10 ways to cut your budget
While mortgages, loan repayments and bills are a fact of life there are many ways to cut your budget. This includes the more obvious ones such as spending less on clothes and entertaining, but there are also other small changes you can make to your daily spending that will result in savings for you.
The best way to start this process is to revisit your budget and determine where your money is going – this will then allow you to make little changes, saving you money without affecting your lifestyle.
- Review your mortgage – check the interest rate and regular fees on your mortgage and compare it with other providers to determine if now is a good time to refinance to save costs. Keep in mind that refinancing and switching financial institutions can incur fees, so make sure you include this in your calculations.
- Check your credit card’s interest rate and interest-free period. If you only get 30 days interest-free, look at changing to a card with 55 or 60 days. And if you can’t pay it all off, take advantage of a balance transfer to a lower interest rate credit card.
- Pay off your debt – know what interest rates you are paying on your loans and work to reduce the balances of those charging the highest rate of interest first.
- Get insurance quotes from various insurers to see how much you can save on your home and car insurance. Many providers will offer a discount if you take more than one policy with them.
- Investigate whether bundled services for your home phone, mobile phone and internet might save you money.
- Switch to compact-fluorescent bulbs, and turn them off when not needed. Turn off TVs, computers and other electrical appliances when not in use.
- Use shades, blinds and drapes to regulate your home temperature: Keep them open in the winter to let in light and drawn in the summer to block the sun’s rays. Also, turn up your cooling, or your heating down, a degree or two.
- Wash only full loads of dishes or clothes.
- Bring lunches and snacks to work.
- Organise a car pool to travel to and from work, and try to avoid expensive car parking.
^Wayne – Chief Financial Officer