Are you tired of coming up short at the end of the week, waiting for payday to arrive? Most live paycheck to paycheck so if an emergency does occur, any unexpected charges would likely go on a credit card instead of taking from an available account. If you’re looking for ways to cut your budget and save some extra cash every month, consider these quick financial health tips.
Start Tracking All of Your Spending.
One of the best ways to lose track of your spending is not watching your available balance. You can’t fix your finances unless you’re able to see where all of your money is going. You can already tell you can’t make ends meet, but without adequately tracking your finances, you have no clue where the money is going. The good news is hundreds of apps and websites can help you automate this process. Be prepared to dedicate some time to setting this up and create a reminder to track your spending at the end of each day.
Stop the Recurring Charges
In today’s subscription-driven economy, it’s easy to sign up for a subscription you no longer use. Once you’ve started tracking your everyday spending, you can start looking at recurring spending. Do you really need to spend $5 every day to get a cup of coffee on the way to work? What about $7.99 a month for that video service you barely use? These recurring costs eat up money without you realizing it because they’re set it and forget it expenses. Keep track of them by adding them to your bill ledger. This will help you decide whether you really want to pay $15 a month for a service you aren’t really using.
You can take this tip one step further by examining your current bills for savings, too. You can find a better car insurance rate in about 90 seconds, so why let your current policy blindly renew? If you can keep track of bill renewal dates, especially for insurance and credit cards with annual fees, you can avoid a bad practice of not at least putting up a fight with a quick negotiation looking for a better rate or shopping around and taking your business elsewhere. Every little bit helps!
Automate Your Savings
Once you have your actual spending under control, you should try to find a way to automate your savings. Treat this automated savings as you would an expense. Saving money without thinking about it is the best way to get significant gains and help you keep your head about waters.
Negotiate Your Interest Rates
If you use credit cards and have significant debt, then a lower rate card may offer substantial financial savings. A balance transfer card often gives 0% APR for a set period, giving you months of interest-free payments. Be careful that the transfer fee does not cost more than the interest payments you would save.
You can also use these offers as ammunition to lower your current credit card rate. Call the issuing company and tell them (politely) about the better offer. Ask them if they can offer a similar rate, or you’ll switch. Nine times out of ten if you have good credit and a history of making payments online, you can get a more favorable credit card interest rate.