TUC research has indicated that the average household in the UK now owes around £13,000 in unsecured debt, before mortgages are taken into consideration.
The fact that you are in debt might not be your fault. The situation that you are currently in might have been the result of redundancy, a reduction in your hours or other circumstances beyond your control. Regardless of the reason, it is important that you review all of your spending to ensure that you don’t get yourself further into a hole that you might not ever be able to get out of.
No matter what you do in life there is always going to be a bit of short term pain for long term gain and although you might have to go without, remember that effective management of your finances will mean that you should be able to get back in the position that you were in before your circumstances changed.
There are people out there that owe considerable amounts but are still unprepared to alter their spending habits. Why is there a mismatch on what they believe are nice to have and what are actually necessities.
There are circumstances where you will not want to change your lifestyle and I understand that. These could include mobility issues or limited contact with the outside world.
This might be an unpopular comment but I think our culture has made some believe that our circumstance is the result of the actions of others,whether it be government, bankers or even our employers, I accept that that this can be true. The one thing that we are not always keen to do is take personal responsibility for our own actions.
If you are one of those that is willing to accept your current circumstance, below are a few things that you could consider whilst trying to get yourself back on your feet.
TV subscription services are not cheap and they only get more expensive year on year. Ask yourself whether you really do need them. If you take a look at what you’re recording, are they only channels that you can give on these services. If not there are other cheaper options available.
Freesat from Sky
as the name suggests this is subscription free service from Sky. It offers more than 240 free channels including 11 free to air HD channels. If you do not already have a dish and sky box the overall cost of the service will be £254. The cost of the service if you do have the equipment is £25.
If you are concerned about missing some sky channels you get get them with the no contract NowTV service.
Not to be confused with freeview. This service is provided by ITV and the BBC over Satelite, so if you don’t have the equipment you will need it. This will probably cost you around £100 with the free boxes costing anywhere from £89.99 – £200.00. Freesat offer 200 free channels including 13 HD channels.
Freeview offer 60 tv channels and up to 15 HD channels through your tv aerial. Set top boxes and cost anywhere from £47.00 – £229.99
If you have a good internet connection you might want to consider one of the streaming services below
At a cost of £7.99 per month or £79.99 per year, Prime Video offers exclusive TV programmes “Amazon Original” and a huge list of films both new and old.
Like many streaming services you can watch Amazon Prime on tablets, computers, blu-rays and games consoles.
Now TV is a great service if you love everything TV. There are four passes that you can purchase individually. The Entertainment pass cost £6.99pm and gives you channels that show the best of Sky, including Sky living, Sky Atlantic and Fox.
The Sky Cinema pass costs £9.99 and shows the latest releases. The Kids pass is just £2.99 for that you get six channels which include the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. Finally there is the Sky Sports pass which has three level passes the day pass at £6.99, the week pass at £10.99 and the month pass at £33.99 (though be careful as the most expensive option roles on monthly unless cancelled).
You can get NowTV on your computer, laptop, games console or smart tv, if you don’t have any of these you can buy a box for as little as £9.99. NowTV offer a 14 day free trial of the service.
Netflix has three price points. There basic package is £5.99, Standard package at £7.49 and Premium package at £8.99. The difference in these packages include the number of devices that you can stream the service on, download to and the definition. You can watch Netflix through a smart tv, console blu-ray player.
They have a number of original programmes. The film catalogue is not as extensive as the other services. Netflix offer a one month free trial of the service.
Our cars have become an extension of ourselves and we will use them at every opportunity. Petrol and diesel is expensive so consider whether there are alternative options to get you to point B from A.
If you only need a few things from your local shop walking is free and gets you fit to boot.
When it works, public transport is an ideal way to get to where you need to be. You could get family or group discounts, they run to the late hours of the morning and are a cheaper alternative to city centre parking.
If like me your tolerance for stupid decreases as you get older, taking the bus can be less stressful due to dedicated transport lanes, not having to deal with other road users and trying to find a parking space.
If your current mobile phone is working fine why not consider a sim only deal. They offer a cheaper alternative to contract mobile phones as the mobile operator isn’t subsidising the cost of the new handset.
As a result you will benefit from a greater number of texts or minutes, or they will provide you with a greater data allowances
If you are adamant that you want a new phone, ask yourself whether it needs to be the newest model. I like technology but there appears to be very little happening in terms of innovation that would single out one handset manufacturer over another.
Who doesn’t like eating out, someone else cooks and there are no dishes to do after you’re done. Lets face it though eating out is expensive. So whether it’s date night or a well deserved meal with friends.
- Look at the prices, there is no shame in ordering something just because it is the cheapest item on the menu, besides if you like it why not.
- Order only what you are going to eat, whilst others might be ordering three courses if you can’t eat that much, don’t order it.
- Don’t split the bill, lets face it we all know someone that drinks more than us and strangely it is always them that want to split the bill
- keep drinks separate from the main bill
- If your favourite restaurant has a mailing list or loyalty card scheme, sign up. This is normally the best way to find out about upcoming offers and these schemes normally give its members money off.
- Restaurants are at their busiest on Friday and Saturday and on Valentines day. Decide whether you really need to go out on these days.