Want to keep on top of your finances - even when bills go up from April? Vicky Shaw finds out how to re-balance your budget

April will mark the start of ballooning bills for some households, with a number of costs, including some utility bills, set to go up. Minimum workplace pension contributions under automatic enrolment will also increase from the start of the new tax year on April 6. According to Hargreaves Lansdown, this means the average employee will see an extra £30 leave their monthly pay packet - although in the longer term, this will help workers build up a bigger pot of cash for their retirement.

But there are also some changes that may cushion the blow. Firstly, it’s a time of year when many people receive pay rises (lucky you, if that’s the case!). The amount of income people can earn annually tax-free also increases in April too, with the personal tax allowance increasing from £11,850 to £12,500.

While switching providers may be one way to save money on bills, there are other ways to spring clean your finances and help rebalance your budget too. Here are some tips from Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk...

1. Dissect your finances

Get under the bonnet of your household income and outgoings. If you can break down where you’re overspending and look at what you could look to rein in on, it can make a world of difference. Starting a simple spreadsheet and keeping tabs on household bills and upcoming expenses, like holidays and birthdays, can help prevent the risk of being caught short of cash.

2. Make the most of budgeting apps

Free apps can be useful to establish up-to-date balances on current accounts, credit cards and savings, from many different brands. Customers can assign their outgoings to categories and easily see where most of their cash is going each month. It’s also possible to scan your loyalty cards to use on your phone via an app, so you don’t need to rummage through your wallet.

3. Cut down on non-essential spending

A recent study from Barclays revealed that millennials spend more than £3,300 a year on average on takeaways, eating out, daily treats such as coffees, socialising and clothes. Saving some of this each year could go towards holidays and even the cost of Christmas.

4. Make saving automatic

People don’t always have the time to make frequent deposits into their savings accounts - but there are ways to do this automatically. This can be resolved using a simple free app like Chip (getchip.uk), which connects to a current account and makes automatic deposits based on a user’s spending.

Lloyds customers can also register for a service called ‘save the change’, which rounds up current account spending to the nearest pound and transfers the difference into a nominated Lloyds savings account.

5. Move credit card debts

Moving credit card debts to a 0% balance transfer card will help you avoid paying out on unnecessary interest and can help when setting out a plan to get out of debt. Bear in mind fees for transferring the balance, although there are even balance transfer cards around that are fee-free.

6. Take advantage of re-mortgage deals

Borrowers who are debating whether to refinance would do well to consider some of the latest deals to hit the market, as they could shave hundreds of pounds off their monthly repayments.

Indeed, based on a £200,000 mortgage over a 25-year term on a repayment basis, the monthly repayment on the average two-year fixed rate of 2.49% would cost £896.23 - which is potentially £260.17 cheaper than if they were sitting on their mortgage lender’s standard variable rate (SVR). Borrowers often end up on an SVR when an initial deal comes to an end. Someone on an average 4.89% SVR rate with a £200,000 mortgage could end up paying £1,156.40 per month.