If you are struggling with debt, then before applying for a loan, please take some time to read our previous money saving tips, to see if your problems can be solved by small lifestyle changes and budgeting. In our final part, we look at more budgeting advice for those looking to make their money go further.
We are known for our interest in DIY, with differing levels of success! If you have an interest, but aren’t fortunate to have the necessary skills, why not invest in a course to get up to speed, for example, thediyschool.co.uk. This way, going forward, you will save money getting advice and work from professionals, which as we all know, can be costly. You will soon see a reduction in your debt, as the money saved can be used to pay off those lingering credit card bills. Who knows, if you get really good, you could even set up your own business, and earn even more money to pay off your debt!
If you are employed full-time, why not consider finding an evening job for one or two nights a week? Pubs or supermarkets often look for casual workers for nightshifts. Training to be a black cab driver can significantly increase your income in the future, and a few evening shifts a week will soon give you plenty of money to pay off your debt. Remember, only take on what you feel you can physically cope with, your debt is important to deal with, but your health is always the number one priority.
If you are lucky enough to own a car, consider selling it for a smaller model. Not only will you save money on the overall price, but you should find that your car tax cost decreases. Remember, as UK inhabitants, we have one of the highest rates of tax on petrol in the world, and a smaller engine will use less petrol, and therefore pass on the savings to your levels of debt.
Ask yourself whether you need a car at all. If you are too far from work to walk or cycle, see if there is a local tram service or bus route. These will be far more cost efficient than motoring or getting a cab.
Before entering a high street store to make a purchase, have a look on the internet. Internet-based companies have much lower costs than high street stores, due to having no rental costs, and fewer employees. This saving is often passed on to you, to provide better competition in the market.
You may even find what you are looking for, for free. Why not look on community ad websites like Gumtree, to see what people are offering. Ask your friends too, it costs nothing, and you may find that you know someone who will give you the product you want as they no longer need it. If it’s something you won’t use over and over again, they may be willing to lend it to you. Over the years, this will save you thousands of pounds.
Debt advice and tax credits should go hand-in-hand. The UK government has made tax credits and benefits for families at the heart of their budgets, with families with an annual income of under £66k potentially being viable for some form of credit. Sometimes the information on how to claim can be hard to find. By making sure you claim what you are entitled to, you could make a very big impact on your debt levels, by freeing up money that is rightly yours, but hasn’t been until now.
Also don’t forget, if you are a single resident at a property, you get a 25% discount on your council tax! Please visit the government’s website and find out how to apply for the discount.
It’s also worth looking into whether you are paying too much for your council tax in general. It is little known that many people live in houses that are in the wrong council tax band. A quick phone call could save you hundreds of pounds!
Mortgage and rent payments are usually the biggest expense anyone faces in their lifetime. Not only do some mortgage lenders offer flexible repayment arrangements, such as payment holidays, but there are also government schemes to help you if you if you are struggling to meet your monthly cost. Such schemes include your local council buying some of, or your entire home, and then rents it back to you, and paying the interest charges until you can afford to repay the full amount again.
If you are a smoker, you could save hundreds of pounds each year by quitting. The NHS website offers you help and support, and explains that it’s not necessarily as hard as you think.
Cut down on nights out, as many are already doing. It can be nice to unwind with a couple of drinks in the local pub after work, but ask yourself if you can really afford to do so. Just four fewer drinks a week could save you in the region of £12, which is an annual saving of over £600.
If you are a member of a gym, ask yourself, do you frequent it enough to justify the expense? If the answer is no, cancel your membership, and you could immediately add valuable pounds to paying off your debt. You may even be able to find a pay-as-you-go gym, so you can still exercise, but at a far lower cost.
If you have satellite or cable TV, ask yourself whether you really need all of the channels you subscribe to. If you don’t regularly enjoy sports or film packages, or even if you do, by changing your account to only the basic package, you could find yourself saving hundreds of pounds each month. Once you have solved your debt problems, then you can start thinking about buying the more luxury products and services.
Alternatively, threaten to cancel, and you will inevitably be offered discounts, or swap suppliers altogether, as offers for new customers are usually packed with extra benefits. New customers often get plenty of perks, and use a cashback site for further rewards.