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How to live on less!!

Review! Review! Review!

A lot of businesses today are reviewing their business model to survive this downturn we are experiencing. One thing that a business can control somewhat is their costs.

Households should also adopt this approach also. On one hand you have your income (call it profit) and on the other hand you have your costs (expenses). Take one from the other and hopefully this is positive. If it is negative you are living beyond your means and you need to change immediately.

You need to cut your costs. Here are some tips to save money.

  • Complete an overall health check and then revise your budget.
  • Cut back on little luxuries until you get bank on track.
  • If you have a debit balance on your credit card, clear it. Look to switch providers and get a 0% rate for 6 months, use the six months to clear your debt. If at the end of the 6 months your debt is not cleared look at taking out a personal loan. The interest rate on a personal loan tends to be less than the interest you are paying on your credit card.
  • Make sure that you are claiming all tax allowances. Eg. Claim your allowance on refuse charges. If you are paying a pension which is not deducted at source through your wages make sure you claim the relief available on what you are paying.
  • Shop around for savings on your car insurance, your house insurance, weekly groceries etc.
  • People are switching their electricity supply from the ESB to Airtricity (www.airtricity.com) or even to Board Gas Energy (www.thebigswitch.ie) who say that they will save you a min of 10% on your electricity. Check it out.

If you can save a little each month, do so and start an emergency fund for the next rainy day.

If when you do the health check and you have excess income over household costs, make a conscious decision to make this money work harder for you. Do not assume that your bank is doing the best for you; it is always good to shop around!!

On a business front and as a result of a review we were able to save a client €17,000 on a life assurance policy that he had with his bank. Now who was the bank looking after?

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