Call it a financial renovation. At least one day each year, make time for it. Sit down, check your outgoings, and systematically work through them to ensure that you are getting the best deal on your bills.
This may be time consuming, but it will be worth it.
Then you need to go through the next questions and be totally honest with yourself. The main aim is to face up to your financial situation. Many Britons find themselves in financial trouble because they have buried their heads in the sand and not faced up to their situation until it was too late. Don’t follow this pattern. Gain the knowledge and then you are in a position to sort out your situation.
If you find that your figures show that your outgoings are more than your income, then this is a sign and should be addressed. Spending beyond your means is not sustainable.
Is there anything that you can cut back on? Are your outgoings made up of vital bills (rent/mortgage, council tax, utility bills, etc) or is a proportion spent on repayments or social spending? Identifying where your money is going and being more mindful of budgeting could help you tweak your lifestyle choices.
Loyalty does not always exist these days, therefore most times it is better to check the market and switch your custom to another company providing your utilities, car insurance, etc.
Think outside the box too – can you get cheaper contact lenses elsewhere? Can you buy second-hand clothes bundles for your kids instead of buying new? Can you bulk buy certain food shopping items that would work out cheaper in the long run?
What we mean by this is are you making a list and taking it with you when shopping? Or do you buy off the cuff and shop more than three times per week?
If you are the latter, then you could be racking up the food bills without realising.
Our tip is to meal plan for the week – including breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinner, etc. Make a list and then stick to it when going around the shops. Supermarkets are very savvy with their marketing and make you think you need something when you don’t! Also, stay away from those middle aisles!
You may be paying for small direct debits each month for services and subscriptions you’re no longer using – this all adds up!
Make a point of checking the direct debits you have and if you no longer use the service that they pertain to, then cancel them.
Could your savings be used to pay off your existing debts or even reduce your repayments? Depending on interest rates, you could find that building your savings is costing you money if your existing debt is incurring high interest penalties.
Consider shifting your credit card debts to other credit providers with a lower interest rate. You will need to be assessed on your credit rating in order to be accepted or not. This could cut down on your monthly repayments. In some cases, you can see whether you are likely to be accepted for certain balance transfer cards before you apply.
If you have a family income of under £73,000 then you may be entitled to claim some benefits. Check on the government website for more details.
Make sure you check out our Money Savvy Series that goes out every week with tips on how to boost your income in many varied ways, such as freelance work, selling rubbish (yes, really – think toilet roll inners etc), renting out your home, etc.
We only have one life to live, and we get used to living a certain lifestyle. Hopefully, the above questions that you’ve answered honestly will have helped you to save some money and reduce your monthly expenditure, however if this is not the case then now could be the time to make decisions about your financial future.
We’re talking about looking deeper into your lifestyle expenditure and seeing if you can make cutbacks.
Are you having a takeaway every week? According to research Britons spend on average a hefty £1,000 per year on takeaways. Could this be you? Can you cut back? Cook a “fakeaway” at home?
Are you buying lunch out every day? Prepare your lunch at home and you could save! Same with takeaway coffees; buy yourself a reusable coffee cup, make your posh coffee at home and take it with you!
Do you really need a TV license or those TV subscriptions? Could you cut back on those and save money? There are so many ways that you could cut back on your lifestyle spending. You need to ask yourself whether you actually need those things and whether you can realistically afford it before buying.
Once you’ve carried out your own money overhaul and asked yourself those questions, you should be in a healthier financial position. Of course, there are circumstances where the debt is so large that making a few mindful cuts here and there will not make a huge difference and you are still spending beyond your means.
That is where we step in. We may be able to help you take control of those spiralling debts and look at the correct debt solution for you.
Take control today, make that first step towards financial freedom from debt and call us.