How to beat the bills: Survival of the financial fittest

Thanks to Bear Grylls, we’re all well aware of how to survive in the wilderness with nothing but a shoelace, a coffee mug and a banana.

But where are all the shows telling us how to survive in the bill-derness? How do we control those never-ending payments and better manage our money?

It might not be a rugged, muddy British guy, but here’s a quick guide on how to up your financial fitness and beat the bills.

Exercise

Like any decent fitness plan (ie. not the ones you see on the net with ridiculous before and after shots), exercise is one of the best things you can do to meet your financial goals.

For example, you could exercise restraint at a sale and walk out only with the things you needed when you walked in. Then try exercising that restraint more often – like that moment when you stare down a wall of chocolate bars at the supermarket check out – and you might become better at telling yourself ‘no’.

Practice

Got a great financial plan? Put it in to practice. Many people are guilty of making a plan with lots of great money saving ideas and not sticking to it, but if you’ve already gone to the effort of making a personalised training program – why not give it a go?

Make sure your goals are realistic, and if you struggle to make one for yourself, you could ask a trusted friend or family member – or even a professional financial advisor if you’re really keen.

Supercharge

Getting fit – or financially fit – could always benefit from a little extra boost. You could consider charging your bills to your credit card, which might help boost your points balance. As long as you pay back the balance by the monthly due date, you’re getting points for doing something you would do anyway!

These points can slowly accrue and eventually go towards paying for exciting things like accommodation, flights, shopping, car hire and more.

Rest days

Ask any athlete – you won’t do yourself any favours by exercising and practicing every day for eternity. It’s a great way to burn out and/or give up completely, so try scheduling in a day off from your financial fitness.

This could be the day you let yourself take a peek at your favourite online shopping sites, treat yourself to dinner at a nice restaurant or splurge on something sparkly and totally frivolous.

You may be better off keeping rest day expenditure on the lower end of the splurge-scale, but it’s still great to let go of a strict budget for a short time!

How do you keep your financial fitness in check?