How to Control Costs without Sacrificing Financial Freedom

Healthy finances have a cushion built-in, allowing you to absorb unexpected expenses and build savings for the future. If you’re unable to manage a minor unanticipated expense without experiencing financial distress, or your savings lag behind expectations; your finances may be fundamentally imbalanced. Until you find a way to consistently spend less than you earn and earmark some of your salary for savings, you’ll continue losing ground and falling further behind. Act now, on the other hand, and adopting a frugal lifestyle can help get you back on track, without making major sacrifices.

Manage Credit Choices

There’s more than one way to finance your next purchase, and your credit choices can affect your bottom line. Various types of credit serve particular functions. Your mortgage, for instance, grants long-term financing, in exchange for years-long interest payments. Because the loans extend many months or years into the future and the house acts as collateral for the loan, mortgage interest rates are relatively low. On the opposite end of the credit spectrum, credit card accounts furnish immediate funds for everyday spending, but users pay a premium for access, succumbing to high annual interest rates.

One of the advantages of revolving credit card accounts is that you’re not restricted when spending the money. In other words, as long as you stay within your credit limit, you’re free to buy whatever goods and services you desire. This isn’t the case for house loans and car loans, which are earmarked for specific spending. Various other types of loans are available, without restricting what you can buy or binding you to high-interest revolving credit card balances.

If you need flexible funding in a hurry, taking a personal loan via somewhere like the loan portal smava may be more cost-effective than reaching for your plastic. All you need is a job with pay pending, and these lenders will furnish fast cash for flexible use. To get the best available interest rate on your payday loan, evaluate your options online, and then submit a no-credit-check application for review. As long as you pay timely, these accessible loans can help you save money, compared to paying credit card interest every month.

Make a Budget

It’s easy enough to estimate income and outgoings. But what if you’re wrong? Miscalculations can have costly consequences, and without budgeting accountability, you may not even recognise the source of your money problems. If your financial resources tend to evaporate each month, before you can account for big-picture financial concerns, making a budget may be able to help you stretch your income further.

To make an accurate budget, you must first account for your income, and then determine where your money is spent. Once you’ve identified all your income sources, the next step of the budgeting process is splitting your spending into categories, which gives a clearer picture of how your spending is divided. Is your social spending out of control, dragging down your household finances? Does your mortgage drain most of your income? Do you spend too much money feeding your family? Building a comprehensive budget can help you answer these questions and solve the financial problems that undermine your monetary health.

Settle for Less

There’s no reason to give up on your financial goals, but when money pressure builds, changing your attitude can help you weather the storm. When circumstances call for change, it doesn’t hurt to put your high standards on hold, committing to cost-effective purchases you can afford. If you’re hooked on designer clothes, be realistic when times are tight; give up top labels for serviceable clothes you can buy for less. When meals out are putting a dent in your balanced budget, stay home and cook more often. Common sense solutions such as these may be all that’s needed to put you back on course, living beneath your means.

Credit and budgeting decisions have a big impact on your financial health. If your family finances are strained, balancing your budget, reducing the amount you pay for access to credit, and adopting a realistic attitude toward spending represent three effective ways to stabilise cash flow and control costs – without sacrificing your financial freedom.

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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