Debt can seem insurmountable at times, but trying to contend with the entire problem at once is the wrong approach. Small victories are needed to make you feel like you are beginning to take back control of your finances.
One of the ways in which this can be achieved is by reducing your household bills. While these may seem like a fixed cost, you’d be amazed at how much you can cut from your monthly outgoings by taking just a few simple steps. Even if all the effort saves you £50, that’s £50 more each month to pay off your debts.
Gas and electricity bills seem to rise all the time and keeping on top of these can be a real problem. But some simple steps can help you reduce your monthly bills. First of all, think about switching. Websites such as Energyhelpline.com can help you save money by showing you the cheapest supplier in your area. Make sure you are on the cheapest tariff, and ensure you are paying by direct debit, as this is often the cheapest way to pay.
Feeding a family is costly, but many people will throw out lots of food and purchase things they just don’t need. The answer lies in turning around your shopping habits. Instead chucking what you want in the trolley every week, agree a weekly budget you can afford and stick to it. Make sure you cover essentials and try to use deal sites and voucher codes for money off.
Make sure you are getting the best deal on your phone rental and broadband. Also think about how to cut your bill. Use Skype for calls and think about the various ways you can cut your mobile bill – WhatsApp lets you send unlimited picture and text messages for free using a Wi-Fi connection. And do you really need the full TV package with sports and films?
Petrol and diesel isn’t cheap, but you can do something to cut spending. Websites like www.petrolprices.com allow you to compare pump prices in your area. Make sure your tyres are inflated properly, as under-inflated tyres are terrible for fuel consumption.
Mortgage costs have been included simply to highlight that you need to struggle on trying to meet payments each month if things get really bad. Speak to your lender and ask if they will consider giving you a break from payments. Most people end up in debt because they lose their job or through separation – a one-off break from mortgage payments can be arranged to get you through this tricky period.