The easiest way to save money is not to waste it!
I hope you had a lovely weekend.
We are now in week 3 of the Money Monday series. If you haven’t already, please look at previous posts to join us in this series on managing our finances.
Picking up from last week, what did you find when you looked through your bank statements? Anything shocking? Any costs that are more than you had anticipated? Any payments that were taken out of your account that shouldn’t have? Did you find a welcome surprise – refunds or perhaps a tax rebate you didn’t expect. Either way, we hope that last week’s exercise helped you to get a clear picture of your current financial health.
1. One of the things you may have picked up on in last week’s exercise is on what we like to call “fast drainers” – those holes in your pockets that are draining your bank account. They are outgoings that are not necessary, or are no longer required. These could be anything from a gym subscription you no longer use, magazine subscriptions you no longer read, insurance for a gadget that you have replaced or utilities that you have already transferred to other providers. There are many other examples of these kinds of expenses that are silently eating away at any surplus you would have. The good news is that these kinds of expenses can be dealt with immediately without you having to go through a budgeting process. So before doing anything else, let’s deal with the leaks and get rid of the “fast drainers”.
- Find any paperwork you have on these expenses. Your paperwork will provide useful information such as reference or contract numbers, the start and end dates of any contracts (there may be a penalty for early cancellation…), etc. This will assist with your query being dealt with quicker when you call.
- Call up the service providers or companies to cancel any direct debits with them and request refunds where necessary. Ensure that both you and the company know the final amount due to you. Be sure to also find out the timescales for the refund, as this will be useful information to have should you need to lodge a complaint if they do not honor their refund timescales.
- Cancel the direct debits with your bank as well to be doubly sure that they are cancelled. The same goes for standing orders and any other regular payments you may be making for these unnecessary expenses.
- Once you have done this for all your “fast drainers”, total up the amount saved / refunded, then put this to one side.
2. If you live in the UK, it is worth checking whether you you can claim any money spent on payment protection insurance (PPI). This is worth doing immediately. You could get a substantial refund for missold PPI. We have received a refund and someone we know received a substantial refund of almost £10,000!! Further information can be found here. Please note there’s a deadline of 29 August 2019 so put in your claim now to avoid a mad rush.
3. Next, look at the seemingly insignificant amounts for things like coffee, cigarettes, bank fees as well as other treats e.g. eating out, new clothes. How much money is that costing you every month? Make a note of this figure as these could be potential savings.
4. Finally, look at all your debts (credit cards, store cards, loans..). How much are you paying towards each of these? What is the interest charged? How long would it take you to clear these debts off at your current repayment schedule?
Thanks for joining us on this challenge. As usual, please share any thoughts with us by commenting below or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow me on instagram where I share our own journey with you.
Have a beautiful week!
Ps – If you are struggling with debt, please seek help. There is a way out. Start by clicking on this link. The information here is useful and will point you in the right direction.