How to Update Your Budget This Season

Saving money can often seem like quite the challenge. You know that you want to add some extra pounds to your savings fund, but when you’re struggling to find the pennies for your monthly bills, achieving your goals seems impossible.

If you’ve been telling yourself that you’re going to make a real change to your finances for years now, but you still haven’t found a budgeting strategy that’s suitable for you, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to look at some simple but practical ways that you can achieve your financial goals without sacrificing a comfortable lifestyle.

1. Cut Down on Power Costs

You’ve probably heard that you can save a fortune on your gas and electricity bills if you’re willing to compare and switch to a new provider. However, finding the time to actually track down a better deal can be a challenge in itself for those of us with a busy schedule. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to switch to save some cash.

The next time you have a free morning, or just a few minutes spare on your lunch break, contact your supplier and ask to speak to the cancellation team. Tell them that you’re thinking of leaving because the price is too high for their services. They may well offer you a better deal to save. If they don’t you can either change your mind or carry on with the decision to switch.

2. Improve your Credit Score

A credit score is something that most of us don’t think about – until we need it. When you’re growing up, going through school, and learning the skills that you need for a successful life, no-one tells you how important your credit rating is going to be. It’s only when you decide that you need to take out a loan for a new car or a mortgage that things start to get complicated.

Working on improving your credit score now will help you to improve your budgeting options in the future. The better your credit score is, the more likely you are to get your hands on the best loan deals when it comes to borrowing money. That means more cash left in your pocket at the end of each month.

3. Use Your Loyalty Cards

You’ve probably noticed that many leading supermarkets, such as Morrisons, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s all have “loyalty” cards that you can apply for. These cards might not look as though they deliver much benefit at first. However, when you sign up, you open yourself to the chance of getting free discounts on your weekly shop, as well as a range of exclusive offers.

Having a loyalty card means that you get discounts and deals sent to you through the post – so you actually have a good reason to check your mail. Additionally, these cards can also give you access to special promotional events that other customers can’t reach.

4. Download a New App

Apps are just one of the many reasons why most of us are addicted to our phones these days. There seems to be an app for everything, whether you’re looking for a date, or you’re trying to play games with your friends from a distance. You can even fid apps that will save you money if you know how to use them. For instance, if your bank has its own smartphone app, downloading this will allow you to keep track of how much money you’re spending each month.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use your bank’s app, you can check out budgeting tools that help you to reach your goals by giving you top tips on where you can save money and tracking your spending habits for you.

5. Remove One Thing from Your Budget

Finally, if you really want to make a massive difference to your finances this season, then you need to be willing to compromise and sacrifice. When you’re searching through your budget, you’ll probably find a few luxuries that you tend to over-spend on. These are the items that you know you don’t need. While it’s not a good idea to get rid of all of these luxuries at once, you can begin to track down a few ways to get rid of a handful of expenses one at a time.

For instance, this month, you could decide that you’re going to cut your monthly take-aways in half. Next month, you might focus on reducing the amount you spend on subscription services. Take it slow and you’ll be less likely to fall off the wagon.

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk. Omacl is a broker, not a lender, and does not make credit decisions.