How to Budget to Increase your Savings

Many of us do not have as much money saved up as we would like. It can sometimes feel that we are not making any progress in contributing to our savings or that they are increasing much more slowly than we would like. There are ways that you can increase the amount that you are saving without waiting for an increase in income. It will mean doing some budgeting though and making sure that you are not overspending. There are some steps that you can take so that you can review your spending and make sure that you have enough money to save more each month.

Separate spending into necessary and luxury – in order to start it is worth evaluating your spending. Take a look at past bank statements and see where you spend money. Some money spent will be on necessary items such as food, utilities, tax, loan repayments and rent or mortgage and some will be on luxury items such as apps, DVDs, jewellery, holidays, home accessories and eating out. There may be some items that are harder to classify and you can always ignore those or have a third classification in between the two.

By doing this you will be able to see what items you might be able to stop buying and the items that you have to continue to buy. You may already see items that perhaps you do not need that much and do not get enough pleasure from to warrant spending the money on them when you want to be saving up. You may decide to stop spending money on certain things right away. If you find it hard to decide then rank them in order of importance with the necessary items at the top and then you may be able to see where you can cut down on spending money.

Set some goals – it is worth setting goals so that you can focus on exactly how much extra money you would like to save each month. Without having a focus it can be much more difficult to be motivated in reducing your spending. If you know that you want to save a specific amount each month then this should help you to focus better on what to cut down on. It is worth also thinking about why you want to do this. Perhaps you are saving towards a specific thing, such as a holiday, new car or family birthday or you are putting money towards your future, retirement, having children or things like this. It is good to write down the reason that you are saving as well as how much you aim to save each month and look at it regularly to remind yourself and to motivate yourself.

Save at the beginning of each month – many people will put money in their savings account at the end of the month. They will see how much is left and just before they get paid they will transfer the money left into a savings account. The problem is that we will often look at our account balance in order to decide whether we can afford to buy things and if there is money there, we will spend it. Therefore, if we put some money in a savings account at the start of the month, it will not be available in the current account to spend.

– Compare prices and think before buying – when you are buying anything whether you are buying a loaf of bread or a new insurance policy it is wise to start by thinking about whether you really need what you are buying. Consider whether you can delay buying it or go without it altogether. If you do decide to buy it compare the price with other similar items to make sure that you ae not paying more than necessary.

Put left over money in savings – at the end of the month make sure that you put any remaining money into your savings account. This will help to top it up even more and you will be able to boost your savings even more. Do not worry about not having enough for the following month as you can always draw back out of the savings account if you need extra, but you are less likely to spend it this way compared with spending money that is easily accessible in the current account.

Top Tips on Finding the Best Credit Card

Credit cards can vary quite a bit, but once we have one we may just stick with it and if choosing one, we may just go for one provided by our main bank. However, as they vary so much it is worth comparing the different types to see which might be the most suitable for you. They tend to have different features as well as costing different amounts and so you will need to think about what you need in a credit card.

Interest Rate

Many people will think of the interest rate as the most important feature of a credit card. While it can be useful, it is worth realising that the interest rate can change and while you may have pocked the lowest interest rate as it stands on one particular day; these can change though and so while it is good at the moment, this may not last. Therefore although knowing how the interest compares to other cards right now is important and some indication of how things may stand in the future it is no guarantee that this will always remain the one with the lowest interest. While you might keep checking and switch cards to the lowest interest card each time there are changes, it is more likely that once you get a card you will tend to stick with it for a significant period of time.

Fees

It is also important to note that as well as interest being charged on the card, there may also be fees as well. Normally if you repay the minimum charge you will just have to pay interest but if you do not make that minimum payment on time there could be a charge. If you with draw cash using the credit card or use the card abroad there may also be charges as well. It is important to be aware of all of the possible charges that could be made so that you can compare the cards.

Cashback

A cashback card could be of interest to some people. These will give you a credit to your card balance, usually monthly, which is a percentage of the amount spent on the card the following month. While the cashback percentages are usually very low, they can still be better than getting nothing at all. However, it is often the case that the cards that offer this cashback have a higher interest rate compared with cards that do not offer cashback. This means that if you do not pay off the outstanding balance each month you will be charged interest at a higher rate on a cash back card than a normal card. This means that the even with the cashback, this type of card could end up costing you more money. Therefore it is really important to make sure that if you do go for a cashback card, that you are confident you will be able to make the repayments in full.

Usability

It is also important to make sure that the credit card will be accepted at all of the places that you want to use it. Mastercard and Visa tend to be accepted at most but American Express is more limited in where you can use it as are some other cards. This means that you do need to be careful with which to choose. With regards to the bank that issues the card, this tends to be of little importance and so it is up to you to choose one that you think will suit you.

Reputation of Lender

You may be keen to pick a no credit check lender that has a good reputation. You may have a favourite already or want to find out more about them before you choose. You might be looking out for customer service and hope that you can find one that is good in this aspect or one that you feel treats customers more fairly. It might simply be that you want one that you have heard of or that your friends and family speak highly of. It is good to think about what you think might make a good credit card company and whether the companies that you have come across fit the bill.
Often when you are repaying the balance back in full the choice of lender makes very little difference to anything apart from cashback. If you can get some cash back but pay out nothing to the lender then this can be a great deal. However, if you are not paying the full balance back each month then interest rate is much more important. You might want to make sure that the lender provides good customer service as well because you might want some help or flexibility in making your repayments.

Reviews

Finding out what a lender is like is not always easy if you gave not used them before. As mentioned before you may ask friends and family for advice on whether they would recommend the lender that they use or not. You may be able to make a choice based on that, or you might want to spend some more time finding out information. There will be lots of information online, lots of people will have opinions. It is therefore worth looking at reputable websites so that you know that you are making a decision based on solid information. Do not just look at rating or rankings but find out the reasons why. This is because you need to make sure that the reason they are ranked high or low is relevant to you. People have lots of different reasons for liking or hating a lender and you will also have features that are important and ones that are not important to you as well as things that you do not feel that strongly about either way.

Conclusion

There are many different factors that you need to consider when you are choosing a credit card. It is an important decision as you may be using that card for a long time and you want to make sure that it is the best one for you. Cost could very well be a very important feature when you are comparing the cards but you also need to consider other aspects as well, partly because some cards may have similar costs and you need to differentiate between them or because other features have some bearing as well.