There are some small, relatively simple steps you can make to save on your monthly outgoings and take control of your personal finances. You will no doubt have heard of at least some of these tips before but if you put them all into practice it will make a difference to your bank account!
Firstly start by looking into what you spent your hard earned cash on last month. Go through your bank statement and identify all the different areas which cost you money. Now think about each field and work out what you could do to save money. At first, the savings you find may seem insignificant, but when you add them all up at the end of the month, hopefully, it will put a smile on your face.
Most of us spend around a third of our income on rent or mortgage payments. If you are a renter, then I am afraid the only real option here is to move to a cheaper place. If you are lucky enough to own your home, you should look into your mortgage. These days refinancing a mortgage is quite straight forward and if you have not looked into it recently and interest rates have moved you could find a deal with lower monthly payments and maybe even pay your mortgage off faster.
The main items here for most people are electricity and gas, you can make savings in two separate ways. Think about your energy usage habits. Do you turn the lights off when you leave a room and unplug electrical equipment at night? Only heat the amount of water you need when boiling the kettle and maybe turn the heating down a degree or two. Go through your daily routine, and you should be able to find other ways to save that are unique to you.
The other factor you can change here is your supplier. Look into how much all providers in your area charge for utilities. Can you save if you pay by direct debit or online? Is it cheaper to combine your electricity and gas bill?
If you currently have a balance on a credit card which charges interest each month you should look into switching to a card with an interest-free period. This way you are paying off the principle each month rather than just paying the interest off. If you have more than one credit card and one of them is paid off in full then give them a call. They might be able to offer you a better interest rate than the card you are currently paying out on.
This one is pretty obvious but can make a big difference. Find out how much you are paying for your car, home, and contents insurance and shop around. Even if you had the best deal available last year, you could still make a saving here.
I enjoy a quality meal as much as the next guy, but you can make a saving here too. With high competition amongst the supermarkets, you can find some cheap unbranded products which are often quite good. Remember to collect voucher codes from mamma.com for popular stores like Tesco or Sainsburys to help you save even more!
There are lots of other ways you can save on your personal finances. Make your phone calls off peak. Walk to the shop and save on petrol. Just go through everything you spend money on each month and identify where you could make a saving. After a couple of months of doing this, you will be surprised by how much you can save, and you should be able to get back in control of your bank balance.
Do you have any tips to share?