Choose Affordable Alternatives to Get Spending Back on Track

Prosperity can be elusive, particularly when your earnings don’t provide surplus funds, after your monthly bills are paid. Operating close to your financial limitations is manageable, but success may require you to pay close attention to your personal cash handling habits. If your household income isn’t rising any time soon, but you need financial relief, review these spending areas for savings you can count on.

Get About for Less

The cost of getting about represents a substantial sum, so you have to account for local travel spending, or risk paying too much. There are three general options available for UK residents, moving about. Of course the most convenient and accessible form of transport is keeping your own car. Having full-time access to a car is a modern luxury many families have grown accustomed to, but it comes with considerable costs.

Beyond the price you pay for a car, additional motoring expenses can make owning cost-prohibitive. Owners pay insurance cover costs, as well as parking fees and other charges for housing the vehicle. Finance required for a car purchase also adds to the cost of motoring, resulting in interest payments and fees for getting loans.

Once these expenses are sorted out, you’ll still face the cost of maintenance and repairs, which can add up quickly – especially on used vehicles requiring frequent service and updates. You can always get short-term help, from one of these lenders, but whenever possible; your motoring budget should include money set by for unexpected repairs and expense.

Individual circumstances have a big impact on personal transport choices. For some, keeping a car seems almost a necessity, but for others, public transport provides a cost-effective alternative. Of course your habits, work obligations, and personal preferences must all be considered, before giving up your car in favour of buses and the Tube. Working out the maths can help you weigh the costs and benefits of various forms of travel. With all the ancillary expenses adding to overall motoring costs, many UK residents – particularly Londoners, find public transport provides savings, when compared to keeping a car.

The third and potentially most economical option for getting about is using human-powered alternatives. That means getting on your bike or walking to reach your destinations. This ultra-cheap mode of transportation is only realistic for Britons located near their places of employment and other frequent destinations.

Review Entertainment and Communications Costs

Before you realise it, communication charges and the cost of home entertainment can gouge your household budget. If you haven’t compared your accounts to offers from rival companies, you may be paying too much. Your TV, phone, and broadband services account for a tidy sum each month, so regular review can help you keep costs down.

At a very minimum, always shop these services at contract renewal time, rather than simply signing-up for the same service. You may find blindly renewing results in higher charges, after introductory offers have expired. With available bundling options and multiple ways to stay connected, switching can help you simplify your monthly billing obligations, as well as save money on phone, broadband, and TV.

Give Up Those Memberships

Sellers of goods and services know it’s harder for you to stop buying, when products and services are automatically billed subscriptions or memberships. If you’re on the line for repeating expenses, from your health club membership, book-of-the-month club, or any other charges that you pay again and again, your budget may be passively leaking money.

Assessing the value of services can help ensure you don’t waste money on memberships. Are you a regular at the gym? If not, you may be able to save money by cancelling your membership, in favour of running or exercising at home. Or trim spending by shopping discount gyms for a deal that better suits your workout habits – and budget.

From motoring expenses to costly subscriptions, spending demands can quickly overcome earnings, leaving some families a step behind. Isolating theses expenses, and making cost-effective adjustments can help you make savings and jump-start your commitment to affordable living.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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