The new year is finally here, and so many of us will have made those all-important new year resolutions to make the next year even better than the last. That might mean improving your health and fitness or changing your lifestyle in some way, or even traveling more and seeing the world. But a lot of people place some focus on their finances at this time of year, especially as we have just come out of an expensive period with Christmas spending. So I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some tips to help you get your budget back on track.
Reduce the food bill
One of the biggest outgoings many of us have after our mortgage and rent payments is our food bill. It’s crazy how much you can spend on food and toiletries each week, and the cost can really mount up over the month. However, we still have to eat and keep ourselves clean, right? So why not try some of these tips to help you reduce your food bill? One of the main ways you can do that is by meal planning. Sitting down and working out what you have in your cupboards and pantry and then writing a list of the items you need only. This can dramatically reduce your food bill. Another essential tip is to consider using discount codes or coupons, these can be picked up easily off the internet or even in magazines provided by the stores. Finally, changing where you shop can also have a huge impact on your costs, some stores sell things cheaper than others, so it’s worth researching the best store to suit your shopping needs.
Sort out any debt you have
After the food shop, many people can spend a large chunk of their income on paying a debt. This isn’t just the mortgage, this is more like credit card debt. Owing out multiple amounts and to various card providers can end up costing you much more than it needs to. If you find yourself in this predicament don’t threat, the first port of call would be to check your credit history and see what kind of situation you are in. This will enable you to highlight the areas that need tackling the most. A great tip would be to try and consolidate all of those debts into one affordable monthly payment. Checking out providers like the lending tree could help you do this. Or even provide some other options to reduce your costs. After all, it can be the interest that costs you the most.
Start saving money on your energy bills
Some people don’t realize that they have flexibility when it comes to their energy bills, but you are not stuck with the amount you pay. There are ways you can reduce your bills by changing provider or making changes to some of your habits in your home. Quite often, energy providers will give great cost saving deals to new customers, and not reward loyalty. So why not change energy providers? A great tip is to use comparison websites to see where the best deals are being offered. However, being conscious of switching lights on and off, keeping appliances switched off and even using blankets and hot water bottles to keep warm instead of your heating system can all help.
Have you checked your bank statement lately?
Many of us sign up for different things over the cause of the year, gym memberships and magazine subscriptions seem to be the most common. But while we may have canceled the service, sometimes those payments can still be collected for your bank. A quick tip is to look through your bank statement looking out for rogue payments, and you can then cancel those. Sometimes this can save you quite a bit.
Save money on those things you have to buy
There are always things we have to buy, like clothes, birthday presents, and even next Christmas to consider. That’s why you could consider using discount codes, vouchers, and coupons to bring the cost down. You might also want to think about shopping when stores have sales on. They can reduce items as much as fifty percent at a time, especially in January and after summer.
Are there any cheaper alternatives to your everyday living?
Finally, are there things you could do a little cheaper? Perhaps you buy your lunch every day when working, or order that take out coffee each morning. Bring lunch and coffee from home can offer you a lovely weekly saving, that can really add up over the year. Other things to consider would be how many times you order take out food instead of home cooking or heading to the cinema instead of watching a DVD at home.
I hope these tips help you get your budget in order in the new year.