New financial year checklist: 8 tasks BEFORE the new year

All the things you need to prepare for the new financial year 

As the new financial year looms, a lot of changes are coming to our personal finances, from stamps to savings allowances. 

We’ve rounded up a checklist of things you can do to prepare in the run up to the new tax year. Keep an eye on the exact dates, as some of these will change on 1 or 2 April, and others on 6 April. Click through to our dedicated guides for more information on each one. 

1. Adjust standing orders to bills accounts

If you’re currently dropping money into a separate account to pay your bills from — whether that’s a joint account with your partner or a solo account, you might want to do some extra calculations to make sure you’re budgeting enough. 

A lot of bills will go up from April, including 

  • Council tax: up by 5% for most people
  • Water: up by around 6%
  • Broadband and mobile bills: up by up to 8%
  • TV Licence: going up by £10.50 per year
  • Road tax: up by RPI, depending on your car registration. See your rate here.  

Take a minute to look at the rises you’re facing, and ensure you have enough going into your bills account so you don’t get any returned direct debits or go into expensive overdrafts.

In addition, dental fees are rising, so if this is something you usually pay for using your emergency fund, you may want to put more away — or consider getting an appointment before April if you have a lot of work to do.

2. Take a meter reading for your energy bill

On 1 April, we have a new energy price cap taking effect, which will drop bills by 12%. This will come into play automatically, but to ensure you’re charged correctly, you should take a meter reading on, or as close to, 31 March as possible. This means that your energy company won’t have to estimate how much was used before 1 April.  

It’s not a huge deal if you don’t do this, but with such a significant drop, you want to make sure your prices are correct. 

There are a handful of fixed deals available which might be worth considering too.

3. See if you can get a better deal on broadband and mobile

If you’re out of contract, consider switching your broadband or mobile phone providers or haggling with your existing one to get a better deal. 

You ideally want to do this after the hikes to ensure you’re not going to get a price increase come April. 

4. Stock up on stamps

Stamps are going up on 2 April 2024. This time, they’re rising by 10p. So if you send a lot of letters, you might want to buy a couple of books before the price rises. Just make sure you remember where you put them, so you don’t end up buying them twice.

5. Sell high-value items before the new capital gains allowance

If you’ve got anything to sell, such as shares or even things like high-value art, you might want to try and do so before the new tax year as the capital gains allowance is halving. Leave it to next year and you might be liable to pay extra tax when you sell.  

6. Fill up your ISAs

Each tax year (6 April to 5 April), you have a £20,000 allowance to put into individual savings accounts (ISAs). This makes your interest or profit, depending on the type, tax-free. 

Your allowance can be split between several types, including the Lifetime ISA, the Stocks and Shares ISA and the Cash ISA

But the allowance isn’t rolled over if you don’t use it, so it’s worth making the most out of if you have large amounts of savings or are worried about going over your Personal Savings Allowance next year. 

Our podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, our award-winning podcast, presented by Editor-in-chief Andy Webb.

Episodes every Tuesday.

7. Pay less tax with the marriage allowance

The marriage allowance can reduce your tax bill by up to £252 in the next tax year, so it’s worth considering. If you did this last year, this will happen again this year, however, if this isn’t something you’re taking advantage of yet, you can backdate it. 

This lets you shift some of your tax-free allowance over to your spouse if you earn less than £12,570 per year. 

The high earner needs to earn between £12,570 and £50,270. You can shift up to 10% of your tax-free allowance over. As the name suggests, you need to be married or in a civil partnership to be able to do this. 

8. Add more to your pension

The annual pension allowance rose to £60,000 in April 2023, so you can put up to this amount into your personal pension tax-free. 

You also carry forward unused allowances for three years at a time, and you can get tax relief on your contributions worth up to 100% of your annual earnings, so you get a boost to what you pay in, known as relief at source.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.