Finance 27 April 2020
When it comes to finances, most of us could do with some extra help to make our money stretch a little further. Many people find that they have very little disposable income left after making all the essential payments – and there are some who struggle to even meet their essential payments. This includes housing costs, bills, food, and travel among others.
If you find yourself regularly in a situation where you are running out of cash early, it is time to make some changes. Making sure you keep costs down is essential, and this means budgeting more effectively. There are many simple ways in which you can reduce personal finance costs to bring your total monthly spending levels down. This can help to ease the financial strain and leave you with more disposable income.
Some Steps You Can Take
There are lots of different ways in which you can reduce personal finance costs and bring down your monthly spending. Some of these include:
Use Switching Sites
Many people are paying way over the odds on their energy bills, broadband services, mobile phone services, and more. However, a lot of people do not bother to check, and they continue to pay far more than they need to. This is something you should look at, as you could save a lot of money each month by switching to cheaper deals and providers.
The good news is that there are many switching websites that will make this task far easier and much less stressful. You can quickly and easily compare deals for services that you currently use, and if you find cheaper ones, you can switch with speed and convenience. With every saving you make, you have a little extra cash at the end of each month.
Look at Insurance Costs
We take insurance out for all sorts of things from health insurance and pet insurance to home insurance and car insurance. Rather than sticking to the same policy and provider, look at how much you can save by switching to another one. For instance, if you shop around rather than automatically renewing, you can reduce car insurance costs considerably. The same goes with other types of insurance cover you have in place.
By saving money on each of the insurance plans you have in place, you can boost your disposable income at the end of each month. However, make sure the plans you switch to offer the same or similar protection levels to the plans you are switching from.
Switch to Another Mortgage
If you are still paying a mortgage, it is well worth looking at the interest rates you are paying along with the terms of the mortgage. With interest rates now so low, it is important to look at whether you could save money by moving to another mortgage product or even another provider.
There are some great deals out there these days, so you could save a small fortune on your repayments every month with some simple research and by switching accordingly. You can take advantage of the rock bottom interest rates simply by shopping around and looking for the best mortgage deals.
Some people spend a fortune each month on their grocery shopping, and this can really eat into your monthly budget. In the past, we had very little choice with regard to where we shopped. However, these days, you have all sorts of shops to choose from including discount supermarkets, online grocery stores, and more.
So, if you tend to always go to the same expensive supermarket, consider shopping elsewhere to get cheaper prices. In addition, try to stick to own-brand products rather than going for expensive brand names. You can even consider shopping online, as this often eliminates the temptation to make impulse purchases.
Pack Your Lunches
Many people spend far more than they realize on buying food while they are out. This is not just going out for meals but also purchasing sandwiches, drinks, and other items each day at work or college. It may seem like a small amount per day, but over the course of a month, it can add up to a considerable amount.
In order to save money, make sure you take packed lunches from home so that you do not have to spend unnecessarily. Not only will this work out much cheaper, but you can also make healthier lunches rather than relying on whatever is available in the shops on the day.
Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions and memberships
You should make sure you go through your outgoings with a fine-tooth comb in order to determine whether you are paying any subscriptions and memberships you no long use or need. You then need to cancel these to ensure the money does not continue to go out.
An amazingly high number of people do not even realize they are still making payments on membership fees for something they haven't used in years. This includes everything from magazine subscriptions to gym and club memberships that you no longer have a need for.
Ease the Financial Strain
By taking these tips on board, you will find it much easier to ease the financial strain and enjoy more freedom when it comes to your money. You can reduce the risk of running out of cash before you have even met your essential costs. In addition, you can look forward to having a little extra cash to save or spend on yourself at the end of each month.
With modern technology at your fingertips, it has become easier than ever to budget more effectively. You should make sure you continue to keep a close eye on your income and outgoings so that you are always on track. You can do this by using budgeting software, creating your own spreadsheet, or even logging down your income and outgoings in an accounts book. This will make it much easier for you to stay in control of your finances.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist