Now that the new year is here, it’s a good time to consider the health of your finances. If your money situation seems to be a perpetual challenge, break the cycle by checking out these simple ways of bringing your finances back under control.
Work on your most expensive debt first
Whilst it might be tempting to ignore your credit card bill, this is often the debt which carries the highest rate of interest. If it is your most expensive form of debt, make a concerted effort to deal with it first. Make a realistic plan to set aside money every month until the balance is paid off in full, and do not be tempted to use your credit card as an extension of your disposable income. The less you charge to it, the quicker it will be paid off! Consider your monthly payments to be a non-negotiable expense, and do not touch the money you earmark for it.
Search for the best credit card deals
You may be able to make a considerable saving on your credit card simply by switching your balance to another bank. Search online to find a good deal; often there are incentives to make the change, such as a reduced APR or grace period in which interest is not accrued. Your new credit card company will usually do all the work for you, so you don’t have to spend time on the phone trying to make the arrangements.
Consider debt consolidation
In some circumstances, debt consolidation can be an effective way of bringing your finances under control, particularly if you have an outstanding balance that is becoming difficult to manage. Lend Genius offers excellent advice regarding your various options; check out their website to find out more.
Re-evaluate your regular bills
When trying to improve your financial situation, one of the best approaches is to perform an honest review of your current outgoings. Often, you do not appreciate the extent of what you are spending until it’s all out in front of you.
Start by taking a look at three of your most recent bank statements. Make a list of everything you have spent money on, and identify the expenses you can drop. For example, you may be eating out regularly; by simply switching to home-cooked meals for the majority of the week, you will make significant savings.
Similarly, when it comes to your utility and insurance providers, shop around to find out if you can save money by switching to a competitor. You may find that simply threatening to go elsewhere results in a reduction in your bill, as companies are reluctant to lose a customer.
Commit to saving money
Although topping up your savings may seem like an impossible dream, set it as your goal. Once you have brought your debt under control, the next step will be to strengthen your safety net. It might be helpful to see it as a challenge; set yourself a target every month, and enjoy the benefits of having a healthy savings account.