It’s impossible to escape talk about money at the moment. If the rising cost of living or news headlines have got you thinking about your situation, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll share some tips to help you improve your family finances.
It’s no secret that bills are going up. Food, fuel and energy have all got more expensive, and for most people, reports suggest that prices are going to continue to rise. If you’re feeling the squeeze, the first step to take is to try to reduce spending. Start with non-essentials and luxuries. Go through your bank statements and underline everything you don’t need, for example, monthly subscriptions you don’t use and purchases, such as eating out or buying clothes. Cancel memberships and free trials that have ended and use a monthly budget to set spending limits on going out and buying food.
The next step is to try and get more for your money. Shop around for the best deals and offers using comparison sites and search engines. You can save on everything from insurance and broadband to pet food, nappies and days out with the kids. Look for discounts at the supermarket, try batch cooking to lower the cost of healthy, nutritious meals and explore ways to save on fuel and energy. Talk to your boss about working from home if this is a viable option for you, walk or cycle instead of driving short distances and share lifts with others. Use a smart metre, switch lights off when you’re not in the room or it’s bright outside and insulate your home. You can use inexpensive solutions, such as draught excluders and seals for doors and windows as well as getting quotes for loft and cavity wall insulation. You may qualify for financial assistance. Check online to see if you are eligible for help with insulation costs.
Growing your money
If you have savings set aside or you’ve inherited funds and you want to grow your money, it’s worth researching investment options. There is a raft of opportunities on offer from property and commodities to stocks and shares and cryptocurrencies. Buy to let investments are a popular option for aspiring property investors, as the demand for rental properties is increasing and the market is very strong at the moment. If this idea appeals to you, research local rental markets, analyse trends and prices and set a budget for your investment. If you’re keen to start small, you could start trading online or buy collectable items. Other options include bonds, mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds).
Most UK households have significant debts. However, being in debt is not always problematic. If you have a mortgage, for example, this is nothing to worry about unless you can’t cover the repayments. If you’re in debt and you can’t pay your bills or your debt burden is increasing, this is where problems arise. Try to manage spending and avoid using credit cards or taking out loans if you’re struggling. Instead, seek advice from debt charities and financial advisers. It may be possible to delay payment deadlines, spread the cost of bills or consolidate your debts. It is crucial to understand that help is available and the sooner you reach out, the better.
Most of us are thinking about money at the moment. With the headlines dominated by the cost of living crisis, it’s beneficial to think about trying to improve your financial situation.