Tackling control of your personal debts can be difficult. You have to be hyper vigilant if you are going to get rid of your debt or bring it down to more affordable levels.
If you only repay the minimum payment to your credit card provider each month then it can add thousands of pounds in interest and years to the time it takes before the balance is repaid in full.
Cutting your spending is one way of boosting your repayment power and getting debts paid off sooner.
Here are 13 of our money saving favourites. If you feel like you have exhausted most of these cutbacks, and there is still no realistic way that you can pay back your debts, then you should seek professional debt advice.
Switch energy suppliers
Switching energy suppliers is one of the quickest, easiest and most substantive ways to save money every month. At a time when energy costs look set to rise again by as much as 15%, it’s important that you switch suppliers to make sure you are on the best deal.
Switch broadband/TV supplier
Switching your broadband and TV is another easy way to save money, mainly because many broadband and television packages are overinflated. Phone your supplier and let them know you are not happy with the cost of your service and don’t be afraid to leave to find another supplier (or swap your TV package for a cheaper online subscription service like Netflix or Amazon Prime).
Swap your mobile phone
Mobile phones are another one of those monthly costs that take a sizable chunk out of your budget. Ask your phone company how many minutes, texts and MB of data you use each month and see if you can find a cheaper deal somewhere else.
Start a spending diary
Saving money is ultimately about taking control of your spending. And the easiest way to do this is to see it laid out in front of you. A spending diary (or just looking through your bank statements) can help identify and cut excesses from your everyday life.
Sell your car
Work out how much you spend on car repayments, insurance, breakdowns and services and you might be surprised how much it really costs. Contrast this with how much you would spend on public transport (and occasional taxis) and it’s easy to see the savings.
Save on trains
If you do ditch the motor then make sure you are getting the most out of the National Rail system. Britain has some of the most expensive trains in Europe, but you can save money by booking rail tickets in advance and using this fare splitter tool to slash your fares (particularly on long journeys).
Shift expensive debts first
Debt costs money. And the more money spent on debt interest, the less you can spend on actually reducing your debts. This is why, if you have more than one debt, you should always pay off the most expensive ones first (making sure to meet minimum payments on other debts).
There are thousands of ways to bring down your spending on food and it pays to develop your own strategy. Start by getting strict with your shopping list and only buying what’s on it. Oh, and never go shopping when you’re hungry.
Sell what you don’t use
This is more about making money than saving it, but it has the same effect. We all have stuff lying around that we don’t use. You’ll be amazed what people will pay money for on eBay – even bits of old rope.
Scrutinise insurance bills
We buy so many insurance policies these days that it’s easy to forget about them. Home, travel, car, breakdown, phone – the list goes on. Make sure you aren’t paying for anything you no longer use and if anything seems expensive, see if you can get it cheaper elsewhere.
Stop that gym membership
You haven’t been in months, don’t trick yourself into thinking you’ll go tomorrow.
Stop buying name brand paracetamol
It might only save you a pound, but cheap supermarket paracetamol is exactly the same as expensive branded stuff.
Stop spending on vices
You know vices like cigarettes and alcohol are bad for your health, but do you know how bad they are for your wallet. Find out how much you spend per year on cigarettes or alcohol and the annual cost may be enough to get you to quit (or at least reduce) your bad habit.
These tips don’t help me
We appreciate that many families will already have cut back spending in most of these ways. If you have reduced your spending as much as possible and there is still no realistic way of paying back creditors, then it is time to consider professional debt advice.
For more information on the different debt solutions available then please get in touch with Umbrella. Call Freephone 0800 611 888 and speak with one of our experienced advisers today.