The following is a guest post.
Whether you are planning an extravagant Valentine’s Day, or giving that special someone something simple and from the heart, don’t forget to consider something else this February – your bank account.
Although your bank balance isn’t always at the forefront of your mind when it comes to Valentine’s Day treats, paying extra attention to what goes in and what goes out of it could make you and your bank account happier.
But don’t think you have to make any extreme changes. Just getting to know your spending habits more clearly could actually end up saving you a bit of extra money each month.
Following simple tips, such as keeping a money diary or using helpful online tools such as the moneysupermarket mortgage calculator, can all add up to making your bank balance healthier.
Make Better Money Decisions
Start by getting to know your account and your income and outgoings. Do you need everything you pay out for or is that old magazine subscription not even one you read anymore?
Keeping a daily or weekly spending diary might flag up items that you could definitely do without. Could you try bringing sandwiches in from home for lunch instead of using the pricey sandwich shop, or even foregoing your fourth daily latte?
Consider taking out a set amount of cash weekly and not using your debit card. Seeing the money physically leave your wallet will make you reconsider frivolous purchases. And of course, if you have anything left at the end of the week, why not pop it into a moneybox!
If you are juggling debts, look at ways of getting your interest payments down, such as moving balances to a 0% interest credit card or finding a lower interest loan. Online comparison sites can give you a clear idea of the latest deals and which cards offer low interest or useful features.
You can find a range of tools online that can help you work out your finances, especially if you are considering a loan or applying for a mortgage and want to have a clearer idea of your potential monthly repayments.
Save Money at Home
For many people, the bulk of their outgoings go on rent, utilities and food shopping, but even the smallest of changes can offer you ways to save money. When it comes to the electricity bills, little things such as shutting doors, turning off the lights when you leave a room and not leaving equipment on standby can all help you save you money.
Consider changing utility providers to a company offering more competitive rates. You could change the way you make your payments, as paying by direct debit each month can very often get you further discounts.
Find out if it would be cheaper to make use of the free minutes on your mobile-phone contract rather than having a home phone line. All of these simple tasks add up to extra money in your account each month and a happier you!