It's hard to save when there is a never-ending stream of bills to pay.

One way to get sorted financially is to look closely and what your financial commitments are.

Keeping your financial commitments to others well and truly under the hammer means more money for you.

Financial commitments are expenses that you have to pay on a defined day and are usually a specific amount.

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Rent, mortgage payments, credit cards, insurance and car registration are examples.

There are five key strategies for keeping them under the hammer.

Identify what your financial commitments are. Go back through your last three months or so of expenses and write down all the committed amounts you have paid to others.

Use this list to work out your total annual commitments in dollars and then divide that by the number of pays you have.

How much of your income is already committed to be paid to others before you get a chance to spend it?

Your commitments can be further broken down into essential commitments and non-essential commitments.

Gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, online subscriptions to music and movie channels are examples of non-essential commitments.

Take a close look at your essential commitments such as rent, insurance, credit cards, phone and internet charges.

Set up a separate bank account for your financial commitments and transfer enough money each pay day to cover the average cost per pay.

Every dollar you shave off your regular commitments will add up to a significant sum over a period of time.

- Liz Koh is an authorised financial adviser. The advice given here is general and does not constitute specific advice to any person. A disclosure statement can be obtained free of charge by calling 0800 273 847. For free e-books, go to moneymax.co.nz and moneymaxcoach.com.