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3 Ways To Stretch Your Monthly Budget

Julie Lord
 


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Being able to stretch your budget is a skill that many of us will have to learn at some point in our lives and it is an important skill. We should never under estimate the importance of managing money well – it is a skill that will help us avoid serious debt. Also we all work hard for our money so it makes sense to make it all count and not to fritter it away on who knows what.

Hopefully you won't always need to watch every penny but there will be times when you do. For instance saving for a holiday, saving for a deposit on your first home or for another important event in your life such as a wedding. Sure it's tempting to think we can just rack up more debt on a credit card or find a loan to tide us over but none of us can keep doing that without serious consequences. So at some point we need to take control of our finances.

So here's how to make the money you have fit your circumstances and needs:

Make a Proper Budget

This has to be the first task you do because without a budget written down you will always spend more than you should and probably more than you have. A budget doesn’t have to be a fancy spreadsheet - although that's sometimes a satisfying thing to create and helps you take it more seriously. But if you are putting off creating a budget because you don't have access to a computer or the right spreadsheet or app then forget it and just grab a notebook and pen.

A budget will help you keep track of your finances and make sure you are not paying too much for anything. It will also help you see if you have any spare cash that you could start saving each month.

Check Your Energy Costs

We all know that if you end up on your energy provider's standard tariff then you are probably going to be paying way over the odds for your electricity and gas supply - sometimes by hundreds of pounds a year. So make sure you check your tariff regularly and call up your energy provider from time to time to check whether they can switch you to a better deal. Always check prices for your particular usage and some providers give better deals depending on usage.

I've found from my own experience that the company I get my joint gas and electricity supply from is cheaper than any other I could find yet they have a pretty dreadful reputation for high pricing (mentioning no names). Maybe because of the bad press they now have to tempt people to stay with them. Well it's worked in my case – simply because they are the cheapest for my level of usage. So I'm saving money sticking wth them

Stop Wasting Food

We all waste food - usually every week. We buy what we think we will eat but then don't fancy it so cook something else and then some of the food in the fridge becomes out of date so we throw it away. This is not only wasteful but a waste of our hard-earned money.

Try the following tips to avoid food wastage:

? Plan your meals every week before going grocery shopping

? Store everything you can in the fridge, including vegetables and fruit

? Freeze food that is approaching its sell-by date if you think you won't use it

These are just a few tips, from online broker Solution Loans , that can help you make your money go further and avoid building up unnecessary debt on credit cards and short term loans just for your everyday living needs. Then if you do need a loan for a real emergency you won't have to resort to high interest bad credit loans or ask a family to help you out with a guarantor loan .

Managing your money carefully, budgeting well and avoiding waste and unnecessary expense can place you in a much more financially secure position. It's not easy but you will reap the benefits of your hard work and frugality.

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