Many households around the UK occasionally struggle to maintain control over their finances. A report released by the Office for National Statistics showed that the average weekly household spend rose to £554.20 by the end of 2017.
The largest amounts related to lifestyle and general household utilities. Approximately £72.60 was spent on fuel and power, £79.70 was spent on transport and £73.50 was spent on recreation and culture.
We’ve also published an infographic showing just how much money families could save by making a few small changes to their spending.
These may sound like a lot of money, but one way that families can control their expenditure is to properly manage their household finances. That’s why this month we wanted to explore some of the strategies you could implement.
Register for text notifications
Many household finance services (BeeMyMinder included) offer a text and/or email policy reminder service as part of the package. This means that you’re instantly prepared if you’re due to renew a policy or you have a bill that needs paying.
If you’re noting down insurance and policy reminders, then you’re going to be able to focus on your household finances at the same time.
Cut the costs of your debts
If you have existing debts, especially with credit cards, then these are going to be a huge drain on your monthly budget. With the average credit card provider charging a typical APR of 19%, even a small amount owed can soon add up.
If you’re struggling to pay off the outstanding balance, then why not sign up for a 0% balance transfer card instead?
This gives you the opportunity to pay off the remaining amount, without spending on the interest you’ll be accumulating on your old card.
Change bank accounts
Gone are the days that you have to do the running around and liaising with both banks. Thanks to regulation changes back in 2017, the banks now have to do all the legwork for you.
Simply select the date that you’d like your account to be switched on, and the banks will communicate with each, ensuring that your payments are switched over, hassle-free.
The added benefit to this is that some banks and building societies offer an introductory offer or payment, depending on how many direct debits you have or how much you pay into your account each month.
Go old school
Whether you’re a serial contactless buyer or you’re using the One-Click purchase option online, it’s become even easier for modern day consumers to spend their hard-earned cash.
However, if you want to take back control and manage your household finances, then now’s the time to go back to cold, hard cash.
Not only does this give you the chance to see how much you’re spending, it also means that you’re more likely to consider a purchase before you make it.
Compare the market
We won’t go too much into this strategy; it should come as no surprise to the savvy-shoppers out there.
Comparing the market is one of the easiest ways that you can reduce the amount you spend on your utilities.
There are a few things to remember when you’re comparing the market though. These include:
- Read the terms and conditions carefully, especially if you’re switching. Some providers will charge a cancellation or termination fee, so make sure you’re not caught out.
- It can be more cost-effective to go with the dual fuel option, but make sure you do a direct comparison on separate payments before choosing a package.
- Don’t be caught out by introductory offers. They might seem good at the time, but when it comes to switching your account you could be left with a large outstanding bill.