best possible return on your money all the same. So it’s well worth shopping around to look for the best deals that you can get. And, hopefully, the other economies that you’ll be making in other areas will mean that you might have a little bit extra to put aside each month to cover you for a rainy day.

Entertainment

There are always savings to be made on entertainment, whether it’s signing up for one of those “two main courses for the price of one” cards for participating restaurants and cafes or taking advantage of offers from streaming services like Netflix. If you fancy trying your hand at an online casino many also offer generous welcome bonuses that can equate to free cash. This article tells you all you need to know about where to find the best deals and which operators get the highest star ratings for their choice of games and customer service.

Planning for the future

No financial fitness check would be complete without taking a good look at your pension arrangements. While retirement may seem to be a long way in the future, the earlier you start to pay into a plan, the bigger that pension pot will be. It’s also recommended that you should earmark at least 12% of your income to be sure of a decent sum. Discussing your pension is something that’s best done with an independent adviser who can look at your personal circumstances and tailor a solution to suit.

So these are four of the key steps to making sure your finances are in good shape. Then, just like going to the gym, it’s up to you to make sure that you follow the programme.