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5 tips to ease your money issues
With interest rates having rocketed to 5.75% last year, and with many lenders hiking up their interest rates, such as credit card providers and loan providers, it is little wonder that so many of people are struggling to keep their outgoings under their income level each month. Although interest rates have come down to 5.25% which is good news, the credit crunch, which recently swept across the country wreaking havoc in the financial markets as it went, has done nothing to ease the situation, and for many of us it is a case of either doing some smart thinking and tightening our belts or risking going under financially.
Below are some tips that could just help to ease your financial problems:
1. Don't be too extravagant: Start planning for next Christmas, its all too easy to get caught out by leaving your shopping till the last minute and making rash decisions and purchases. With the average household spend expected to be in excess of £2,000 spending could quickly go out of control for many consumers. However, planning now could make next Christmas much less of a financial worry, imagine that, not worrying about when the credit card statement comes through the door next January. Extravagance is also the key as well as the planning of your spend. Try and think of less expensive gifts for your loved ones – after all, there is some truth in the saying 'it's the thought that counts'. If you are going to see friend or family in the New Year rather than over the Christmas period then think about putting off the purchase of their gifts until the last minute – once Christmas Day is over you can find some real bargains at a fraction of the normal price.
2. Supplement your income: If you find that you are struggling with finances every month then it is time to look for a better paid job or go for a promotion. However, this isn't going to happen overnight, so in the meantime it might be worth considering a second job for a while. You will find a range of different part time or casual jobs available, particularly during the Christmas and New Year periods when retailers are at their busiest and opening times are longer than other times of the year.
3. Don't underestimate the fun of a night in: Everyone loves to go out and party, especially at this time of year, but it can be extremely expensive, especially if you are going out and getting taxis on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve. Why not look at alternatives, such as you and your friends pooling your funds and having a party at home, or spending a few weekends enjoying a home cooked meal and a DVD with loves ones or friends.
4. Think before you buy: With so many new and exciting gadgets and products hitting the market, many of us feel the impulse to rush out and spend hundreds of pounds on something that we didn't even know existed several days earlier. However, impulse purchases are the worst kind, because you often end up paying over the odds for something that after a few weeks you realise you never even really wanted in the first place. Think carefully before you rush out and spend your heard earned money on the latest gadget.
5. Quit Smoking: Now that New Year just is out of the way, there is no better time to get geared up to give up smoking. With Britain now smoke free in many public places, this is a habit that is more anti-social and more expensive than ever, and by kicking the habit you will be amazed at how much you will save – and how much better you will feel in both mind and body also.
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