Accommodation: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Largest Monthly Expense

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For most people, accommodation remains their largest monthly expense. In earlier posts, I have mentioned this point. If you haven’t read, How to Create a Budget That you can Stick to, please read it today. It naturally follows that if you can reduce your largest monthly expense you will have more freedom within your budget to save more and to invest. These are two activities that will move you closer to financial freedom. The focus of this post is to explore 5 ways that you will be able to achieve this reduction in accommodation costs.

Cutting Accommodation Costs

I have spilt this list of five ways to reduce your accommodation costs into two mini lists. The first is for homeowners and the second is for tenants / lodgers who rent accommodation.  The resources that I have linked to are for the United Kingdom because that is where I live. If you are reading this post outside of the United Kingdom, there may be comparable opportunities and resources in your country too.

Homeowners

Take in a Lodger

If you have enough room, take in a lodger to live with you at your main residence. Following a UK government initiative first introduced in 1992, homeowners are permitted to earn up to £7,500 tax free as part of the rent-a-room scheme. Technically this does not reduce your accommodation cost but it does reduce your financial burden because of the additional income that the lodger provides. Click here to read more about the rent-a-room scheme.

Move to a Cheaper Area

If you are living in a desirable area, more than likely that desirability comes with fairly high accommodation costs. One possible solution that most homeowners do not think about is this one; rent out your home and move to a cheaper area.

Let me explain with some sample numbers. You are currently living in area A and your home could be rented out for £2000 per month. This is more than you are paying for your mortgage which is £1500 . If you move out of your home and rent in a cheaper area (area B) for a cost of £1400 per month, you will be reducing your accommodation cost plus receiving £2000 in rent for the house that you still own.

An added bonus is the increase in equity associated with your property during the period it is being rented out. Please note, you will need to take all necessary steps to comply with the terms of your mortgage and to ensure that your property is in suitable condition to be rented.

Tenants/  Lodgers

House Shares

Renting a self contained flat or apartment can prove expensive, particularly in desirable areas. One surefire way to reduce your accommodation cost is to move into a house share.  Sharing amenities brings the costs down. This website, spareroom.co.uk caters exactly for the house share market. Once settled into a house share, you can look forward to the positive impact that it will have on your finances.

Team up and Rent

Team up with a friend also looking for accommodation and rent a place that caters to both of your needs. This opportunity is not only available for twenty-somethings, an increasing amount of people find themselves heading one parent households and this is a good opportunity for them to reduce costs too. This website provides a forum for potential flatmates  to meet each other with a view to finding a place together.

Move Back Home

This is not an option that is available for everyone for a number of reasons. It could a good temporary solution for some millennials. Moving back in with your parents could allow you time to reduce your accommodation cost and to recover financially. It should not be considered as a permanent solution.

Have you managed to reduce your accommodation costs recently? Which method did you use? Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

How to Create a Budget You Can Stick to

How to Stop Impulse Buying – 10 Ways 

Can You Live off a Cash Budget For a Week?

4 Credit Cards to Repair Your Credit Score

Take This Free Financial Literacy Course Today

Cryptocurrency Exchange: This is Why I Recommend DSX

What to do if you are Made Redundant: 5 Steps

How to Control Your Cashflow With a Bill Payment Schedule

How to Boost Your Income With a Temporary Christmas Job – 4 Examples 

Credit Cards: How to Make Balance Transfers Work For You

What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

 

 

Personal Finance: How Should You Prepare for Brexit?

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

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For those of you not living in the UK, Brexit is a word coined to mark the Great Britain’s intention to leave the European Union. This decision was the result of a national referendum in July 2016 in which the electorate voted to ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain.’  The United Kingdom was very divided; 52% voted in favour of leaving and 48% voted to remain. Those who voted to leave did so without any real understanding of the repercussions of such a decision; they were encouraged by politicians who were economical with the truth. Now in December 2018, UK inhabitants find themselves heading towards Brexit and what looks like a self-inflicted recession.

Businesses and consumers have been heavily impacted; consumers are not spending as much as they used to and business people lack of confidence about the future. Businesses are currently less likely to invest in new equipment or staff and according to the GFK consumer confidence Index the current score for the UK is – 13. To give that some context, in December 2015 the confidence index score was +2. Significantly 2015 was the first time the index had remained positive for an entire calendar year since records began in 1974.

Prepare For Brexit

From a personal finance perspective, how can you better prepare yourself for the reality of Brexit? Below I have listed 4 practical steps you can take that will help.

Revisit Your Budget

Take a look at your current monthly budget and re-evaluate all of your expenditure. If there are opportunities to cut back – take them. For example, a lot of people have unmetered water bills even though in many cases a metered water bill will work out cheaper; read this post for information, Water Bills: Are you Pouring Money Down the Plughole?  There may be other opportunities for you to cutback.

Assess Your Employer & Job Stability

In financially challenging circumstances many companies suffer and some go into administration. In the UK, we have seen this with the demise of Maplin and Toy R Us.  

The task for you is to dispassionately assess how well your employer is doing and how likely/unlikely it is that you be made redundant. Do not rely on any  assurances from the management team at your company; do your own independent research. If you think that you could be made redundant save more money into your emergency fund.

Reduce Discretionary Expenditure

In personal finance circles, there is a lot of discussion around how much impact cutting out daily Lattes will have on the path toward better financial health. That’s a choice that you are best placed to make. However, what is sensible is to rein the dining out occasions and perhaps replace them with entertaining friends at home. Beyond entertaining, holidays are another area that you should review. Choosing a more cost effective destination or changing an international holiday to a UK based ‘staycation’ will give you greater financial comfort. Also, do not go overboard at Christmas.

Review All of Your Financial Products

Review all of your financial products including savings, mortgages, investments and pensions. Assess the impact on Brexit in each case and evaluate whether you should continue with your current provider. If appropriate, change to better performing products with other providers to maximise your returns.

How are you preparing financially for Brexit? Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

4 Credit Cards to Repair Your Credit Score

Take This Free Financial Literacy Course Today

Cryptocurrency Exchange: This is Why I Recommend DSX

What to do if you are Made Redundant: 5 Steps

How to Control Your Cashflow With a Bill Payment Schedule

How to Boost Your Income With a Temporary Christmas Job – 4 Examples 

Credit Cards: How to Make Balance Transfers Work For You

Should you Combine Pensions?

What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

Save up to £300 per year by Changing Broadband Supplier

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

4 Credit Cards to Repair Your Credit Score

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

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It is very unfortunate that the people who most need credit are the least likely to receive it. People with low credit scores are deemed the greatest risk by the bean counters in banks and other financial institutions who determine who’s loan application will be accepted or denied. When you are being considered for any credit agreement, one variable that carries a lot of weight is your credit score. This is expressed as a number; fortunately, it is a variable that you can positively influence over time.

What is a Credit Score?

Definition:  As a consumer, your credit score is a number based on information from your credit reports at the three major credit reporting bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Definition from Investopedia.com

Your credit score* is based on your performance against a number of factors including, how much credit you are currently using, whether you have missed payments for credit cards and loans, whether you are a home owner or rent the property that you currently live in.  According to Experian, a poor credit score is between 300-579, 580-669 is described as fair, 670 -739 is labelled good, 740-799 is very good and 800 to 850 is exceptional. People with poor credit scores are often turned down when they apply for credit.

experian-good-score-range

Image credit: https://www.experian.com/

How can you Improve Your Credit Score?

There are a number of ways of improving your credit score, for the purpose of  this blog post, I will focus on one. You can Improve your credit score by applying for a specialist credit card, using it responsibly and building up positive data points and your financial reputation. ‘Using it responsibly’ in this context means paying off your balance each month and making payments on time.  Credit cards for people with low credit scores are a niche within the credit card market; providers are more flexible than traditional lenders and charge a higher interest rate for outstanding balances and purchases.

Below are 4 credit cards that you can apply for, if you have a poor credit score and want to improve it.

Which Credit Cards can Help You?

Capital One

Click this link to be taken through to the website. 

Vanquis

Click this link to be taken through to the website. 

Aqua

Click this link to be taken through to the website. 

Ocean Finance

Click this link to be taken through to the website. 

If you do apply for any of these credit cards, please read all the terms and conditions carefully and pay particular attention to the APR that will be applied to your card. Use your new credit card responsibly and in a few short months your credit score will improve. As your credit score improves, you will be able to borrow at much more competitive interest rates.  You can find out your credit score for free here. 

Do you know your credit score? Have you had to take steps to improve it? Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

Take This Free Financial Literacy Course Today

Cryptocurrency Exchange: This is Why I Recommend DSX

What to do if you are Made Redundant: 5 Steps

How to Control Your Cashflow With a Bill Payment Schedule

How to Boost Your Income With a Temporary Christmas Job – 4 Examples 

Credit Cards: How to Make Balance Transfers Work For You

Should you Combine Pensions?

What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

Save up to £300 per year by Changing Broadband Supplier

Investments: Why Saving is Not Enough 

How to Stop Emotional Spending

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

*If you were wondering about the difference between a credit score and and credit rating, individuals usually have credit scores whereas businesses or governments have credit ratings. Credit ratings are expressed as letters with A being the highest as opposed to the numbers used for credit scores.

Take This Free Financial Literacy Course Today

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Image credit: https://vdc.edu.au/

One of the goals I set for myself for this blog was to help people improve their level of financial literacy.

What is Financial Literacy?

‘Financial literacy is the confluence of financial, credit and debt management and the knowledge that is necessary to make financially responsible decisions – decisions that are integral to our everyday lives.’

Kristina Zucchi, a contributor to www.investopedia.com

With each blog post, I have intended to spread financial awareness and increase the knowledge base of my readership. The feedback I have received suggests that this has been appreciated. Thanks to all of you that took the time to feedback. Another way of spreading financial literacy is by sharing details of a free financial literacy course. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I have been searching for a free resource that I could share with my readers.  I have now found a suitable course and this course is the focus for today’s blog post.

Free Financial Literacy Course

This financial literacy course provides a good introduction to personal finance and money management. The course is supplied by Alison.com the free online learning platform set up as a For Profit Social Enterprise in 2007 by Mike Feeric. Alison.com was started in Galway, Ireland and now has over 12 million students from 195 countries. The course that I have selected has been studied by sixty nine thousand students and has a rating of 4.1 stars. The course will take approximately 6-10 hours to complete.

Click here to be taken to the course landing page.  

Continual Learning

As we continue on this journey towards financial freedom, I will share other helpful resources with you. I hope that you find this course useful. I believe that it is important for us to continue learning and improving our knowledge base.

Have you taken any financial literacy or money management courses before? Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

Cryptocurrency Exchange: This is Why I Recommend DSX

What to do if you are Made Redundant: 5 Steps

How to Control Your Cashflow With a Bill Payment Schedule

How to Boost Your Income With a Temporary Christmas Job – 4 Examples 

Credit Cards: How to Make Balance Transfers Work For You

Should you Combine Pensions?

What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

Save up to £300 per year by Changing Broadband Supplier

Investments: Why Saving is Not Enough 

How to Stop Emotional Spending

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

 

What to do if you are Made Redundant: 5 Steps

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

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There may come a time during your career when you are made redundant, in the United States the term used is Laid off. It is not usually a pleasant experience but it can prove to be a springboard to new opportunities. Having been through the experience myself, my advice is to take the steps that I have outlined in the post below. The Retail industry is an example of an industry that seems more susceptible to redundancies than others but the truth is that it can happen across the board an in many sectors. Once you have taken time to understand the practical implications of being made redundant, you should then create a financial action plan that will keep you focused on your financial goals.

If You Are Made Redundant

Emergency Fund

If you have an emergency fund, assess how much is in it and how long you will be able to cover living expenses after you receive your final salary cheque. Be as detailed as possible because this will determine the maximum time you have available to find another job.

Monthly Budget

Revisit your monthly budget, are there any areas that can be reduced? Rather than wait until you are in a desperate position, cut back on entertainment and other discretionary expenditure now. You will be able to reintroduce them when your employment status improves.  Consider your approach to food and increase the number of home cooked meals you make instead of visiting restaurants or buying takeaways. It will surprise you have much can be trimmed off your expenditure in this way.

Looking For Employment

Search for new roles as soon as you are informed that you will be made redundant. Search for career relevant jobs and side gig / second jobs at the same time. You will find that these side gigs/ second jobs often have a more urgent need and a faster turnaround time. The main benefit of this is that you will be able to get money coming into your account sooner than if you rely solely on career relevant jobs that may have a lead time of 2 -3 months. Keep a spreadsheet of jobs that you have applied to.

Transport

Assess your vehicular needs, do you need a car? If you have two, could you manage with one?  I recommend that you consider these questions dispassionately; don’t be concerned about what the neighbours will think. In the major cities of the UK and other cities around the world, it is possible to hire cars on hourly basis. You could hire a car for a few hours and then return it.

There are quite a few car sharing companies in London, for example, Enterprise Car Club, Easy Car and Zipcar. Ensure that you read the terms and conditions before signing up. Renting cars rather than having your own to maintain and run could save you a significant amount and buy you more time whilst looking for another job.

De- Clutter and Sell Unwanted Items

If your emergency fund is going to run out soon or if you don’t have an emergency fund start to de-clutter your home. Selling unwanted or unused items via websites such as Gumtree or Ebay will help you raise additional funds that can go into your emergency fund. This will buy you more time whilst you are searching for a new job.

Have you ever been made redundant? Did you get your financial house in order? Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

How to Control Your Cashflow With a Bill Payment Schedule

How to Boost Your Income With a Temporary Christmas Job – 4 Examples 

Credit Cards: How to Make Balance Transfers Work For You

Should you Combine Pensions?

What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

Save up to £300 per year by Changing Broadband Supplier

Investments: Why Saving is Not Enough 

How to Stop Emotional Spending

Water Bills: Are you Pouring Money down the Plughole? 

How to Stick to Your Budget During Summer: 5 Tips 

Does Your Choice of Supermarket Matter? 

Save Money by Switching Energy Supplier Every Year 

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Control Your Cashflow With a Bill Payment Schedule

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Image credit: https://barterfanatic.com/

In another post on this site I have written about how important it is for you to have a budget for your monthly expenditure. It is also important that you manage your bill payment schedule. Poor management of when bills need to be paid each month can create cash flow headaches, these are times when you have a bill to pay but no available money to pay it. It is worth creating a bill payment schedule as an Excel document and thinking about how dates on the schedule can be altered to create a better cash flow position for yourself.

Good management of bills will enable you to avoid late payment charges or a reliance on credit cards to get you through to the end of the month.

Bill Payment Schedule

Your Action Plan

Go through all your bills and record on your spreadsheet and make a note of when each bill needs to be paid. When you have finished, you should have a list of regular bills and dates covering accommodation, mobile phone and electricity etc.

Bill-Payment-Schedule-

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Ask yourself, is there a regular time in the month when you seem to have more bills than cash? It may be that by week three of each month your available cash is particularly low. If this is the case, and you get paid once a month it would make sense to move payment dates from week 3 to closer to the start of the month, i.e. just after pay day.

If you get paid weekly, it could be advantageous to alter payment dates so that all bills are paid just after you receive your weekly wages. Individual circumstances will vary of course, the objective is to avoid having no cash left and still having bills to pay.

Simplicity is the key, it’s fairly easy to forget about a bill and then fall behind or miss a payment completely. Once you have altered payment dates, automate them with direct debits and standing orders so you don’t have to spend time thinking about them each month.

Ensure that you check how competitive all of your suppliers are once a quarter. If you can switch to a more cost effective supplier without being penalised, you should do so.

Do you have a schedule of bill payments? Have you created your own system?  Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

How to Boost Your Income With a Temporary Christmas Job – 4 Examples 

Credit Cards: How to Make Balance Transfers Work For You

Should you Combine Pensions?

What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

Save up to £300 per year by Changing Broadband Supplier

Investments: Why Saving is Not Enough 

How to Stop Emotional Spending

Water Bills: Are you Pouring Money down the Plughole? 

How to Stick to Your Budget During Summer: 5 Tips 

Does Your Choice of Supermarket Matter? 

Save Money by Switching Energy Supplier Every Year 

How to Stop Impulse Buying – 10 Ways

Have you Found all of Your Dormant Accounts?

Can you live off a Cash Budget for a Week?

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

 

 

Credit Cards: How to Make Balance Transfers Work For You

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Image credit: https://www.creditcards.com/

If you have ever had more than credit card and realised that the payments you are making are mostly going to pay off interest only, a balance transfer might be a good solution for you. A balance transfer occurs when you open a new credit card account and transfer the balance from an existing card or cards to the new card. This can work out well for you if the new card offers you a 6 month 0% interest free period. You will then have the opportunity to pay off more of your credit card balance because you have 6 months to make payments without accruing interest.

This is the primary advantage of balance transfers, the interest free period. Before taking out a new balance transfer credit card read the terms and conditions and find out what the interest rate will be after the 6 month period. Financial institutions offer balance transfer credit cards because they know that many people will not be able to clear their balance within 6 months and as a consequence they will then have to pay interest to the financial institution. This is when they are able to make money from you; sometimes there is a fee for balance transfer. Usually financial institutions will also make money if you make any new purchases or cash withdrawals too, so try to avoid any new transactions altogether on the new card.

Make Balance Transfers Work For You

*Use an online comparison tool to find out which are the best balance transfer credit cards for your requirements and check your eligibility. Do not apply for too many cards because your applications will be recorded on your credit record and you do not want to appear desperate.

*Balance transfers are not offered to everyone, if you have a poor credit rating this opportunity might not be open to you. Click on this link to find out more about credit ratings.   If you are can get a new balance transfer card, sign up and use it.

*  If your application is successful, transfer your balance or balances to the new card and continue to make regular payments to reduce the amount that you owe. It will make your financial life simpler and more manageable.

*Calculate your desired repayment amount and set yourself the goal of clearing your new credit card by a specific date. Ideally this will be within the interest free 6 month period.

*Consider this strategy that I have used personally, when one 6 month period is about to finish it will should still be possible to transfer to another new balance transfer card and in doing so gain another 6 months at 0% interest. More time to clear your balance will help you make faster progress clearing your debts. Read this post for more information on clearing debts, What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

What Should You do?

If you follow the approach listed above, balance transfers can become an excellent strategy for rapid debt reduction and will move you closer to being debt free

Have you used balance transfer cards to reduce your debts? Would you use them again? Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

Should you Combine Pensions?

What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

Save up to £300 per year by Changing Broadband Supplier

Investments: Why Saving is Not Enough 

How to Stop Emotional Spending

Water Bills: Are you Pouring Money down the Plughole? 

How to Stick to Your Budget During Summer: 5 Tips 

Does Your Choice of Supermarket Matter? 

Save Money by Switching Energy Supplier Every Year 

How to Stop Impulse Buying – 10 Ways

Have you Found all of Your Dormant Accounts?

Can you live off a Cash Budget for a Week?

Has the Cryptocurrency Bubble Burst?

Why you Should Drive and Old Car and Pay of Your Mortgage Early

Make Money By Being Part of a Focus Group

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

Save Up to £300 per year by Changing Broadband Supplier

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Image credit: https://www.mfcomm.co.uk/

It is a long time since Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web, access to the internet is commonplace now, even in some of the most remote locations around the world. The supply of WIFI into your home has been commoditised in the same way that the supply of gas and electricity has been. I wrote about that here in this post, Why you Should Change Energy Supplier Every Year. Given the choice and  deals available, it is highly likely that you are paying more than is necessary for your broadband. In this post, I want to encourage you to switch broadband supplier to make a saving of up to £300 per year. The amount you can save will depend on your WIFI needs and usage.

Switching Broadband Supplier

If you are like most people, you will have made a choice of broadband supplier when you moved into your current home or when presented with a deal by an alternative supplier. Typically your deal would have been value for money for the first 12 months but you have probably remained with that supplier ever since. This is normal, there is a technical aspect to the supply of broadband and there is also the potential inconvenience of having your broadband service interrupted if you switch. However, staying put is often a mistake because after your initial deal is over there is the chance  to switch supplier and save money without being penalised.

What Should you do?

Assess your broadband requirements, are you a light, medium or heavy user? Does your current supplier supply fibre optic broadband into your home? If so, you should look for similar deals; trading down to ADSL internet to save money would be a mistake. Compare like with like before switching; you will be able to find a better deal when you use one of the comparison websites, these include uSwitch,  and moneysupermarket.com. It will only take a few minutes to discover the best broadband deals for your postcode.

Most people do not bother to visit comparison websites every year and miss out on potential savings. Do not be like most people; it is definitely worth your time. Have you recently changed broadband supplier after using one of the price comparison websites? Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

Investments: Why Saving is Not Enough 

How to Stop Emotional Spending

Water Bills: Are you Pouring Money down the Plughole? 

How to Stick to Your Budget During Summer: 5 Tips 

Does Your Choice of Supermarket Matter? 

Save Money by Switching Energy Supplier Every Year 

How to Stop Impulse Buying – 10 Ways

Have you Found all of Your Dormant Accounts?

Can you live off a Cash Budget for a Week?

Has the Cryptocurrency Bubble Burst?

Why you Should Drive and Old Car and Pay of Your Mortgage Early

Make Money By Being Part of a Focus Group

Save Hundreds on Rent Per Month By Becoming a Property Guardian

4 Obstacles you Will Face on Your Financial Journey

Make Money Now With These Two Referral Apps

Have you got the Right Money Mindset?

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

Save Up to £300 per year by Changing Broadband Supplier

How to Stop Emotional Spending

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Image credit: http://www.complexedsimplicity.com/

In my recent post, How to Stop Impulse Buying -10 Ways, one of the causes of Impulse Buying that I discussed was emotional spending. It is a topic that deserves even more attention and is the focus for this blog post. A survey conducted by MoneySupermarket and Mindlab found that 57% of respondents had ‘regretted purchases made whilst feeling overly emotional.’ It is clear that spending as a consequence or our emotional state is clearly widespread. The survey also confirmed that negative emotions rather than happiness were more likely to increase our spending. Given this insight, ‘comfort spending’ could be considered as very similar to ‘comfort eating’. If your objective is to take control of your finances and move towards financial freedom, you will need to stop emotional spending.

Stop Emotional Spending

The first step towards a solution is to identify why you are spending emotionally.

Work

Recognise the triggers or patterns that precede an emotional purchase. Is it after a bad day at work? According to research conducted by CV library 55.6% of British employees are unhappy with the jobs that are currently doing and would love to change. If you have experience of a feeling that could be described as Sunday Evening Dread or often find yourself wishing your week days away, this 55.6% could include you. Clearly, there is a lot of dissatisfaction around, work is a common trigger for emotional spending.

Relationships

Have you had an argument with your partner prior to going shopping? Is there a subject that you are regularly disagreeing over? Relationship issues and arguments are strong triggers to emotional spending. Significantly, money is often a cause of arguments in relationships.

Boredom

Boredom can also be a cause of emotional spending, especially if accompanied by a general questioning of one’s life. Sometimes life can seem dull, an endless succession of bills to pay or work to be done. It is in a mood like this that someone is more likely to chase the Dopamine high that a shopping spree can deliver.

There are many other scenarios which make emotional spending more likely including bereavement. Consider your life and identify those that apply to you.

Action: What Should you do?

Talk

The first step you should take is to talk to someone about your emotional spending, it could be a friend or a family member. If you feel it would be worthwhile speaking to a professional about it The National Debtline  or Citizens Advice would be a great places to start.

Break the Habit

Now that you know the triggers that precede emotional spending in your life,  focus on creating different reactions to the same circumstances. Those circumstances will come again but this time you will react to them differently. Without knowing you personally it would be impossible for me to suggest the best solution for you but the activities listed below are likely to prove beneficial.

*Taking regular exercise

*Going to walks in natural surroundings

* Watching Stand-up comedians

*Socialising with close friends (without spending a lot)

If your unhappiness or other problems persist, definitely speak to a professional counsellor; if necessary plan significant life changes such as a change of job, the ending a relationship or a move to a new location. Do not just accept being unhappy on an ongoing basis.

Can you remember occasions when you have made purchases because of your emotional state? Did you ever have the courage to take the items back?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

Water Bills: Are you Pouring Money down the Plughole? 

How to Stick to Your Budget During Summer: 5 Tips 

Does Your Choice of Supermarket Matter? 

Save Money by Switching Energy Supplier Every Year 

How to Stop Impulse Buying – 10 Ways

Have you Found all of Your Dormant Accounts?

Can you live off a Cash Budget for a Week?

Has the Cryptocurrency Bubble Burst?

Why you Should Drive and Old Car and Pay of Your Mortgage Early

Make Money By Being Part of a Focus Group

Save Hundreds on Rent Per Month By Becoming a Property Guardian

4 Obstacles you Will Face on Your Financial Journey

Make Money Now With These Two Referral Apps

Have you got the Right Money Mindset?

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

How to Stop Emotional Spending

 

 

 

 

Water Bills: Are you Pouring Money Down the Plughole?

 

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I am convinced that the water supply companies are no more virtuous than gas and electricity suppliers.  If you have read my post of a couple of weeks ago, entitled Save Money by Switching Energy Supplier Every Year  you will know that my recommendation is to review your energy supplier every year and then visit a comparison website. Your objective is to switch to the best value for money deal available for your post code.

Unfortunately, you cannot do the same with your water supplier. The water supply industry has not been deregulated in the way that gas and electricity has. What does this mean? The water supply companies have localised monopolies and consumers can do nothing about it. For example, I cannot change my water supplier; Thames Water will remain my supplier whether I like it or not.

What can you do?

Install a Meter

If you have been paying water bills as unmetered charges, the chances are that you will save money by switching to a metered bill. Visit the website of your supplier and request that a meter is installed to track your actual water usage.  Water companies should inform you that you would benefit from having a meter installed but in many cases they do not. If a meter cannot be fitted you will get an assessed bill. 

Reduce Your Water Usage

Below are a list of simple steps that you can take to reduce your water usage:

Limit the amount of time everyone takes having a shower. Shorter showers will mean less usage.

Avoid taking baths for the same reason.

If you have a dishwasher, ensure that you only use it with a full load. If you still wash up by hand, do so once a day with a sink full rather than several times a day.

Limit the amount of washing machine loads you wash per day and per week. Ensure that you wash full loads only.

Clean your car with a waterless instant shine cleaning product like this one, instead of using buckets of water and soap. Click on the text in red to be taken to an example.

Collect rain water in a water butt and use that ( and a watering can) to water your plants rather than using a hose pipe.

Avoid using a hosepipe in any scenario.

In the bathroom, avoid running taps when shaving or brushing your teeth.

Store cold tap water in the fridge rather than running a tap until it’s cold enough to drink.

If you have any leaky taps or shower heads, fix them.

Using a combination of these methods will definitely reduce your water usage and bill without you having to make any major changes to your lifestyle. Please take action today and let me know how you get on.

Are you already taking steps to reduce your water usage? Have you discovered any other ways?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

If you have enjoyed this post you will also like the following posts:

How to Stick to Your Budget During Summer: 5 Tips 

Does Your Choice of Supermarket Matter? 

Save Money by Switching Energy Supplier Every Year 

How to Stop Impulse Buying – 10 Ways

Have you Found all of Your Dormant Accounts?

Can you live off a Cash Budget for a Week?

Has the Cryptocurrency Bubble Burst?

Why you Should Drive and Old Car and Pay of Your Mortgage Early

Make Money By Being Part of a Focus Group

Save Hundreds on Rent Per Month By Becoming a Property Guardian

4 Obstacles you Will Face on Your Financial Journey

Make Money Now With These Two Referral Apps

Have you got the Right Money Mindset?

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

Water Bills_ Are your Pouring Money Down the Plughole_