1.11.2011

Essential Steps to Managing Your Finances in 2011

The beginning of a New Year is a great time to think about making a resolution for managing your finances a little better. Rather than spend yet another year living from pay day to pay day, why not think about how you can regain control of your finances and keep more of your money to yourself.
Here are some steps for helping you to manage your money a little better.

Organize Your Bills

Rather than simply pay your bills when they’re due, take a closer look at the account. You might find there are ways to reduce the amount you pay on each bill. For example, some providers may offer a discount for timely payment. Others may charge steep penalty fees for being late with your payment. You might see that your phone bills could be cut a little by reducing call times or switching over to a call-cap rate.

Wherever possible, work on setting up direct debit payments to automate paying your bills. This will help reduce any penalty fees that might arise. You might also consider making smaller repayments throughout the month when you get paid, rather than trying to find one larger sum at the end of the month. This can make it much easier to budget with each pay day.

Cut Costs

Work out what you’re spending in your budget that could possibly be reduced. Most people immediately think about taking lunches to work or taking the bus to cut costs, but what about shopping around to find a cheaper rate on your insurance premiums?

You might also find that your current credit card interest rate is far higher than it needs to be. Shop around and find a bank willing to charge you less interest on your debt. Negotiate with your own bank to see if they’re willing to match that deal.

See if you can shop around and compare what other Internet or phone providers have to offer. If you can get a cheaper rate for your Internet service and a lower mobile phone plan, this could save you more money than you think.

Reduce Debts

Most people simply don’t have enough left over cash after paying bills to think about paying extra money off their debts. Yet even small amounts of money on top of your minimum payment can help to put a dent in what you owe.

Round up the monthly payment you make now to the nearest $10. It’s only going to be a few dollars extra, so it won’t break the budget. But it will help to chip away at your balances.

As your debt levels reduce, you should notice that your interest costs decrease too. With credit card debt especially, this can often mean a much lower monthly bill to pay.

Besides, if you didn’t have those debts any longer, all that money you currently spend on making repayments would suddenly stay in your own pocket each month.

Work on a Savings Plan

Rather than pull out your credit card to pay for the things you need, work on a savings plan. Smaller items might only take you a week or two to save up for, but you won’t be paying any interest on that item. Larger items you want might take longer to save for, but once again, it’s worth the reduction in interest costs by paying for it from your own savings.

Even putting small amounts of money aside into a savings account can turn into large sums of money in a short time. See if you can find a high interest savings account that still lets you access your cash when you need it. This will help to boost the amount of savings you have.

This article is a guest post written by William Eve. In between surfing, cooking and traveling William writes for a mortgage comparison and application service Home Loan Finder. Visit Home Loan Finder to compare home loans and find the right mortgage broker today. 

3 comments:

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All great tips1 Reviewing your bills really does work. I've lowered mine by 80+ in the past month.

mybuckstopshere.com said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I need to master the "save now, buy later" rule, rather than the "buy now, pay later" rule.

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