Making those important cost cutting decisions

According to research, us Britons are all set to get on top of our finances in 2013. While living a healthier lifestyle might be top of our list of resolutions, sorting out our financial situations comes a close second.

Are we all really going to maintain going to the gym for the entirety of 2013? Probably not, but we should make the second resolution a real priority. While you may have read all about making a budget and sticking to it, there are ways that you can save money on those necessary expenses and whatever you save and put away, make sure it works much harder for you each month.  Here’s where you should start.

Savings

Interest rates are very low on many savings accounts and with the rate of inflation continuing to rise, there is little point keeping your money in underperforming savings accounts. You should regularly review your savings and consider moving.

If you don’t yet have an ISA, it’s important to find the best ISA for you (whether it’s a Cash or Stocks and Shares) and take advantage of the various tax benefits. Leaving your money in an underperforming account is a waste.

Credit card

If you have run up debt on a credit card, it’s obviously a necessary monthly expense to pay off the minimum payment (at least) each month however, there are ways of doing this much more economically and saving yourself a lot of unnecessary expenditure, further down the line.  For example, sourcing a new credit card offering interest free balance transfer will enable you to start paying off the actual debt as opposed to just the interest.   Also paying it off or as much as possible, as opposed to just the minimum, will save you a fortune, as credit card providers make much more interest on a customer’s outstanding balance, than those that clears theirs off regularly.

Insurance

There are a couple of great ways you can save money on your insurance:

  • Pay your premium up front – don’t be tempted to opt for monthly payments on your insurance, by paying your premium up front you could save as much as 25%
  • Don’t automatically renew – insurance companies will rely on your laziness to make money – if you automatically renew your insurance you could be throwing money down the drain.  By shopping around you’ll find a better deal and save yourself significantly down the line

Home entertainment

Are you paying separately for your TV, phone and broadband?  Opting for a combined package is a great way to save some cash.

Mobile phone bill

How many free minutes do you have each month and do you actually use them?  It may look like you’re getting a great deal with thousands of minutes, but if you don’t actually use them you’re losing out as you’ll no doubt by paying a high line rental to secure the minutes.  Look at your bill and consider switching to a cheaper tariff.

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