Spending money is a guaranteed pick-me-up for most and enjoying a splurge here and there can act as a much-needed tonic. However, tough economic times mean the nation is having to tighten its belt and seriously consider cutting its spending habits.
When it comes to cutting back on spending, most people restrict themselves to spending less on going out and buying less treats for both themselves and their family. But this usually only accounts for about a hundred bucks a month. What if that’s not enough?
It is very easy to get into a cycle of debt, relying increasingly on credit to get through the month and thereby increasing the bills for the following month. This necessitates even more spending on plastic or overdrafts simply to survive. Most households across the country could save substantially by taking a long hard look at their expenses.
First of all, when did you last change energy supplier? With prices going up from most of the big energy firms, gas and electricity could be sourced cheaper for an alternative company. There are a number of comparison sites that can be found online to easily see where the best deal can be found. Switching energy suppliers is a painless process and the two companies arrange more or less everything between them, with no interruption to the energy coming into the house.
Most households have several types of insurance, such as car, buildings, contents and possibly even pet, healthcare or home maintenance cover. Insurance companies are renowned for offering discounts to new customers and any no claims bonus can be transferred. The reason insurers are so keen to get new accounts rather than reward existing customers is because research has shown that most people do not switch insurers once they have a policy, even if the premium goes up the following year.
Be prepared to shop around and take advantage of any offers in the supermarkets. Own brand goods are also perfectly acceptable for the vast majority of purchases and in blind taste tests, many supermarket own brands have scored higher than branded goods.
Being on a budget doesn’t mean all luxuries need to be excluded but there are often ways to enjoy them for less money.
A good example of this is the hairdresser’s bill. Getting hair cut and colored can be an expensive business and going without can be a real morale sinker. However, local hairdressing schools are always looking for willing customers and with an experienced stylist overseeing the students, there is no risk to deserting your usual salon.
As the recession slowly fades into the distance, lenders are beginning to get more of an appetite for new borrowers and there are many great deals in the market right now, for both new customers and those looking for a balance transfer. There are a number of lenders willing to provide 0% APR for long periods, up to two years in some cases, which are ideal for a balance transfer.
In closing, cutting expenses doesn’t have to be painful. Just determine the differences between your wants and your needs, then find a cheaper way to get your needs.