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Shop around to improve your financial fitness

Forcing yourself to shop around for the best deal on credit cards, mortgages and insurance is the best way to improve your "financial fitness", it has been claimed. According to Nici Audlham-Gardiner, head of mortgages at Abbey, spending time to review your finances and seek out the best providers can make a "big difference" to the size of our outgoings. And just as regular exercise keeps us fit, by ensuring we adhere to a rigorous system to review our finances will improve our financial fitness, she explained. "It’s all about discipline, in the same way that you can be physically disciplined if you decide to get physically fit," Ms Audhlam-Gardiner said. To ensure this is the case it is best to "put in time weekly and monthly" in surveying the best deals around, with sessions divided into "bite-sized chunks". Ms Audhlam-Gardiner recommendations comes as a study conducted by ICM for Abbey showed that 16 per cent of people carry a balance on their credit card at their lender's standard rate, despite the significant savings to be made by switching provider. Meanwhile, 21 per cent of people renewed their home insurance without scanning the market for a better deal.

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