It can be tough managing money,
sticking to a tight budget can be tiresome at times but it’s a necessity these
days when money does not stretch very far and costs just seem to keep mounting
up. It’s so easy to get into debt and wonder
if your bank account will always be in the red, its time to stop overspending
and learn to budget effectively. I was
prompted by UKCredit
to come up with ideas to help families save money.
To stop you dipping into your
overdraft (and lining the banks pockets in the process) making a few lifestyle
changes can improve matters considerably.
If you usually spend lots of money on family days out, look at making it
more affordable, make up a packed lunch, bring your own drinks and make sure
you search for free activities and attractions in the area you plan to visit. Younger children are just as happy playing with autumn leaves as they are heading off to an expensive theme park.
Try and stop wanting the best of everything – learn to
make the items you do have last, do you really need a bigger TV or a faster
car? Will your children miss out
because they do not have the latest console…? NO! Stop borrowing to keep up with your friends and family, hopefully
if your children see you making things last, they will follow your
example. Learn to live more modestly
BUT if you really do want something special then save until you can afford it
without getting into further debt. I
think we are all a little guilty of this at times, getting drawn into
consumerism but be grateful for what you have rather than what you would like
Try and fix things yourself,
hubbie has kept our washing machine going, sorted out the tumble dryer when it
gave up the ghost, kept laptops going considerably longer than you would expect
and bled the oil burning boiler so we could restart it.
Children always complain they are
hungry, but you can feed them for less if you look out for special offers, use
coupons and learn to shop at the times of day the reductions are made.
Lifestyle changes are only one
step; you need to look through your finances with a fine toothcomb. When I first got together with hubbie we
realised he had been paying for Sky cover for a year after cancelling his Sky
subscription! Check through your bank
statements and see if there is anything you can get rid of.
We have also consolidated debt to make it easier to
manage, rather than having multiple lenders to juggle, this applied when we
first got together as a couple so we could get our finances in order. It might be worth getting a loan just to
clear off your other debts, even better look out for lower rates of interest so
you save money as well as keep a closer eye on what you owe.
If following these tips has helped you free up some cash don’t then be too reckless with any money you do have going spare, yes we all want to make our fortune but do it in a way that manages risk. I have always wanted to invest in stocks and shares but am very cautious but if I went through somewhere like Glenmore Investments who are used to dealing in online investments I probably would feel a bit more happier doing it. The fact they have knowledgeable traders would give me greater confidence about the funds I have available to invest, you need an experienced company that knows what it is doing.