Lifehacks to keep your spending healthy…
At Intrum, we understand it takes courage to face up to your debts and discipline to stick to a payment plan. If you’ve been able to do that, you’re probably now very good at budgeting and making decisions, but we all need a little help sometimes, so here are some of our favourite tips to help…
Never sign a contract without reading the ‘small print’
When we’re busy, it’s easy to just sign without paying much attention. But taking the time to read the terms and conditions means you know what you’re getting yourself into and how to get out of it. For example, many free trials come with automatic costs unless you cancel in time. If you don’t understand the jargon – ask.
Try to have as few fixed costs as possible
Take a look at your outgoings and work out what’s really essential and important to you. Maybe it’s cheaper to pay as you go for fitness instead of tying yourself into an expensive gym contract? Maybe you don’t need monthly entertainment subscriptions? The lower your fixed costs, the more control and flexibility you have over your money.
Think one more time before you buy anything
Online shopping and retail special offers make it easy to click now, regret later. If you’re liable to splurge on things you don’t really want, give yourself a cooling off period. If you still want the product a day or a week later, it will still be there.
Put away money for future bills
Put away money for annual bills throughout the year so you don’t have a nasty shock when they’re due. Building up a buffer will also help with unexpected costs like a broken boiler or washing machine. It won’t happen overnight but small amounts will build to a bigger pot over time.
Review your subscriptions and save money
We’re all good at looking for a deal when we first sign up for something, but prices change and you may no longer be on the best deal. Make a date with yourself to check your subscriptions, insurances and utilities annually so you can be sure you’re getting the most for your money.
Taking the time to compare is always worthwhile – sometimes the deals that sound best are more expensive in the long haul so check that the deal really is as good as it seems. Supermarkets often have per unit prices in the small print that can help.
Replan your budget
We all have to cope with unexpected costs. Whether that’s for fun spending on leisure and holidays, or the headaches of rising bills and car breakdown. When it happens, don’t stick your head in the sand. Take a look at your budget, replan and move on.
If you do find things getting out of your control financially, don’t panic. Ask for advice early. Talk to your lenders or a free and independent debt advice service so they can help you get back on track. You’ve got this.