Reducing outgoings Debt Solution
Summary: Reducing outgoings - This article seeks to explore ways of lowering our expenditure in order free up money to pay off debts.
Where does our money go?
We all know the feeling of wondering where our money had gone! We felt sure we had enough to last us to the month end but alas, we haven't! Although tedious, it is well worth for a month or 2 recording where every penny goes. The bills are usually easy to account for via bank statements, but the cash is another matter. Looking at bank statements over a period might reveal quarterly or even annual direct debits (magazines subscriptions, motor organisations, National Trust etc.) that we hadn't accounted for.
Having understood where our finances actually do go, we are in a stronger position to look at where we can make any cutbacks. The bought sandwich and drink at lunchtime could easily be over £100/mth. A recent poll indicated on average a British adult eats 46 takeaway meals a year. The point is not to deny ourselves, but to understand where our money goes.
Meals at work and takeaways maybe minor examples, but they illustrate the need to make choices regarding expenditure. Not many of us can afford all we would like to do - so tossing up between a Barbados break and a BMW may be necessary!
.... need not be fixed. Mortgage and rent tend to be set for us - though renegotiating may always be a possibility and considering switching a mortgage to interest only for a period may enable us to clear those high interest debts. However, switching utility provider may well be worthwhile, along with insurance policies etc.
There are some genuine savings to be made by shopping around, saving coupons, looking for special offers etc. With a little planning - take advantage of cheaper fuel (the pumps do vary), and check out the latest deals - there are websites that can do much of the work for us.
Although we may not be able to clear all our debts, it will pay to consider carefully which debts to clear as a priority, or if it's possible to switch debts to reduce interest charges. If a particular debt is costing us too much, target it for reducing, clearing or negotiating with the creditor.