We know it’s a bit late for resolutions, now that Spring is finally here, but when it comes to getting your financial house in order there’s one golden rule – take action. So, whether you are a few months late or not, now that you have decided to grasp the nettle here are a few simple tips to help you get back on track:
Check Your Monthly Budget
Are there any items you are paying for you can do without? What about that subscription TV pack or those movies you seldom watch? It does not matter whether you can afford something or not, there’s just no point paying for a service or product you don’t really need or want. There are lots of opportunities here. Say, for instance, you employ a professional maid service, like Proclean domestic cleaners Glasgow, to clean your home once a week. Now you may very well have a pristine home, but at what cost each month? Would it not make sense to cut back the cleaning service to every other week, or even once a month. You will still get the benefit, to a lesser degree, from the service, but the money you save can quickly mount up. The same can be said for other home services like laundry or gardening, or even window cleaning.
Check The Fine Print
This kinds of goes along with the first suggestion. Every regular contract you have at home, whether it’s for your TV, phone, broadband or utilities, bears scrutiny. Don’t be afraid to contact your current provider and tell them you want a better deal or you will switch. In some cases this may be little more than an empty threat, if for instance, you’re tied to a long term deal, but service providers have targets to meet just like everyone else in these difficult economic times, so there is no harm asking.
Watch The Food Bill
After your rent or mortgage, your weekly or monthly shopping bill is likely to be one of your biggest outlays, so any saving that you can make here will be welcome. Take advantage of supermarket’s constant price matching and cost cutting to get your weekly shop at the best possible price. If you normally shop in Waitrose or Tesco, why not give Morrisons or Asda a whirl and see the difference it can make? Try out some of the supermarket own label goods – many of them are just as tasty and of equal nutritional value as the market leaders, but at a fraction of the price. And don’t be a snob. There are some good products and great prices to be had at the budget stores such as Aldi or Lidl.
Switch Your Savings Account
If you are a mortgage payer then the record low interest rates at the moment – they’ve been that way now for several years – is good news, but if you are a saver, looking for the maximum return on capital, the yields available from the high street banks are paltry. Shop around for the best rate you can find, although to get the most attractive deals you may need to lock your money away for a few years, rather than choose an instant access account. Take advantage of your ISA allowance for tax-free savings too.
Switch Your Credit Card(s)
The opposite of the immediately preceding point – if you have a balance on a credit card, likewise it pays to shop around and switch your balance to a more competitive product. There are a number of 0% balance transfer deals available at the present time, so take advantage of these if you can. If you don’t relish the legwork involved in looking around for the best rates on savings and on credit, why not check out some of the comparison sites. They take away a lot of the hassle, but just remember that some feature “best-buy” products which are really little more than adverts or product placement in disguise. So, be wary.
So there you have it – just a few simple ideas to help trim your costs each month. They may not amount to much on their own, but as time goes by they can make a noticeable – and welcome – difference.