Do you live paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay your household bills, never mind having any left to save or enjoy? Do you find yourself worrying about money almost daily or terrified of an unexpected expense shattering your fragile financial situation? Well, you are most certainly not alone. It’s thought that 76 million Americans are struggling financially, or only just getting by. All of these people are worried and stressed.
Unfortunately, in the current economic climate, there’s no quick fix. Many of us have debts to pay off, a significant amount of us will never be able to buy our own home, and as the cost of living continues to rise, even working full time you can struggle to save enough to improve your own situation.
But, there’s little help coming from anywhere else either. If you want to ease your financial concerns, reduce your stress levels and give yourself and your family a significantly improved quality of life, you need to do something about it. While there’s no quick fix, there are a few ways to slash your household budget and save yourself money.
Make a Budget
The first step to slashing your budget is making one. Most of us are aware of how much bills are and how much we earn but utterly unaware of the smaller details of our finances. We check our bank balance and find ourselves wondering where our money has gone.
Sit down, use a simple household budget spreadsheet template, and enter all of your figures.
Look at your last few months bank statements to make sure you include everything. When it comes to things like food, fuel and luxury expenses, set a budget and make sure you stick to it. If you want extra, you’ll have to save elsewhere on your budget.
Make Some Cuts
Now you’ve got everything written down in front of you; you can spot patterns and problems. Are you paying for anything that you don’t use or need? Perhaps a gym membership or a subscription service? Cancel anything that you can manage without. Remember, it doesn’t need to be forever, you can always go back once you’ve got the funds.
Then, within the things that you keep, look at some cuts. Do you use all of your minutes and data on your phone contract? Could you reduce your internet speed?
Make Some Switches
Most of us could save a lot of money every year by switching some suppliers. Take a look at your energy providers and your insurance company. Cheap car insurance can save you a lot of money, without diminishing your cover. Use comparison sites to make sure you are getting the best deals. If your providers are the best, look into changing tariffs so that you are only paying for what you need.
Start Clearing Debts
Debts are a vicious cycle. We get into debt because we need to, but then repaying the debt and the insurance costs makes our situation much worse and means that we can never save. Focus on paying more than the minimum to save yourself money long-term.
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