Selasa, 05 Mei 2009

Improve Your Finances, Cut Back Where You Can

Market changes have forced a lot of expenses to go up. If you notice, your mortgage payments and other costs are not at the same level as before. For the ordinary consumer, this means less purchasing power and lower standard of living. Fortunately, you can fight back by knowing the tips and tricks in saving money. We have compiled five tips that will help you financially during tough economic times:

• Check your mortgage – most mortgage lenders offer an introductory offer. If you took advantage of this, make sure that you know when it will end so that you can remortgage in time. With the variable rate of as much as 8.5%, no one wants to make even one late payment.

• Save on energy expenses – previously, consumers weren’t that concerned about their energy bills. It was just something to be paid each month. With today’s harsh condition though, every penny counts. If you make a conscious effort to cut back, you might be surprised by the amount of savings you can keep each month.

• Lower your grocery bills – it is easy to get tempted on the grocery. By preparing a list and sticking to it, you can eliminate a lot of unnecessary expenses. In addition, using coupons and buying items that are really on sale can dramatically reduce your expenses.

• Phone calls – although landlines are no longer popular as before, some people still rack up expensive monthly bills. If this is the case for you, examine your pattern and implement strategies that will help lower it. For example, getting an affordable package will help or you can make less-urgent calls during off-peak hours. It is even better if you can manage to call using the VoIP technology instead.

• Gym membership – it is true that investing for your health is good. In fact, it is probably one of the best investment policies out there. However, if you have an expensive gym membership that you barely use, consider some alternatives. For example, look into the gyms that offer pay-per-trip programs. That way, you only need to pay for the times when you actually exercise.

These tips are just an overview of what you can do to save on your bills. There are many more ways to save according to your unique circumstance. In addition, combining effective investment practices with your saving strategies will help you attain better financial health.