Do you know your finances? What can you do to improve yours?

It always surprises me just how little people know about their own finances. It also surprises me how much money I waste on inconsequential purchases, especially ones instigated by my kids. Sunny Loans challenged me to take their “How well do you know your finances” quiz.

The quiz is not so much about your own personal finances but about all of the confusing phrases that are used when talking about borrowing money.

I had no idea that I knew so much about borrowing money but then again I am not really surprised. Do you know what APR means or what affects your credit rating? Take the test and see how you do.

This year I set myself a goal to really improve my own finances. I want to get to the end of the year with no credit card bills and completely out of my overdrafts. You see although I know everything there is to know about borrowing money, I am also terrible at saving money. I am following the below steps to save money and pay off my debts bit by bit so I can enter 2020 with no debt at all.

Meal Planning

By planning our meals and only purchasing what we need then I can save a huge amount of money each week. It is crazy the difference between our weekly shopping bill when we know what we will be eating instead of just buying any old food as we wander around the supermarket.

Stopping Takeaways and meals out

I am awful at ordering a takeaway or going out for a meal and yet a meal for four people can cost the same as our whole weekly shopping bill. I will also be packing snacks for the car when travelling as grabbing lunch as a service station costs a fortune.

Using a travel mug

Buying a coffee from a coffee shop when on the road costs a fortune yet I have a Nespresso machine at home. Taking a coffee in my travel mug to have whilst driving will save me around £3 a journey. Not a lot in the scheme of things but it will soon add up.

Pay off debts early

At the end of each month, I will transfer any of my spare money to pay off my credit card debts. The more I pay, the less interest I will accrue. I hate having credit card debts yet I ended up using them a lot last year so I have a fair amount to pay off. I will also be paying in any spare money I earn through my blog to help me get on top of it quickly.

Sell some of our stuff

We all have far too much stuff and we get sent new things all the time so I am going to make it a regular thing to list some of the items on eBay. It works really well for toys and children’s clothes that are outgrown rather than ruined.

Buy from charity shops

If we need anything for my girls I am going to look in my local charity shops rather than buy brand new. Kids outgrow clothes all the time so you can always find some nice outfits that are like new. We actually find that they have better brands in the charity shops that I would buy normally.

Reduce our bills

Last month I reduced my Sky TV package down to the minimum, removing movies, box sets and the kid’s channels. This saved me an absolute fortune each month. We have also just upgraded to a smart meter for our gas and electricity which means we can track usage and see where we can reduce it.

So there you go 7 steps to a healthier bank balance and lower debts.