The onset of the global credit crunch across the UK last year, combined with the after effects of a series of interest rate rises, and rising living costs all contributed towards the difficulties that many households have had to face over recent months. For many the strain on household finances has become increasingly pronounced, and industry officials have expressed concern that many people may be pushed into insolvency as a result of these financial strains.
If you find that your budget is being overstretched each month and you want to try and ease the strain on your household finances there are a number of steps that you can take, which could help to improve your financial situation. This includes:
1. Consolidate your debts. If you have a range of higher interest debt such as credit cards, store cards, and high interest loans, you could save a small fortune by paying off these debts with one lower rate consolidation loan, which can ease financial management as well as reduce your monthly outgoings.
2. Look for cheaper services. The cost of certain household expenses, such as energy bills, have risen over recent weeks, and you could find that taking the time to compare prices and switching your providers can save you some money. The difference may not be great but with every bit adding up it is well worth checking what sort of savings you can make.
3. Re-mortgaging: With interest rates having come down twice in the last few months it is possible that you can get a cheaper mortgage deal that will save you money on your monthly repayments if you take the time to compare. Make sure you look out for any hidden costs or arrangement fees though.
4. Get a more appropriate credit card. If you have a number of high interest credit cards it may be worth switching to a 0% balance transfer or low rate balance transfer card in order to save money on interest and reduce your monthly repayments. Make sure you check the transfer fees on 0% cards and the interest rate on life of balance transfer cards.
5. Make cutbacks. Most people will find places where they can make cutbacks when going through their outgoings, and if you can make cutbacks on things such as spending on clothes and entertainment, subscriptions and memberships, and other non-essential costs then this could save you some money each month.