Spring is the perfect time of the year to get organised in all areas of your life. I have already discussed organising your home and work life in recent posts, and today I am turning my attention to your finances.
Money, and money worries is one of the worst causes of stress and pressure in family life. The standard of living is on the rise all the time, but wages do not seem to be rising at the same rate, and this is leading to more and more issues of debt and increased amounts of borrowing, often from unscrupulous lenders. In addition to debt, there are bills and payments, ones that we may feel we can ignore, but that we really shouldn’t forego if at all possible.
Actually writing down all our incomings and outgoings is a good way to start to deal with our finances. List everything, from the smallest bills like school dinners, to the larges of outgoings – mortgage, car finance and loans. Look at the date that each bill comes out , and whether this works for you. If it doesn’t, change it to a date that does. I find that everything coming out at the beginning of the month works well if you are paid at the end of the previous month. Work out what is left after the bills have been paid, and then use this to budget for other expenses.
When money is tight, insurance policies can feel like something that can be let go, but this really isn’t so. One thing you can do is shop around by using money comparison sites to get the best deals, for instance, moving your homes and contents insurance from your bank to a independent broker can save pounds.
But this said, your life insurance policy is very important, particularly if you have a young family. No-one ever knows what is around the corner, and leaving your family financially stable is something we would all want to do. Life insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, you need to shop around to find term life insurance quotes that suit your family and your budget. You will find that actually sorting your life insurance earlier in life gives you better rates for your payments.
Look at your debt
If you are trying to pay off a large amount of debt, you may find that it is difficult to keep your head above water. You may need to get some of the debt written off by something like a Creditfix IVA in order to make your bills manageable and affordable. You will still need to keep up your monthly payments but may be able to write off a substantial part of your debt, something that can be the difference between staying afloat and going under.
One of the best things about the internet is that it gives you the opportunity to shop around for anything you buy. You no longer have to accept the first price you find for anything, just a simple Google search will show you a range of options and the most competitive price. In addition to shopping around, Quidco gives you the opportunity to claim money back on all your purchases, effectively offering you money for nothing.
When you do shop online, look for voucher codes for free delivery or money off – this can help you make good savings, adhering to the old saying ‘if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.’
Fill your trolley at one of the big four supermarkets and check the cost. I’m not a betting women, but I would put my house on the fact it would be cheaper at Aldi or Lidl. The budget supermarkets sell a great range of products, but at a much cheaper price point, thus helping you to make further savings if your budget is tight.
Other avenues to look at include Home and BM bargains, Pep and Co, which is a great place to pick up children’s clothes cheaply, and, of course Primark.
How do you help your household budget?