Lent is traditionally the time when we try to give up something that we love for 40 days. For most of us this usually varies from chocolate, crisps and cake to alcohol.
For someone like Roman Abramovich, it probably means giving up caviar or large yachts. Or maybe buying yet another player for Chelsea. And Coleen would probably try doing without the latest must-have handbags.
Unfortunately not all of us succeed in giving something up ñ denying yourself one of lifeís pleasures is sometimes too much like hard work. So why not give up something which you wonít miss?
Lent is the season for reflection and taking stock so why not get a grip on your finances. MoneyExpert believes that Lent is the perfect time to give up some of your bad money habits and explains how belowÖ
Give up paying high interest rates
If youíve already got a credit card, check whether your introductory rate on purchases has expired. If it has ñ donít use it to buy anything. Youíll pay on average around 16% interest on anything you put on the card ñ and your rate could be as high as 29.9%. Switch to a new card and youíll only pay around 6.6% on average ñ but there are plenty of cards offering you free credit for up to a year on anything new you buy. Check the MoneyExpert.com website for more details.
Stop using your credit card for cash
Youíll pay a far higher interest rate on cash advances than for purchases or balance transfers. So stop using your credit card for cash ñ itís the easiest way for lenders to make money and the quickest way for you to lose it.
Lose the store cards
The advice with store cards is simple: donít borrow on them. Lenders and shops often make it seem like easy money with incentives to purchase a store card. But you should be particularly wary of store cards ñ the 10 per cent discount may seem appealing at the time, but if you arenít disciplined in paying your bills youíll be hit with huge interest rates that will soon wipe out any savings made at the till.
If itís too late and you couldnít resist the free gift or 15 per cent discount on those new jeans, then pay off the store card straight away or move the balance to a credit card with a lower rate. Itís the only way to avoid accumulating massive interest on your balance.
Say goodbye to high utility bills
Switching gas and electricity providers this Lent is a great way of keeping your energy bills down. Typically if you have never moved gas and electricity providers you could save about £100 a year, according to watchdog OFGEM
MoneyExpert researches the whole gas and electricity market to help you find who provides the best rates, comparing all tariffs from all gas and electricity suppliers.
Take the 5 minute challenge and see how much you can save at
If you are struggling with repayments on a loan, credit card or other purchases the worst thing you can do is hide from your problems. The quicker you speak to your creditors the more chance you have of coming up with an affordable repayment plan before things go too far.
Giving up is easy
If you follow the advice from MoneyExpert you will find that giving up your bad money habits is a piece of cake!