Thursday, April 11, 2013

5 Ways to Stay on Top of Your Finances in 2013

Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
When you’ve got a family, house, car and everything else to pay for, your finances can often feel stretched. Sometimes it can be hard to pay the bills and still have enough money left for buying food, clothes and all the other things you need around the home. Everyone deals with their finances in their own way, but there are a number of methods that you can implement yourself if you are feeling bogged down by all of the bills. Here are my own tips for staying on top of your finances in 2013... 

Speak to your suppliers

One of the first things you could do would be to speak to your current suppliers of water, electricity, gas, etc. This is so you can discuss other payment schedules and tariffs that might be more suited to your current situation. If you’ve just had a large bill come through the door, the best thing you can do is speak to your supplier as quickly as possible to come up with an arrangement instead of hiding the letter and pretending it doesn’t exist. You don’t want your essential services to get cut off when you need them each and every day. 

Cut out unessential services

If you are currently paying for services you just don’t need, it might be time to call them up and cancel, or where applicable, cancel direct debits that are set up to take payment from you automatically each month. Types of services this might include could be bolt on packages to your satellite or fibre optic television subscription, music streaming or even various insurance policies than you no longer require. Have a good look at your bank statement to see where you can make quick changes. 

Change your supermarket

Another change you can make is to start shopping at a different supermarket each week. You can use online price comparison sites to compare the costs of a basket of groceries from one store to the next - in many of these, Asda comes out as the cheapest of the main supermarkets but you can find deals at economy shops such as Lidl and Aldi too.

Make more money

If these changes aren’t making much difference to your personal economic outlook, you might need to make more money instead. There are so many new things to try, such as simply looking for a higher wage job, asking for a pay rise, or starting up your own business on the side of your current job. 

Seek further advice

You should be able to seek further debt advice from free services online and in your local area. This could help you from getting into debt, stopping you from getting into more debt, or even to how to get out of it. Sharing your worries can take some of the stress off your shoulders, and they should be able to give you additional tips to help day-to-day.

About the author

Lewis McKinross is a financial blogger based in the UK. He often writes about debt advice and other money saving tips.

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