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Insights on money, career and trading

How to Avoid Your Overdraft

Posted on March 27, 2014 by Daniel at 4:38 pm

An overdraft is a handy service that can help you negotiate the tricky last few days before payday. Of course, it’s not something you want to rely on too much and too often or pretty soon those interest rates start to kick in and all of a sudden you’re not relying on it for the last few days of the month but the last few weeks. And from there it’s a slippery slope downwards. So here are a few tips to help you avoid getting stuck on the overdraft train to Debt City.

Monthly bills

The first thing you need to do is stop spending money. Now, that might seem a little difficult in a world where stuff and things are sold at a certain price. So it’s probably unrealistic that you are not going to spend any money. So, what you need to do is identify where you can cut some costs. Do you go to the gym every day? If so, you’re probably getting your money’s worth. However, if you go once in a blue moon and when you do go you only use the running machines then you could probably just cut that monthly bill from your bank statement. Instead go for a salubrious jog or just do a few star jumps and squats at home. Or just start using the gym more. After that take a look at all your other bills: electricity, internet, that sort of thing. Can you switch providers and get yourself a better deal? If so, what are you waiting for? Well, you might have signed a contract, but when it’s up you should definitely switch.

Weekly shopping

Once you’ve sorted out your monthly expenditure move on to the weekly spending. There’s probably a few things you can cut here too. So take a look at your regular outgoings. How much are you spending on Faberge eggs? You probably don’t need to buy two a week, one will do. How about caviar? You can probably cut that back to half a pound. Or maybe you’re going to the pub every Friday after work? Could you cut those three pints back to two? Or skip the pub completely every second week. How about other potential vices like chocolate and coffee and eating lunch out? How about making lunch at home a couple of times a week? That would certainly help your bank balance.

You don’t need to cut back on everything, just the odd bit every now and then.

Leisure Spending

Finally, take a look at your leisure spending. How often do you go to the theatre or the cinema? You can probably cut back on that, at least a little. Or maybe just go for the cheap seats, instead of front-row centre. Or go to the cinema on a Monday when it might be cheaper.

There are all kinds of things that you can do to make your life that little bit simpler and ensure that you don’t have to dip into the overdraft too early in the month. If you are already overdrawn these tips should help get you back into the green. And when you’re there, why not try and stay there?

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Insights on money, career and trading