How Can I Stop Myself Spending too Much Money?

There are some of us that find it difficult to not spend money. Obviously, we all need to spend money on some things. We need to buy food and pay our bills, pay our rent or mortgage and transport to work as well as other essentials. However. Beyond those essentials, we will often spend extra money on all sorts of luxuries. This might be things such as going out, eating out, paying for hobbies, holidays and all sorts of things. These things can be extremely pleasurable and make working worthwhile and also help us to relax. However, if we are spending too much money then it can lead to problems. It can mean that we do not have any savings to use for spending on emergencies, that we have to borrow money to get through and we can end up just losing control of our money. This can be distressing but spending can get to be a habit or it can sometimes just be hard to figure out how to manage everything that you need and want with the income that you have. However, there are things that you can do which will enable you to cut down on your spending.

Write Down Everything you Spend

The first thing that can help a lot is to write down everything that you spend. You can do it on a spreadsheet or on paper but note down everything thing that you are spending money on. This is everything that leaves your bank account, such as standing orders, direct debits and cheques and then everything you buy with debit cards, credit cards, cash etc. Just make a note of everything and this will help you to see exactly what you are buying. This is an important step as many of us know that we are spending too much but are not really sure on what. Therefore, noting it down will allow you to clearly see what is going on. It might feel like you are going to have to give up things you like, but this may not be the case, so be honest with yourself.

Prioritise Your Spending

Once you have a list you will be able to identify what you need to buy. There are certain things that we have to pay for, even if we do not really want to. Things such as council tax, no guarantor loan repayments, utilities and contracts. It is important to think about all of our commitments and necessities and make sure that we have enough money for those first. Then you will be able to see how much money you have left. You might want to split that money left into categories. For example, you might want to put some in a savings account, use some to repay debt, some to pay for evenings out and things like this. This where you get to choose where you spend your money so you need to do it in a way that will enable you to feel in control and not deprived,

Compare Prices

Of course, the above stage assumes that you will have some money left when you have paid for everything that it is essential for you to buy and this may not be the case. If you are struggling with this, then something helpful that you can try is to compare prices and make sure that you are not paying more than necessary for items that you are purchasing. You may find that if you swap providers, brands, insurers, retailers etc you could get a better price. Even if you are not struggling, it can be well worth checking this out to see whether you are paying more than necessary as you could find that you can save a significant amount of money if you switch to paying less for lots of items.

How can I Reduce my Life Insurance?

Many of us will have life insurance. This might be connected with our mortgage as often mortgages will have a requirement that we have an insurance to cover us so that if we die before the mortgage is repaid, it will be repaid in full. We might also have life insurance so that out family get a pay out should we pass away when they are relying on us to provide an income for them. On either case, you will find that the premiums can be pretty high. There are things that you may be able to change though, which could bring them down and so it is worth making sure that you are aware of them so that you can decide whether you want to try them out in order to reduce the amount that you are paying.

Compare Insurers

It is a good idea to start off by finding out whether there are cheaper insurance policies available for you. There are lot of companies out there offering life insurance and it is very likely that there will be one that you find will be cheaper than the one that you are with. You can search in a number of different ways. You can use a comparison website, which will compare a number of different insurers and this will mean that you will be able to see how is cheaper. However, these will only look at a proportion of insurers and so there may still be cheaper ones that they have not identified. You may find that they will only recommend insurers that give them a high rate of commission for doing so. There are also some insurers that will only deal directly with customers and not go through this sort of website. However, they are useful, so that you get an idea of whether you might be overpaying or not. You may choose to use a broker to find you a good rate. They will again, be paid by commission so might be just looking at the insurers which will provide them with the best commission as well. They will also only be able to recommend insurers which deal through brokers and not this that deal directly. This means that you might have to do some research yourself as well to see if there are any direct insurers that are cheaper.

By comparing the prices you will get a good idea of whether you are overpaying. However, you do need to be careful that you are comparing like for like. This is because you will find that if you are not careful, you will end up with a cheaper insurance that will not cover you for everything that you want cover for. So, you need to be completely sure that you are getting what you expect before you switch. However, in most cases, you will find that you can get the cover that you need for less than you are currently paying.

Negotiate with Your Insurer

You may feel that you do not want to change your insurer though. You may have had a good service from them or just feel that you do not want to risk moving to someone different in case you get a poor service from them. Therefore, you could just try negotiating with them to see if they can lower the price. Do compare the price and if you see cheaper insurance cover, then you will be able to let them know that there are cheaper policies available but that you want to stick with them and you will be able to see whether they might be prepared to lower the amount that you are paying.

Stop Smoking

One thing that life insurers are always interested in is whether you smoke as it puts you at risk of illness and early death. This means that if you can give up smoking it will reduce the cost of your life insurance. It will of course, also save you a lot of money and it will mean that you will be healthier as a result. Even if you can cut down, it might have an impact on the cost of the insurance and so it could be a really good idea to give this some serious thought.

Is Fixed or Variable Interest Better for savings?

When you have savings, it is likely that you will always be on the look out to make sure that you have a good interest rate. These vary a lot and you will find that there are big differences between interest rates with different accounts. Also, some will have a fixed interest rate and others will be varied. It is worth considering whether you feel that a fixed might be better than a variable rate and what the advantages and disadvantages of each might be.

Fixed Rate Savings Accounts

Fixed rate savings accounts will hold their interest rate for a specified period of time. They will generally be bonds. But there may be others as well. It is good to look into them carefully though as you may find that the terms are quite restricted. For example, you may have to keep your money in the account for a certain period of time. You may not be able to withdraw it at all or you may only be able to withdraw a certain amount or at certain time or a certain number of times. It sounds a bit complex but this is because the rules may vary depending on the particular bank or building society that you use. If you do make withdrawals you may find that there is some sort of penalty. Often there is a bonus with these sorts of accounts, added to the interest and you could lose this.

It is also wise to look carefully into the interest rate itself. The rate will be fixed, which means that it cannot go down for the period stated. This can be especially good if you want to make sure that you are protected form rates falling and if you predict that this might happen during the time that your money will be in the account. Of course, it is not easy to predict this but you may have a few ideas. If you think the rate is going to rise, then it could be better to be in a variable rate as then you may find that you are paid more interest. However, it all depends on how good the fixed rate percentage actually is compared to other rates that are available. If it is significantly better then it might be worth going with anyway.

Variable Rate Savings Accounts

You will find that there is more of a variety of variable rate accounts and many of them are instant access. This means that you will be able to draw your money out of the account at any time. This can be very useful if you need money in an emergency. However, it often means that the interest rate will be lower. So, you will need to decide whether you feel it is worth it. Of course, if you compare rates often, then you will find that you can check and see whether your rates are competitive or whether you would be better off moving your money to somewhere that pays out a lot more. You will find though, that if the Bank of England reduce the base rates, then it is highly likely that your variable rate will go down. Therefore having a fixed rate will protect your from this.

It can be a tricky decision as you need in some ways to be able to predict what the rates will do in the future. If you tie yourself into a fixed rate and then rates go up you may miss out on that increase in rate. However, if you do not tie yourself in and rates go down, you could lose out on interest as a result of this.

What are the Advantages of Renting Over a Mortgage?

Many of us are pretty convinced that owning a home is the way to go, However, in order to buy a home, we will need a mortgage (unless we can afford to buy it outright) and this has a number of disadvantages. The alternative would be renting and although there are disadvantages to renting, it does have some pluses when comparing it to a mortgage. It is good to be aware of these, as often we are not and we might go down the mortgage route without being fully aware of our alternative option.


When you rent a home, it is likely that you will just have to give a few months notice if you want to move elsewhere. This means that you are very flexible and it means that you are able to move around quite easily. Therefore, if you are a contractor or have temporary employment and tend to move around a lot, then this could be very suitable for you. It could also be handy if you are not feeling settled in the area you are working and have not really decided where you are going to live. If you are new to an area, it can be wise to rent for a while until you get to know where you would like to live. All areas have different parts of the town or city which are more or less desirable and you might want to get an idea of that before you settle down.

No Buildings Insurance or Life Insurance to Pay

When you have a mortgage then you will have other obligations as well. The mortgage company will want you to also have building insurance on the property and life insurance on yourself. The life insurance will repay the mortgage if you die before it is fully repaid and the buildings insurance will pay to repair or rebuild the house in the event of a fire or other damage. It will be part of your mortgage agreement that you hold this insurance and so itw ill be ab additional cost that you will need to think about when you are paying a mortgage. When you rent you will not have to take out any of these insurances and so you will save money and not have to worry about finding the money to be able to afford them.

No Maintenance Costs

When you have a mortgage you will be responsible for paying for any damage to the house. Although you may have insurance for this it will still be your responsibility. This means that when tiles fall off the roof, the rain leaks in, carpets are damaged or the taps start to drip, it will be up to you to cover the cost of all of these things. With some homes this will not happen often and will not be very expensive, but it can add up, especially if you want to modernise the house a lot or keep it trendy all of the time. Will a rental, it will be your landlord that is responsible for all of this. This means that if you have any damage or problems, they will have to organise to get the repairs done and not you. They will also have to pay for them.

This does mean that when you rent you tend to have less responsibilities and you will not need to pay for certain things. It is therefore worth considering whether this will suit you or whether you will be better off having a mortgage. Some people are better off renting as if they keep moving around they will have to keep selling a home. Also there are the extra costs which are often forgotten about which could make home ownership more expensive than renting.

Should I Worry About Retirement Income?

Most of us will retire at some point and at that time we will no longer have an income from our job. Therefore, it will be necessary for us to find money form somewhere else. It is not something that we necessarily need worry about, but we should make sure that we are confident that we will have enough money when this time comes. We may hope that the government will look after us but we need to consider whether that will be enough.

Government Pension

The government pension is only paid out to those that pay into it. You also need to have paid in a certain amount before they will pay you a full pension. You can check on the government website how much you have paid in and how much more you will need to pay in, in order to get a full pension. The way this is calculated has changed within the lats decade or so and so you may find it is different to what you thought. It is therefore well worth signing in to their website and having a look at this in order to calculate whether it is likely that you will qualify for a government pension. Also take a look at the amount and think about whether that will be enough money to keep you going through your retirement.

Extra Benefits

You may think that you will get extra benefits from the government if your pension is small or you do not qualify for one. This could be the case, but it will depend a lot on which party is in power and how much money is available to them. You could find that you will get lots of help or that you will get very little. It is wise not to depend on this as you cannot predict what might happen.

Work Pension

Many people have a pension through their workplace. These can be especially good if the employer pays in as well, as then you will get a bigger pension pot by the time that you leave the job. You also do not have to pay tax on money that you put into a pension so that can help as well. Work pensions can be really good and therefore you should have a look at whether your company has one and whether you are part of it. You may have some from previous jobs as well and even if you were not employed for long, they will all add to your retirement income.

Personal Pension

If you do not have much of a work pension or are self-employed or just feel you want more money, then you could consider using a personal pension. These are often not quite as good as a work pension, as you will not get an employer paying in, just yourself. However, they will still be a way that you can get some income when you retire.


Some people will have other plans for retirement. They may plan on continuing to work or to invest money in other things that will give them an income. There are different things that they can do. They may have some shares that pay a monthly income, for example or buy a house and get rental income or something similar. It is wise to make sure that this alternative plan is likely to work though.

It is certainly wise to have some plans for retirement as you want to be able to enjoy it and not be massively limited because you do not have the money to be able to do the things that you want to do.