Money-Saving Hacks and Habits to Help Balance Your Finances

When challenges arise, it’s important to remember your financial status isn’t set in stone. On the contrary, each individual has the power to alter his or her financial course, for better or worse. Economic forces and other factors beyond your control can interfere with your financial plans, but it’s up to you to take the reins and keep your finances moving in the right direction. Cutting costs and saving money on things you buy is a great start. Use these straightforward ideas to trim spending and help balance your budget.

Reliable Ways to Cut Costs

Creativity and money-saving innovation are all that’s needed to keep more money in your bank account, where it belongs. From reducing the amount you spend on household bills to cutting-back on unnecessary impulse buys, frugal philosophies can help you repair finances in distress. Even better, borrow these proven money-saving hacks to avoid financial difficulties altogether.

Take advantage of loyalty schemes – Competition is heavy in most consumer segments, so sellers and service providers offer generous rewards for their best customers. Loyalty programs are a well-known feature in supermarkets, but you may also be able to save money and earn perks at other locations. For instance, coffee shops and restaurants furnish freebies for patrons who spend a certain amount of money or purchase a designated number of drinks.

Prioritise payments – If your finances are like most Britons’, several monthly bills account for the bulk of your outgoings. Of course buying necessities such as housing and food is a top spending priority each month, but you should also try to reduce outstanding debt balances. Short term repayment obligations such as payday loans from top lenders should be met without fail. Though the loans are granted without formal credit checks, failing to pay back the money on time will have a negative impact on your credit ranking. Repaying high-interest credit card debt should also be near the top of your list of monthly spending priorities. For the best results, pay above and beyond the requested minimum payment each month, or compounding credit card interest could make it hard for you to wipe the balance.

Negotiate – Sometimes it’s in poor taste to haggle for a deal, but there’s nothing to lose in most cases. You never know until you ask, so you might as well have a go, requesting discounts. The worst you’ll suffer is refusal and embarrassment. On the other hand, asking for discounts or negotiating the best possible deals can result in lower overall costs.

Use a waiting period to head-off unwise impulse buys – It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and make an ill-advised purchase. If you’re prone to poor judgement in the checkout lane, a waiting period can help ensure you don’t overspend on frivolous buys. The strategy works particularly well for online shoppers. Sourcing goods online gives you the option to browse and select items, without necessarily closing the sale right away. Use the hack to add an extra layer of certainty to each purchase. After filling your cart with the items you’re sure you need, wait a full day before returning to the site and completing the checkout process. You may be surprised how many of the items you’ve selected lose their luster overnight.

Stretch your meal budget – Families on the go don’t always convene for nightly dinners, so planning food menus can be challenging. To save money on food, prepare freezer-ready dishes you can draw from when fast meals are needed. Choose family favorites, and make large batches, so there’s plenty to put on ice. Having homemade food options on hand can help you avoid turning to expensive takeaway meals.

Financial planning and money management are challenging for working UK families. If you’re ready to change your bad financial habits and find better balance, these are only a few of the ways to achieve cash flow equilibrium.

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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