Giving Your Finances A Health Check
Life is a pretty expensive business. Aside from all of the everyday bills that go out, taking up most of the monthly earnings, there is a whole set of other expenses that demand all of our income. From needing to buy new clothes, Christmas presents for the kids, the broken boiler that needs mending, or the car that needs new brakes; it can often seem that our money is accounted for before we even see it.
Living with a perpetual bank balance of zero or less, it can be stressful. With all of the best will in the world you may struggle to stay afloat, and often, keeping your head above water means spending money on credit cards or taking out loans. Breaking this cycle and bringing yourself into a more comfortable position can be very difficult. It is, however, not impossible as long as you follow some simple but ordered suggestions to get your life back on track.
Account For Everything
One of the scariest things about having a troublesome relationship with debt is when you cannot bring yourself to look at your bank balance. Hoping that a financial problem will go away will never help you, and unfortunately, this is an issue that you really must stand up and face for yourself.
Go through all of your accounts and list any money that you regularly have coming in and going out. Once you have this all listed down you can start to prioritize your expenses. Highlight anything that must be paid. For example, bills relating to your home utilities, rent, and mortgage, along with any debts such as loans or credit cards.
Work out how much you spend on your monthly food and transport costs. While you may be able to make some savings here, you will need to have a specific budget to cover these things.
Then highlight the less important expenses that frankly you could probably live without. In the event of your expenditure not matching up to your income, you should start to cut these items.
Cut Your Costs
There may be plenty of opportunities for you to cut down on the costs of many of your bills. Many companies slowly increase their prices over time, meaning that you can end up spending more for a service than you could be.
Shop around for cheaper insurance, gas, electric, broadband, and phone providers. There may be a very real possibility that you can reduce many of these costs and save yourself quite a bit of money each month. Make sure though that you continue to shop around for cheaper prices in the future.
Combine Your Debts
If you have debts across a number of different lenders, one way of saving money may be to combine all of your debts into one consolidation loan. This will give you the chance to pay off your debt fully and within a reasonable length of time. If you owe money on any credit cards and are paying this off with the loan, close the accounts once they are empty to stop further spending.