Posted by Allison on 1 April 2009, 16:23
If you haven't yet noticed that bills are going up, you are probably one of the few. Our currency may be struggling to hold its value and the economy may be in one of the biggest struggles it has had for several years, but it is the rising bills that most of us really notice.
The problem is made even worse if you have outstanding debt sitting on a credit card or a loan agreement. So what do you do when you are still on the same level of income and your outgoings are going up?
The first thing is to consider what your outgoings are. Most people can trim back when necessary; the trick is in knowing how and where to do it. This is what some people find difficult. They are used to doing things a certain way and enjoying a certain level of lifestyle, but sometimes the only real option you have is to cut back for a while until you get on an even keel again.
It's also the case that many people get so used to being with certain providers that it doesn't genuinely occur to them that they might be better off going elsewhere. Take credit card providers for example. Let's say you have a £2000 debt on a credit card that you want to get rid of.
Now you may have opened that card in the first place because it gave you 0% interest on your balance for six months. But if the six months has passed and you are now paying upwards of 15% on the balance, that isn't going to help you get rid of the debt.
That's why it isn't enough to simply think about your finances once or twice a year. It pays to think about them regularly so you can see whether your current plans are good enough to keep you on course to get rid of any debt you have as soon as possible.
The same goes for other bills. The cheapest electricity and gas providers may be very different from the ones at the top spots a few months ago. So make sure you do regular comparisons to ensure you are paying as little as possible for your services. This will ensure you have more money left over to clear those debts.
A lot of the work involved is practical in nature, and when you start to check what the best deals are and cut back on your outgoings on a regular basis, you will see that it does have its benefits. It can also turn into something of a challenge if you are constantly trying to better the deals you have at the moment.
So be alert and make sure you do all you can to reduce your bills. Even in hard times it is possible to keep your level of debt to a minimum, so long as you don't go into denial. There is more help and advice on reining things in on the following web page, at http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/09042008/389/10-easy-ways-help-crunch-proof-finances.html. Part of the Yahoo site, it gives you lots of good advice and information on reducing your debt and making sure you get through this downturn safely.