The rising cost of living, plus stagnant wages and job insecurity, mean that many families and individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to balance their household budgets. If this sounds like you, now is the time to adjust your incomings and outgoings accordingly.
While you’re running your financial health check, be sure to spend five minutes checking your credit report. This is easy to do online (proceed to website) and will give you a clear indication of your credit rating, plus allowing you to check for any anomalies.
It could be easier than you think to cut costs and slash outgoings. Use an online budget planner, like the one at www.moneysavingexpert.com to list all your household expenses, then go through them individually to see where you can make savings.
Compare costs for utilities, insurances and services online, to find the best possible deals for you. Should you decide to swap, check cashback websites like Quidco to see if you can get cashback on your purchases, to add to the coffers.
The food budget is usually one that we can easily shave. Try ‘downgrading’ your shopping to a supermarket’s own or basics range, to instantly save £££’s. Meal planning is another way to ensure that you save cash, by only buying what you need and preventing waste.
Petrol is typically a large expense for many, so have a look at ways in which you can cut down. Is every journey that you make by car necessary? Could you walk or cycle shorter distances? Would taking public transport or car sharing work out cheaper? These are all questions that you should be asking. Finally, make sure that you’re buying your petrol from the cheapest place near you by checking www.petrolprices.com.
You might find it harder to increase your incomings than to reduce your outgoings, but there are many ways to add a little extra to the budget. Increasing your employment is an obvious one, that may be easier said than done. It is always worth asking to be considered for overtime, extra shifts, promotions etc, however, to ensure that you’re at the front of people’s minds should opportunities arise.
Turning clutter into cash is easier than ever, with eBay and Music Magpie being great places to sell items online. Or head on down to your local car boot sale to have a clear out the old-fashioned way!
Check that you’re getting all the benefits that you’re entitled to at entitledto.com, and be sure to do a tax credits renewal every year, even if you haven’t previously received payments.
A day spent going over your incomings and outgoings can have surprising results – often saving £100’s fairly painlessly. Invest time in balancing your budgets and scrutinising your spreadsheets, for a healthier financial situation.