How Can You Keep Your Everyday Costs Down?*

*This is a collaborative post*

It's pretty likely that we all feel like we want to take better control of our finances. Money can be a significant source of stress and a lot of that can stem from feeling like staying on top of your finances is a bigger task than anyone can handle. With all the difference places that money seems to be disappearing into, it's hard to keep track of where it's going. The last thing you want is to discover that your finances have been slowly slipping away and leaving you without any security. Fortunately, there are always things that you can do. Here are four ways that you can take back control of your financial situation.

Cut back on luxuries

We all enjoy our comforts and luxuries. Nobody wants to live a life where they can't enjoy themselves. But the trouble arises when spending on luxuries starts to overtake your ability to manage your money. It's easy to find yourself spending impulsively and then feeling anxious about your bank balance. The best thing to do in this situation is to set yourself a monthly budget. Keep a very close eye on how much you're spending each month and try to limit yourself. Don't deny yourself all luxuries of course. Just cut back, so that money worries don't ruin them.

Look at the cost of living

Your living situation can be a big factor in your financial condition. If you're living somewhere that costs more than you can really manage, then you're going to find yourself in big trouble sooner or later. Ask yourself the tough questions. Is the area I'm living in too expensive? Is my house bigger and more costly than I need and can manage? These are serious issues and can be difficult to face up to. But doing so now rather than later can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. It's also a matter of being able to manage things like the cost of running your home, whether that's through installing a energy efficient wall heater, to trying to use less energy overall. There are plenty of little things that you can do to bring the cost of living down if you don't want to make any significant changes.

Take control of your debt

Debt can be completely crippling. Things like credit card debt can feel like they've completely taken control of your life. Sadly there's no quick and easy way to deal with debts. The only thing that you can do is to take responsibility for it. Don't hide your head in the sand. Face up to your debts, figure out what you owe and what you can afford to pay back. If you can, set up a repayment plan to avoid having to pay it all back at once. After that, it's just a matter of cutting back on your spending and making sure not to use credit cards and adding to that debt unless you have no choice. 

The reality is that your home is always going to be one of, if not the the biggest financial obligation that you have to deal with. This means that the best thing that you can do is often simply to balance your budget around your home. 

*Contributed by Sam Jones. Header image source Pexels.

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