Is now the time to get your financial house in order?
If the trouble that has been going on with the US debt ceiling this week has taught us anything it should be this, when it comes to the global economy things are still a lot more fragile than leaders would like us to believe. The fact that the US national debt currently stands at around 17 trillion dollars and lawmakers are still having to raise the debt ceiling again and again just to be able to pay the bills shows that the world’s largest economy has big issues, issues that it currently has no grand plan for resolving.
The threat from the Fitch ratings agency regarding the possible downgrade of the US Triple A credit rating also showed that the low interest rate environment that we’ve all become so accustomed to in recent years is also more vulnerable to outside influence than we might have been led to believe.
With all this in mind then, is now the time for you to get your financial house in order? With re-mortgage rates at historically low levels and some good credit card balance transfer offers knocking around, now might well be a good time to take advantage and do what you can to stabilise your finances for a few years to come.
For years now many homeowners have been sat on low rate tracker mortgages that they reverted back to after the end of their fixed mortgage period. You might assume that you could never re-mortgage onto a rate as low as the one you’re on now, but it may be worth taking second look. I had a quick look today and with 3 year fixed rate mortgages starting at around just 1.99%, some people might consider this a viable option in comparison to what they’re paying now, especially when you think about the peace of mind a fixed rate mortgage can bring. It’s of course important to weigh up any fees involved and make a prudent decision but now might well be the time to make that decision.
Do you currently have credit cards with quite substantial balances on them? Are you paying high levels of interest on those cards but haven’t yet gotten around to seeing if a better deal is on offer and also if you’re eligible?
Well again now might be a good time to take a look at what balance transfer cards are available and take advantage of these deals while they are available. Having a quick browse today I came across a card offering 0% interest for 24 months on balance transfers with a 1.5% transfer fee. When you consider how much interest that could save you over the next 2 years that’s a pretty good offer if you’re eligible, an offer that could give you a helping hand in reducing those outstanding balances over the next couple of years. Just don’t spend on the old card afterwards.
Another thing that has been all over the news in the UK recently is the steep rise in energy costs that some energy companies have already rolled out and others have planned. If you haven’t already now is the time to look at your energy tariffs and avoid or delay the full impact of these energy price rises by fixing those costs or switching provider if it makes financial sense to do so.
Without trying to scaremonger we do still live in financially vulnerable times, ignoring these important financial areas of our lives because at present the need to address them doesn’t seem all that pressing could well turn out to be a huge regret if things do take a turn for the worse again in the next year or two. So why not take a little time out to sit down and weigh up your current costs and any potential savings that can be made in these areas and make sure your financial house is in order. You won’t regret it if things do go downhill again in the near future and even if they don’t then you’ll still have saved money. I think that’s what they call a win-win!