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Life is expensive. This is something that you have to quickly come to terms with when you become wholly responsible for your own finances. There are so many different aspects of your life that you need to pay for – things that you couldn’t possibly go without.
But when it comes down to it, we are always encouraged to upgrade and add extras to every product that we buy, whether essential or a luxury, that we often end up forking out a whole lot more cash than we really need to.
We then continue to make these payments out of sheer habit. But if you take a good look at your finances, you’ll be able to see that there are probably plenty of areas where you can cut back.
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Now, cutting back on luxuries is simple. If you don’t need it, you can go without it. Either that or you can at least opt for a cheaper alternative. However, with essentials, things get a little more difficult.
You need the essentials to meet your basic needs, but believe it or not, there are generally ways to cut back your spending even in these areas. Let’s take a moment to take a look through a few.
Your Rent or Mortgage
Your property is likely to be one of the main aspects of your life that is actively eating up your earnings. It is estimated that the average young professional living and working in the city spends up to two-thirds of their earnings on their housing.
Now, you need a roof and four walls to get by in life. But should it really be consuming this percentage of your salary?
Probably not, and there are places where you can save. Whether your monthly payment will be a rental payment or a mortgage payment, you do need to ensure that you’re inhabiting a property that you can afford.
If you spend most of your time in the inner city, it may be better to live outside of the city and commute in.
Alternatively, if you really want to live in the inner city, you should consider house sharing rather than renting an apartment or house of your own. This is increasingly common practice amongst young adults, as it makes housing a lot more affordable.
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Your Mobile Contract
So many of us spend so much more on our mobile contract than we need to. We are offered renewals on our contract when it runs out, and are often lured into taking out a brand new contract at a higher price than our initial contract, as well as putting down an extra payment for the sake of having a new and upgraded phone.
Sure, new shiny phones may well be appealing. But a lot of the time you could actually find the same bundle elsewhere at a smaller monthly contract rate and with a lower down payment if you just take the time to shop around.
Most mobile salespeople rely on laziness to real people back into the same contract they’ve always had. But if you want to make sure you’re getting the best offer for your money, Money pug offers great mobile deals.
You really could benefit from their comparison features that will allow you to find the best contract and mobile provider for your money.
When you purchase a car, you have two options on your hands – a new vehicle or a used vehicle. Now, there are pros and cons that come with each and depending on your personal circumstances, you’re going to lean towards one or another.
Generally speaking, used cars are cheaper. After all, a brand new vehicle loses a lot of value the moment you drive it off the forecourt. It’s possible to get great cars with a relatively low mileage with a much lower price tag attached than if you were to buy a brand new car straight from the manufacturer or dealer.
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One problem with used cars, however, is that you can never be 100% certain of its history. Repairs can end up costing you a fortune if you’re hit with them unexpectedly. So, if you do opt to purchase a new vehicle, there are ways to minimise your spending.
While you can purchase a new vehicle at pretty much any given moment. Sales staff are pushing for sales year round and will go out of their way to secure the commission that they receive with each.
However, for your own benefit, it’s better to be patient and tactical with your timing when it comes to purchasing a brand new car. Discreetly find out when your dealers are approaching the end of their quarter.
Around this time of year, they are more likely to offer deals and offers that would be unheard of at any other time. Why? Well, they will be preoccupied with getting in as many sales for their statistics before the end of the quarter as possible in order to receive promotion and bonuses.
Your Car Insurance
If you have a car, you’re going to need car insurance – it’s a legal essential. The key to finding the cheapest quote is to play around with different settings on price comparison sites to determine what you can do to reduce your spending.
One option that you have is to have a black box fitted. This is a small device that can be fitted in your vehicle to monitor your behaviour on the roads. The better a driver you are, the more the insurance company will trust you behind the wheel.
If you refrain from speeding or driving erratically, they may reduce your quote as a way of rewarding your safe and responsible driving. Another option is to add a more experienced driver to your policy.
While you may want your car to be solely for your own use, allowing another individual to be on your insurance policy and use the vehicle every once in a while can dramatically reduce your quote if they have had a licence for longer than you have.
If you invest in a secure parking spot, prices will decrease dramatically too. If you leave your car parked on the street, it’s open to damage by other individuals. This could be criminals vandalising your vehicle or other road users bumping into it when driving past or attempting to park near to it.
It’s not all too surprising that insurance for vehicles that are left on the road can incur additional costs. If you have a garage that can be locked or a secure parking spot elsewhere, the cost of your policy can reduce significantly.
A final option is to offer to pay a higher voluntary contribution. If you opt to contribute a larger amount towards repairs to your vehicle, your policy will work out cheaper.
Just remember to make sure that the amount you offer to pay is something that you could realistically afford!
While you may be tied into paying for everyday essentials like a roof over your head, energy bills, mobile contracts and costs incurred through having a vehicle of your own, it’s important to remember that you can make significant cuts to costs even in these areas.
All you have to do is shop around and scour the market for different options. When one company is providing a product or service, there’s bound to be a competitor out there who is willing to undercut them in order to secure your custom. You just need to be patient and persistent to find them!