Sometimes we spend outrageous amounts of money simply because we are used to using a service or product and haven’t taken a small amount of time to stop, think, and regroup our actions.

Sort out those massive APR cards. If you’re lying on a large credit card balance, it’s time you switched to a 0% interest card for a fixed period. Many credit cards will give an interest-free period for up to 2 years. But do shop around as some cards have more significant transfer fees than others; charges are typically about 2 – 3% but can be much more, so do your homework.

Cut out the overdraft fees If your accounts in the red, try a current version that charges fair fees; some will give an interest-free overdraft for some time, as long as its kept under a certain amount, i.e., 200, maybe this will provide enough time to get back into the black.

Also, note there is a distinction in being paid bi-weekly or twice a month. When you receive bi-weekly pay, you get a check every other week on a Friday, for example. Two months out of the year, you will get an ‘extra’ paycheck, which means in those two months, you are going to get three checks. If you plan it right, you can use that extra money towards savings or paying off debt. If you are paid twice a month, on the first and fifteenth, for example, you will usually not get it on the same day every month, and you will always get two paychecks per month.

Save on your weekly shop Check out your weekly shopping needs, try looking for the special offers, 2 for one or buy one get one free, it sometimes feels like your spending more money, but you will save in the long run. You could also try your supermarket ranges rather than the brands; sometimes, you can save 50% off one item. And don’t forget the money-saving voucher codes for reducing your bills online.

So, taking the same flexible attitudes, let’s look at something we can do to stay current with the best deals and best prices.

Compare the utility companies It’s easy to compare your gas, electricity, phone, broadband, and TV on specific sites such as USwitch, or Just paying by direct debit can reduce your bill; a typical saving on dual fuel for an average user can be 200 per year. When purchasing a combined phone, broadband and TV package could save you up to 50% or more.

Having a good handle on these three elements will help you when creating your budget. Successful budgets that work for people work best when the person is honest. Don’t lock yourself up for frustration by neglecting to add expenses. It will just cause you stress and problems later on.