We all have times in our lives when money feels like the bane of our existence. All you want to do is relax and pay your bills without worrying about your bank account. Unfortunately, when you’re living from one paycheck to the next, that’s incredibly difficult to do.
If you’re sick of money worries keeping you awake at night, you’re not alone. There are plenty of people out there, just like you, who have discovered that they need to turn their financial strategy around if they want to minimise stress.
Fortunately, making the change might be much simpler than you think. Here are some of our top tips to reduce stress and update your savings.
Cashback websites might seem a little old fashioned in 2020, but they still have value to offer. If you do a lot of your shopping online, then you can save a fortune just by using a cashback website as a middle-man for the purchase. With these sites, you click on an affiliate link to a website, rather than going straight to the site.
Search for the retailer you want to shop with on the cashback site and use their link instead. When you make a purchase using the link, the affiliate site will earn a payment, and you’ll get a little money back in your account. You can also find apps for your smartphone that work the same way if you prefer mobile browsing.
Tracking every penny you spend can seem like an exhausting process for some people. However, the more aware you are of what you’re spending, the less likely it is that you’ll go beyond your budget. Using free budgeting apps will give you an opportunity to monitor all of your accounts in the same place. You can also download apps for digital banks if you’re using something like Starling or Monzo too.
You don’t need to go digital to track your spending, however. You can make notes in your phone when you’re out and about, or just keep a list of expenses on a piece of paper and sort through them at the end of the week. It’s all about finding a strategy that works for you. Everyone has their own preferences.
If you’ve got loans to think about, or you need to handle regular monthly expenses, like gas and electric bills, it can be exhausting remembering to do this every month. The good news is that you can always automate your expenses instead. For instance, with a direct debit, you can ensure that you’re paying your bills on time every month, without any late fees to worry about.
Setting up direct debits that ensure you pay your bills on time can deliver benefits in a host of different ways. For instance, you’ll have less stress on your plate, because there won’t be as much for you to remember. Additionally, you can improve your credit rating this way too, because you’re less likely to end up with marks on your record. This will make getting better deals on future loans easier.
More often than not you can save money just by switching to a different provider for the same service. This is true for gas and electric bills, phone and broadband, and even your insurance expenses. The trouble is that many people sign up for an account and just leave that account to renew year after year. This means that you end up with a deal that might not be great for your cash flow, just because you haven’t bothered to check what else is available.
If you haven’t compared your options for the biggest providers in your life in the last 12 months or so, now is the perfect time to start. The great thing about this method is that it won’t change your lifestyle at all. You’ll save money with nothing but a phone call.
Finally, if you ever find yourself in a position where you have a little extra money on your hands, have the discipline to avoid spending it. The best thing you can do when you have more cash to work with is save it into your emergency cash reserves. Having an emergency account that you can use if something goes wrong in your life is essential if you want to reduce stress.
You never know when you might be out of work for a while or have an extra expense to think about. You might not be able to build your safety net overnight, but you can start making progress right now.