The ultimate aim if you want to transform your spending habits is to find a way of living below your means. I know it’s easier said than done.
The best way to do this revolves around the need to cut down on your expenses. A financial facelift won’t take you that long to do, but the long term positive effects it can have on your bank balance could also be immense.
Take a look at how to budget successfully. Also, consider ways to cut your daily motoring costs, pay a lower interest charge on all of your existing credit cards, and pay less for energy in your home.
The cornerstone of all financial planning
If there is one thing that is going to transform your spending habits it is the need to create and work with a monthly budget.
You will need to write down a detailed list of every amount you spend during a 30-day period.
If you prefer, put all of that information on a spreadsheet like Google Sheets, Microsoft Word or Apple’s Numbers app. You can even add the information into an app on your smartphone. There’s plenty of them available for free in Apple’s app store or Google’s Play Store. Just look for the keyword “budget app” to start your search.
The main thing is to record all of your spending. This means noting everything you spend, from how much you spend on rent or mortgage payments, to the total spent on small items such as your coffee to go.
Once you have collected all of this data you will have a very clear picture of exactly how much you spend and where your money is going.
This will give you the chance to identify and target potential savings and cutbacks.
Keep on top of your car costs
Most of us need a car to get to school or to get to work every day. If you bought a vehicle like the 2017 Dodge Charger you might be able to secure a zero percent interest deal or some bonus cash back offer. Now that would be pretty sweet.
If you want to buy a new car, check out the local deals around your neighborhood in order to see how you could keep the cost of your new car down. Try to drive the price down as far as you can with a discount or ask the sales associate for any special offers that are currently available at that lot in order to see if that could help you get the car of your dreams for less.
Another thing to note is that service and maintenance costs can soon add up if your car is old and has a lot of miles on it. For high mileage vehicles, unless you can budget for repairs and potentially higher gas costs, you’re going to run into trouble. If the car is less economical than a newer model type of car, it might be costing you more than you could ever imagine.
Review all of your credit cards
If you have some credit cards, you might be carrying debt with a higher interest rate than is available elsewhere.
Review all of your credit card deals and look around to see if you could transfer your balance to a zero percent transfer credit card and end up paying a lower interest rate on your credit card debt.
There are deals available such as 0% APR for as much as 18 months. You might not be reducing the amount you owe. But you will be clearing it quicker by getting a better deal on the interest rate charged.
Reduce your energy bills
Another way of cutting down on your monthly spending costs is to take steps to reduce your energy bills.
A simple strategy like installing CFL or LED light bulbs will instantly save you some more money. It might not seem that much to save about $50 per year by changing to more energy efficient bulbs, but these small savings soon do add up.
Something else you can do is to turn your thermostat down a notch to save some more money. Also, install a programmable thermostat like a Nest to use your heating and hot water more efficiently at home.
So why don’t you simply spend the next 30 days reviewing your spending habits? If you do, you could cut your monthly costs by more than your thought was possible.