Don’t lose control of your finances

Just one Top Tip for today which was was something that I mentioned to someone last week when I was asked for some tips following the budget. Interesting, this topic came up in an article in New York Times over the weekend as well.

The Top Tip is to “Live Within Your Means”.

In the past week, we’ve seen so much happen in the past week since the budget and the huge controversy over the over-70’s medical cards, the growing uproar over the 1% income levy, and the developments today over the education cutbacks.

Lots of people are concerned for so many reasons – but these things are mainly outside of our own control. While we’re right to be concerned, there’s not that much that we can do about the governments budget decisions.

The key thing to living within your means is to not lose sight these days of the financial matters that you do have control over – your day to day financial expenses and spending.

  • Don’t ignore your bills – even though might be looking bleak, you don’t need to make them any worse by leaving bills unpaid because you’re uncertain about the future.
  • Watch your day to day spending – keep control over where you’re spending your money. Don’t waste money on unnecessary spending, and where ever possible, make sure you shop around.
  • Have a quick financial review – Take an hour or so to review your financial position. You should follow our Top Tips here to make sure you’re looking after your financial situation as best as you can.
  • Review Insurance Requirements – One of the biggest expenses you have consistently every year is insurance – car, home, travel or health. Coming towards the end of the year or the beginning of next year, many of these policies will come due for renewal – review your policies, make a few calls to get alternative quotes and see if you can save yourself a few quid.
  • Electricity & Gas Costs – Last week the top tips were on saving money on your gas and electricity bills. Given a further expected Bord Gais price increases, this is more important than ever.
  • Save Money where ever you can – There are some people who may actually be better off following the budget following the change to the mortgage interest relief. You may also have been able to save money if you’ve followed some of the tips above. However you may have saved yourself some money, make sure you siphon it away and try to have it build up for a rainy day, or a special treat with Christmas coming.
The key thing in all of this is to make sure that despite all of the fuss and bluster going on all around us these days that we don’t lose site of the important day to day things – things that we can have the most impact on ourselves.
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