How to keep on top of your finances

Finances

Over the years I have always tried to keep a steady hand on our finances. However, we are susceptible to the odd impulse buy, even with all our best intentions! But how can you ensure you keep your financial spending to a minimum, while maintaining a contingency?

Monthly Bills

For me this has become a habitual solution. Every year I renegotiate the standard monthly bills. From insurance to telephone contracts, they all get done. Even if they are mid-contract some companies like BT are still happy to shave a couple of pounds a month off! When calling the company, it is important to stay focused and on topic.

In some cases, I go as far as cancelling the product in order to get a better deal. Sky for example only wanted to give me a 25% reduction. I knew that they offer up to 75% off to get customers back on the books. So, within 48 hours of cancelling they called and reconnected me at a fraction of the original price!

It is always important to think about the services you use as well. Do you actually need them? When we moved to a new house we left Sky for good as we simply did not use it enough to justify the high monthly spend. Opting now for Netflix and Amazon which have been a much cheaper option!

Mortgage

This is an area you need to be keenly tracking. You should be aiming to never fall out of an introductory mortgage offer! If you do fall out of one, it can end up costing you £100’s a month! Personally I am always eager to see how much my house has increased in value, you can do this by visiting SunLife here.  Seeing those extra funds really motivates me in my quest for financial security.

With loan to value also playing a major part when finding a new mortgage product. As you start to pay off your mortgage capital your loan to value improves and so does the interest rate you pay on the loan! I have often toyed with the possibility of overpaying our mortgage too.  After all, if you want to retire early you will need to have your mortgage cleared and out of the way!

Savings

This was on my list this year. Having savings to fall back on can be a real lifesaver! Knowing you have that little cushion if things do get hard can take the additional stress out of problems. However, as we are still renovating the house, this still seems to be a bit of a pipe dream. Although now we have repaid our current overdrafts, we are aiming to finish the house within the next two to three years!

Along with all of the above watching your daily spending can really add to your ability to save money and keep a firm grip on your finances. For us we both rein each other in with spending. This helps us live a happier, stress-free life!  With my end game always being getting closer to my plan for early retirement.

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