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In times of austerity just about every savvy mum is looking for ways to claw back money and use it elsewhere, or save for those rainy days. It’s dull, boring, and sometimes a bit disheartening when you look at the cost of living your life and having a family to look after, but if you don’t take the bill by the horns, no one else can do it for you…

Here are three quick tips to help you deck utter your finances:

Download your bank’s mobile app
If you don’t know what’s in your bank account, you can’t keep on top of your spending. This is especially important for anyone who regularly gets declined at the till or cash machine.

Most banks have a mobile app these days, and if they don’t, get into the habit of doing online banking – check your account every day to stay on top of your spending.

Have an account for paying household bills and keep everything else separate
Whether its a joint account with your other half, or just one bank account that all the direct debits come out of if you’re a lone parent, it’s a good idea to keep this separate from your everyday spending.

So, you know all those lattes, magazines that you barely get time to read, and the sudden splurges, they will come out of a completely different account. A good tip is to make it so that you have to transfer money into the account every time you want to make a purchase. This is such a bore, and it will make you think twice about what you’re buying…and see you start to reduce your spending as the money starts to go down.

Cancel direct debits for services you no longer use
Whether it’s gym membership, magazine subscriptions, or even your charity direct debit you know what you can and can’t afford, so you have to take a long hard look at your bank statements and direct debits to make sure there is no spillage anywhere.

Yes, it was nice to have the magazine arrive on your doorstep every month, but if you’ve got several issues piled up unread, it’s time to cancel. You can read most of it for free online anyway – tabloid newspaper websites cover as much (if not more) than the gossips mags anyway.

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