How to Get a Better Grip on Your Finances
Managing personal finance is tricky, but a careful blend of money saving and understanding your spending habits can really help you. Reduce those credit card bills and ease the strain on your finances with these simple tips:
Use shopping lists
Shopping lists can allow you to budget what you spend at the shops every week. Most people buy the same things every week, so you’ll have an idea of what those products cost. You can total that and work out what you are really spending. Using a shopping list and avoiding deviation can reduce your impulse purchases and really make sure you aren’t overspending. Plan your shop around what you or your family needs, and hold back on treats unless it is a special occasion. Buying own-branded goods can also save you around 30% on the branded equivalents.
Budget your salary
Your salary will pay your bills, help you do your weekly shopping and obviously deal with essentials such as your rent or mortgage and running a car. Managing your finances should start with a realistic budget, and this should be forged from your salary. Budget out your monthly earnings to what you spend a week, how much your bills are etc. and get an idea on you can spare on a monthly basis in order to starting saving where you can.
Review credit card statements
Look at your credit card statements and use them to manage your money. Credit cards can allow you to pay for things in advance and pay them off later, which if done right can improve your credit score. Your statements will give you a good idea on how much money you spend and what you can cut back on. Use these as tools to decide how much money you can spend in the month on luxury treats or necessaries.
Energy, TV, phone bills etc. can all be reduced fairly easily and this can help you towards having a better grip of exactly what outgoings you have. Generally bills come as a surprise and you think, “have I really spent that much on gas this month?”, but this can be changed if you call your energy suppliers and combine everything to one provider. This can offer a small discount, and a renegotiation of your contract will lower the costs. This is applicable to phone and TV services particularly because companies are desperate to keep their customers.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s in the bank’s best interest to look after you as a customer. After all, they want money in your account that they can loan out so you’d be surprised how happy they are to offer personal finance advice and run through your statements with you. Pop into your bank and ask them for a little advice and discuss anything you can whilst you have a professional sitting with you. It could also be a good time to discuss your accounts at the bank, and if there are any possible options better suited to your income and circumstances.