Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. For those who observe Lent, Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is the last chance to feast on all kinds of things they won’t be able to have for a while. And yes, you guessed it – pancakes are a favourite choice on this day.
In 2021, the celebration falls on Tuesday 16 February.
Do you know what else makes Pancake Day special? It’s a chance to give other things in your life a flip, including your finances.
Make Pancake Day about finances
Almost 60% of Brits made financial resolutions for 2021, according to research from credit-builder Vanquis. By mid-February, however, many of those good intentions have vanished.
“If you have overspent in December and January, Shrove Tuesday is a good time to think about how to flip your financial situation,” says Thomas Allder, customer director at Vanquis. “What could you give up over lent in order to repay debt, accrue savings and build your credit score?”
Take a new look at your New Year’s resolutions
If you had big financial goals for the year and see them slipping already, it’s time to re-evaluate your goals on Pancake Day.
Maybe your goals were unrealistic, such as to save £500 a month when you can only really afford to save £250. Or maybe you need more specific reasons to save, such as a holiday or putting a down payment on a property.
If you need some motivation to jumpstart your goals on Pancake Day, try a savings challenge. It’s a fun way to put money aside and reach your goals faster.
Keep better track of your finances
If you don’t have a budget yet, this might be a good time to start one. Budgeting your earnings and expenses will help you understand where your money is going so you can make better financial decisions.
Reduce your outgoings
Spending too much? Look for ways to cut down expenses. For example, you might be able to reduce your utility bills by switching providers, draught-proofing your home and checking for energy discounts.
Balances will show up on your credit report and can affect your chances of accessing additional financing. For example, some lenders or potential landlords might consider you a higher risk if you have a lot of debt. A good change to make on Pancake Day is to be more careful with your finances.
Use credit cards responsibly
Credit cards aren’t the enemy, but you have to use them wisely to avoid late fees and other penalties. Always pay your bills on time and, where possible, pay more than the minimum to avoid a negative impact on your credit rating.
Boost your credit rating
If your credit rating is less than stellar, repairing it might give you access to better interest rates and financial products. You can start on Pancake Day by obtaining a credit report and looking for errors you can correct.
Next, make sure your name is on the electoral roll.
Finally, if you don’t have a solid credit history, consider applying for a credit builder card. Although they have low limits and you’re expected to pay them off every month, they can be the perfect first step towards improving your credit rating.
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