7 ways that planning could help you cut costs

Most of us want to try to make the best use of what we have coming in by reducing what we have going out.

It doesnít have to be formally ësaving moneyí, but sometimes just making small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down the cost of our weekly shop.

Here are some more tips:

1.    Plan ahead and budget It could be something as simple as making a shopping list, so as not to overbuy at the supermarket, or it could be comparing prices in shops, across websites and with available discounts before you make a large purchase or sign up to a utility. And keeping up to date with when your credit bills are due can help you avoid the risk of missing payments.

2.    Pay your credit bills on time Your credit report can show you if youíve missed some payments on cards or loans you have. Lenders like to see evidence that you might be a responsible borrower, and given that late or missed repayments stay on your credit report for at least six years, itís a good idea to make your repayments on time. Also, make sure your credit report is accurate and up-date and try to stay within the agreed credit limits.

3.    Think about what you donít use or donít need Gym membership you hardly ever use. Those satellite TV channels you never watch. That extended warranty you didnít really need to buy. It can all add up! A budget calculator or spreadsheet may help you work out if you could live without it.

4.   Daily DIY saving Simple things like making your own packed lunch instead of nipping out for a pricey baguette can save a packet over the course of a year. Likewise, walking, running or cycling to work/play where possible.

5.  Make the best use of online discounts There are now many ways to save money if you can time your needs with the availability of the right online discounts. Use the train for family trips? There are railcards that could save you money. Need a hotel? Check voucher websites for useful ëpercentage offí code campaigns, or cashback deals.

6.  Think about how you pay Many people now prefer to pay by direct debit for annual charges such as insurance policies or phone line rental, as for them it saves money proportionally over the course of the year. Likewise, having a regular direct debit for a credit card bill can help to avoid the risk of missing a payment (as long as there are enough funds in your bank account).

7.  Use your credit score to help get you the best deals The Experian Credit Score is a guide to help you understand your credit report, how your credit history could be interpreted by lenders, and how the way youíve managed credit youíve had in the past can have an impact on future credit applications you make. It also helps you to monitor your progress, as you get your finances in order before you next apply for credit. With a free 30-day trial of CreditExpert* you can see your Experian credit report and credit score as often as you like.

*A Monthly fee of £14.99 applies after your trial. You may cancel during your 30 day trial without charge. 30 day free trial available to new customers only. Trial period starts on registration – further ID verification may be required to access the full service which may take up to 5 days.

– Content / Article provided by Experian ñ links to Experian CreditExpert are placed for promotional purposes –

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