- Living Beyond Your Means
- Don't Borrow More
- Make Swaps
- Make a Monthly Budget - and stick to it!
- Cut Spending
- Find the Best Deal
- Not Enough?
- Final Word
Living Beyond Your Means
Spending more than you earn is a step in the wrong direction when it comes to taking control of your finances. If you’re blindly spending without thinking, get a clear-cut overview of your money with our budget planner.
Don’t Borrow More
Paying off debt with a different loan can be beneficial sometimes (check out Debt Consolidation Loans ) but if you’re fixing old debts with expensive or longer term debt, you’re just extending the debt cycle. It sounds obvious but the more you borrow, the more interest you’ll end up paying so think about this before you apply for more credit.
Borrowing to pay off debt is not a good idea as you’ll find yourself falling into a “debt cycle”. However if you have multiple debts you may be able to consolidate them into one monthly payment with a debt consolidation loan. Not only can this make it easier to manage your repayments but you can often save money on the interest.
Prioritise Your Purchases
Now there are essentials, like council tax and household bills, that we have to pay. But sometimes, we prioritise our money for things we want rather than what we need.
We’re not suggesting you cut out everything you love in life to free up cash each month but if you're short on cash, you may need to make sacrifices. Jot down a list of luxuries you buy each month like monthly entertainment subscriptions, nights out or takeaways.
Then group them into two categories; luxuries you couldn’t live without and luxuries you could easily give up. Stop purchasing the things you could give up for a month and see how much you save. Still allow yourself some some luxuries each month, just not as many!
If you can’t bare to part with some of your purchases, think about swapping them with cheaper alternatives. For example, lottery tickets and scratch cards can be good fun but very expensive! Try using free lottery sites, like Pick My Postcode and you could win up to £2,000. Even if you don’t win, you’ll be saving money!
If you’ve been using an expensive beauty product for the past few years that you just can’t let go, now might be the time to try something new. Go into your local health and beauty store and ask for some advice on the best product for you at the best price.
Make a Monthly Budget - and stick to it!
The idea is simple; make a budget each month and do not overspend. In reality though, this can be easier said than done. Budgets make you more aware of your spending, so if you do overspend at least you’re aware of it and can cut back in other places for that month.
Get started on your Take Control journey with the Choose Wisely Budget Planner.
Write shopping lists for your food shop and stick to it. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry, visiting the aisles you don’t need or falling victim to ‘bargains’. Discover more tips in our guide on cutting your food shop bill.
Find the Best Deal
Unfortunately, in this day and age, there is a high price to pay for convenience. The less time you spend looking for something, the more you could end up paying. Search the internet for the best price on clothes, DVDs, tech, etc to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
If you’ve used our budget planner and there are areas where think you need to cut back on spending, take a look at our more detailed guides:
How to cut down:
It can be difficult to cut back on the things you enjoy in life but by understanding where your money goes, you can stay in control of your finances. Staying on top of your spending and avoiding the worry when you hit financial emergencies can mean a huge improvement on your well-being.