Friday, February 14, 2020

At this time of year, many of us are taking a long, hard look at our finances. The excesses of Christmas are long behind us, and many of us are starting to think about how to get back on track, and how we can trim down our expenses. However, it can be a lot easier said than done. If you are overstretched and need to evaluate your finances, here are a few areas in which you might be able to save a bit of cash.

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Debts

Sadly, many of us have a debt of some kind, and these need to be prioritized as they can get you into a real financial mess and affect your credit rating. It may be that you need to consider additional forms of income or seek professional financial advice if you are struggling.

You may also want to consider getting in touch with creditors to lower your repayments or come up with some sort of payment plan to help get them back under control while leaving you with enough money to live on.

Lower your expenses

First of all, take a look at your utility bills (gas, electricity, and water) and work out whether you are getting the best possible deal. It may be worth phoning up your supplier and seeing if they can offer you a better deal, and if not, switch suppliers.

This also applies to other expenses. For example, your auto insurance. It is something we all need, but if you do not drive many miles, it may be more money than it’s worth. You cannot avoid paying it, however, but there are insurers out there who will cover you on a mile by mile basis? A Metromile overview will give you more information about this sort of scheme if it sounds right for you.

Look at your spending habits.

The chances are you waste money. We all do! It might be that cheeky cafe au lait in the way into work, or that bagel at lunchtime. It might be that bottle of water you grab while you are out or that gym subscription that you never have time to use. Keep a record of all of your spending for a week and see what you can cut out. Take a flask of coffee, a packed lunch and a reusable bottle of water with you to work, and take up running or home workouts and cancel the gym sub.

Some of these habits might be harder than others to cut out - they are often well ingrained and you do not think a couple of dollars here and there makes a difference, but when you add them all up at the end of a week or a month, you may be surprised.

With a bit of planning and preparation, and being a bit stricter with yourself when it comes to spending, you can save yourself a fair amount of money for the more important things in life.


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