As with most people, chances are you are having a hard time due to the recent inflation. You can barely make your ends meet and the stress is making you sleepless at night. Life is way easier when you practice good financial skills. The manner in which you spend money affects your credit score as well as how much debt you end up having. If you are struggling with money management problems like living paycheck to paycheck, regardless of making more than sufficient money, then this read is for you. Here are some great tips to cope with big spends:
1. Save Money on Fuel
With petrol prices higher than ever, it makes sense that this should be the first place to cut on your spending if you own a car. Use a fuel price checker website to ensure you get your fuel at the cheapest price available. Consider a more economical car with cheap car finance. Some other tips to ensure you save fuel are:
-Drive at a slower speed
-Ensure your tires are at the ideal pressure
-Avoid driving to places you can easily access by foot or public transport
-Avoid carrying unnecessary heavy items in your car
-Avoid accelerating and braking quickly
2. Save Money on Energy Bills
If you are struggling with your energy bills, reach out to your provider and ask whether they can arrange for a more suitable way to make the payments. Changing energy suppliers was an excellent way of saving money on energy bills, with the inflation situation, chances are you are better off sticking to your current provider until your tariff ends. Some suppliers are not accepting new customers with the aim of protecting the energy price cap. Simple Energy Advice, a government-backed site has more information on how to save money on energy bills in these tough times.
3. Council Tax
Depending on your situation, and who you live with, you may be eligible for a Council Tax discount. You can get a 25%, for instance if you are the only person residing on the property. Visit GOV.UK to figure out the discounts provided by your local council.
If you are in the low-income or specific benefits category, you may qualify for a Council Tax Reduction, with the possibility of your bill being reduced by up to 100%.
4. Food Bills
It’s trivial that food bills take a major proportion of household spending. As such, it makes sense to look where you can save. Start by planning your meals for a week and then make a shopping list accordingly. This will help you avoid purchasing unnecessary things. Consider switching to cheaper brands, stores, etc.
5. Water Bills
It is impossible to switch suppliers, but there are several steps you can take to reduce your water bills. Check whether you can save money by installing a water meter. Use the Consumer Council for Water’s calculator to determine this. If you live with someone with a certain medical condition or have a large family and you are on certain benefits, you may be eligible for the WaterSure scheme. This is a program that caps your water bills. Also, if you are receiving benefits or you’re on a low income, check the additional assistance that your water supplier provides.
6. Are You Eligible for State Benefits?
Data shows that billions in state benefits go unclaimed every year. Perhaps you are among the many that are missing out. Turn2us, the national charity has a free State benefits calculator that allows you to figure out what benefits you are eligible for. The entity also has a grant search tool that allows you to look up any grants available for your situation.
7. Figure Out Your Expenses
Given the repetition of paying bills every month, you may be among the many that do not follow up on just what you are spending. As such, it is important that you take the time to request a bank statement as well as credit card bills and thoroughly go through your expenses. Highlight anything that you think is unnecessary or costs too much. This could be a broadband package or streaming service that you no longer need, or a mobile phone contract where you’re paying more than you need.
You could also be wasting your money on monthly subscriptions that you rarely use, gym memberships being among the top. About 20% of people in the UK revealed that they planned on canceling TV subscriptions such as Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Prime. Even if you are spending a few pounds on a subscription, it is money gone down the drain if you rarely have the time to use the service. So, take the time to go through your expenses and get rid of what you do not need. This will save you a lot, both in the short term and long term.
8. Revise Your Budget
Revise your weekly or monthly budget and if you do not have one, take the time to create one. A budget is simply a list of your expenses in accordance with your earnings. There are numerous templates online to get you started, you can also download a budget app to help you track and revise your expenses.
9. Use your own Steam
Commuting or getting from A to B is becoming especially expensive thanks to the rise in both the cost of fuel and cars. Walking from A to B or even cycling can be a great way to save money and also helps you stay fit and burn calories. A bike can be as fast as a car in an urban environment and if you don’t wish to pedal the whole way, there’s a great selection of e bikes out there.
10 . Can You Pay Less Interest?
If you currently have an expensive credit card, check if it’s possible to transfer the balance to a 0% interest credit card. Keep in mind that even though you are not charged an interest fee, you’ll still be charged 1 to 3 percent for the amount you transfer. In addition, it is advisable to ensure you pay off the balance before the 0% deal ends as it may affect your credit score.