If you are looking for advice on how to dodge debt, while still living it up, you have come to the right place! Indeed, the info in the article below is all about how to avoid overspending, how to get more control over your budget, and how you can avoid unnecessary financial charges. All you need to do is keep reading.
Keep track of your budget (honestly)
It can often be very challenging to keep track of the money that we spend honestly. This is because doing so can shine a light on a variety of things in our lives that we are less than proud of. Just like that week where you got a cab to work every day because you got up late or that time where you ordered take-out pizza for dinner three times in a row because you just couldn’t be bothered to cook. However, it is only by being honest here that you will get a true idea of where your money is going and the areas in which you can make changes to avoid getting into debt.
Of course, most people choose to use a spreadsheet or app to track their spending, adding an entry every time they make a payment or purchase. Although, the new generation of online banking providers offer accounts where your spending is automatically tracked and then displayed graphically for you, all without you having to do anything at all. Therefore there is no excuse for not knowing where your money goes!
Stop wasting money on pre-made lunches and fancy coffees
Yes, buying your lunch from that fancy sandwich shop on the corner where you get to choose your filling, and sauce and bread is great. But do you love their products so much that they are worth going into debt for? Probably not! Oh, and the same goes for those £4 cups of coffee that you have convinced yourself that you just can’t get through the day without.
The good news is that there is no need to switch out your refreshment habits for dry bread and water. Instead, start bringing your lunches from home. Of course, you can make massive savings by creating your mid-day meals, but if you really can’t get on board with cooking, you can still buy ready-made lunch pots, soups, or salads for a fraction of what they would cost you for a single portion in a fancy sandwich shop.
There is money to be saved when it comes to your daily coffee consumption and well, and you don’t even need to switch to instant (heaven forbid!). Instead, why not invest in a fancy coffee pod machine to keep at home or work? Many are less than £40 and each pod will cost you less than a quarter of a takeaway cup of coffee. Some pod machines like the Nespresso even run a subscription scheme where you pay £25 a month to be redeemed in coffee, biscuits, and accessories, and you get the machine for free. That means even if you were previously having a single £4 cup of coffee a day you can make a saving of £59 in an average month!
Watch out for automatic subscription payments
However, it is worth noting that not all subscription services will end up saving you money. Many will cost you significantly and take you over the line into debt even though you are not taking full advantage of the services they offer.
In particular, it is important to consider whether you need a subscription to every content streaming service there is? Do you watch enough of the shows they offer to be getting value for money? If the answer is no, cancelling your agreement is the way forward.
Additionally, another area where subscriptions can get you into trouble and debt is with internet usage on your mobile phone. The reason being that it’s so easy to go over your allotted amount, incurring extra charges that you have not budgeted for.
With this in mind, setting your phone to use WIFI in the home or office is a good approach as this should limit any mobile data charges. Just be sure that any WIFI network you do use is secure, or you are using a VPN as you won’t want to compromise your personal details.
Keep your credit score high
Keeping your credit score high (it’s measured out of 700) is another way to prevent yourself from getting into debt. The reason that having a higher credit score can be helpful here is that it will dictate the rate of interest you will be granted when applying for credit. This means if you have a lower credit score you will be asked to pay more interest, which in turn means you will have to pay more back over time. Put simply the lower your credit score, the more likely any credit you take out will cost you more.
Then there is the possibility that if your credit score is low enough you won’t be able to get credit at all. Of course, this is very bad news because situations where you may need to access credit or a loan occur all the time, and if you find yourself unable to get one, you risk incurring at best, serious inconvenience and at worst additional costs and fees or the denial of a vital service such as housing, utilities or petrol for your car.
The good news is that even if you do find yourself in this situation, you can still short term loan for bad credit to meet your financial needs. Indeed, where many credit providers will deny those with a poor credit history, licensed credit brokers specialising in this area can help. Indeed, getting a short-term credit loan, and paying it back on time can even help you start to rebuild your credit score, ensuring that you never find yourself in such a situation again.
Meal plan every week
Another smart way of staying out of debt, while also living a great life is to commit to meal planning instead of eating out every night. Meal planning means you decide what food you will cook each day at the beginning of the week, and can be helpful in two ways. The first is that by having a plan you are more likely to follow through with it and can avoid the temptation of a costly meal in a restaurant or takeaway. Secondly, by planning what you will cook in advance you will be able to shop to a list. Thereby avoiding impulse buys and overspending that can add up over the month.
There are additional tactics you can use in tandem with meal planning to save your money as well. For example, shopping online makes it easier to resist buying items you don’t need. Alternatively, you may wish to investigate ordering a weekly recipe box where all the ingredients are portioned and supplied to you. You can get some great offers for these that take the price down a great deal and can help you eat handsomely while also having money.
Minimise the temptation to spend
In this internet age, we are used to getting things instantaneously. Whether it’s coffee, messages from our friends or colleagues, bank transfers, and even answers to our questions (how many times do you Google or IMDB something a day?) Unfortunately, this culture of instant gratification has spread to the way we spend our money, especially online with many providers encouraging customers to save their payment details, so they can purchase a single click.
Of course, such purchases are hugely convenient, but the downside is that they deliberately reduce the time between seeing an item and buying it. This is great news for retailers because it means they make more sales. Yet, it’s bad news for us because it cuts out all that consideration time, where we weigh up whether we need to buy that product and spend that money at all, making purchases more compulsive.
To that end, if you are looking to reduce the temptation to spend unnecessarily, it can be very wise to remove your bank details from sites that you regularly visit. Indeed, just the act of having to re-enter all your data can provide you with enough of a pause to evaluate your purchase.
Why pay for things you can get for free?
You can also stop yourself from getting into debt, by spending money necessarily by making use of the things you can access for free. Indeed, it is often very surprising to many just how much you can get without having to pay anything at all.
For example, there are plenty of books that are old enough to not be covered by copyright law, which means it’s legal to download e-copies or pdfs of them for free. While we are on the subject of books, updating your local library member is a smart idea too. This is because, not only because you can borrow physical items from there including Blu-rays and books, but you can also get access to audiobooks, which as anyone subscribed to the major providers knows, can be expensive.
Last, of all, be sure to re-examining any subscriptions you have and intend to keep, to make sure that you are getting the most from them. This is because with some content streaming subscriptions you can get all sorts of benefits such as free delivery, free movies, and free series.
Then there are the additional benefits you can claim through certain bank accounts which include things like roadside assistance, and device insurance which can all save you a pretty penny over the long term, and so stop you from overspending and getting into debt.