2016 started just a couple of months ago, and already you can feel that people’s good resolutions are fading. This is not a reason to let go of your finances! You work hard to make money, and you should be working just as hard to make sure your hard earned cash goes a long way.
Take your energy supplier for example. You will receive pretty much the same service from all providers. I have switched energy suppliers more times than I can remember, and every time, my house has been lit and warmed, I have been able to cook and shower with hot water. This is basically the only thing I ask from a provider.
I call them once a year, just to check I am on their lowest deal. If in doubt, I go online and make a quick comparison. Thanks to sites like Ofgem’s Go Energy Shopping, you can save up to £200 by switching energy suppliers. That’s a lot of money!.
Every day, I do small things to try saving money, or to avoid spending it. But rarely do I get such a high hourly rate.
There are lots of small adjustments you can make to your lifestyle, without feeling the pinch. Yet, these little changes will give you a lot more breathing room in your budget. I also challenge my internet bundle every year, calling my provider and asking them to keep me on their best offer. I look at everything I spend, and wonder “did I get value out of that?” If the answer if no, I don’t renew the service.
I used to have a couple of magazine subscriptions. The deal was too good to pass on, and I actually bought most issues anyway. But life changed, and with more work, I never read my magazines. They were just piling up. I cancelled the subscription, and went through the old issues before I bought a new one.
When I started cycling to work, I appreciated the free exercise, the way it serves as a buffer to let go of work-related stress before you get home, and obviously the free commute. Many people simply don’t challenge the expense of a car. They think you have to have one if you’re a responsible adult. I didn’t own a car until age 29. Cycling to work and renting a car the odd weekend I really needed one worked just fine.
No insurance, no petrol, no parking tickets… You can save thousands a year by getting rid of your car.
What I always emphasize on here at Reach Financial Independence is the budget cuts shouldn’t affect your lifestyle. If you REALLY love your gym, go five times a week, and wouldn’t stay in shape if it weren’t for the Zumba class, keep going. But then find other areas of your life where money isn’t bringing you that much value. Like I did with my car. That gave me more money to go travelling.
Maximising your finances is all about doing what is right for you. Finding the best deal on things you want to spend on, and avoid spending on things that won’t make your life better.