Winter can be an expensive time of year, what with Christmas celebrations, New Year’s Eve parties and high energy bills. Your outgoings can go through the roof if you’re not careful, but there are ways to keep things under control and hold onto your hard-earned cash.
Here are four ways to manage your money throughout the cold spell:
Take stock of what you spend
Firstly, it’s important to work out exactly what you spend. This might mean looking through all your utility bills or it might mean keeping track of your shopping receipts. Once you fully understand where the pennies are going, you can start to make cutbacks in certain areas. If the cost of petrol leaves a big dent in your bank balance, for instance, you could try reducing your mileage. If you tend to impulse buy during your lunch break, setting yourself a spending limit could also be an option.
Apply for a new credit card
If you want to make a few significant purchases throughout the festive season and beyond, it might be worth putting a new bit of plastic in your wallet. MBNA’s Rate for Life low interest rate credit card is just one of the many cards available and offers a promotional rate of 5.9 per cent and a handling fee of just 1.5 per cent on all balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening an account. The product also boasts a promotional rate of 5.9 per cent on money transfers for a four per cent fee.
Consolidate your debt
As mentioned above, many banking groups will help you make a balance transfer without paying extortionate costs. This means you can move outstanding debt onto a credit card with a low interest rate and avoid the high charges that will keep you in the red. By making fixed, regular payments you should be able to repay the money you owe quickly and get back on track over a shorter period of time. Consolidating credit cards will also help you stay on top of your finances, as you will only have one bill to worry about.
Hire a financial planner
If you have final notice letters landing on your doorstep and are finding it hard to get back on your feet, hiring a financial planner could be the right option for you. They’ll guide you towards making the right investments and will offer the financial support you need during this difficult time. If you don’t want to seek professional help at this moment on time, internet banking can help you monitor your incomings and outgoings efficiently, so it’s worth making the most of this service.
We all like a good splurge from time-to-time, but it’s essential to manage your finances carefully.